Taxes throughout Russian history



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Taxes throughout Russian history



"Any owner has to part with what has fallen from the cart”

In the period of feudal fragmentation of Russia, the duty for transportation of goods through the territory of landowner was a popular tool to increase the revenue. The fee for transportation was charged for each cart. In those years the first attempts to optimize taxes could be traced: to reduce the tax amount, the owners loaded their carts with goods in such a way that sometimes goods fell from carts. As a countermeasure, the local princes devised the rule to increase their revenue: the product fallen from the cart became their property. Thus was born the saying: "Any owner has to part with what has fallen from the cart”.

 

READING COMPREHENSION

Make up the summary of the text using the questions to organize your answer:

1. How did the feudal act to increase the revenue while allowing to pass through his territory?

2. What was basis to charge the transportation fee?

3. What did the merchants do to reduce the tax amount?

4. What was the countermeasure devised by local princes? Does the saying reflect the situation with transportation fee?

 

Vocabulary notes

to part                                         расставаться

cart                                             телега

duty for transportation               пошлина на перевозку

revenue                                       доход

fee for transportation                  плата за перевозку

to trace                                        проследить

countermeasure                           контрмера

devise                                          разрабатывать

 

 

Russian road duty “Myto”

Myto is one of the oldest Russian road duty levied on trade from the end of X century. In the period of feudal fragmentation of Rus in the XII - early XIII centuries myto becomes one of the most profitable domestic trade taxes. Originally, the word meant a place where carts and boats stopped, and then it was used to designate the road duties for transportation of goods through external or internal outposts.

The right to set road duty rates belonged to the state, but often the right was sold to individuals or clergy. In the latter case, proceeds from the tax normally went to the maintenance of roads and bridges. The tax amount was determined by special certificates. Illegal outposts were abolished or attached to the treasury.

Tax evasion was punished with a fine, and the person who committed the act got punished with whip. The penalty for failure to pay the tax amounted to double duty sum.

Tax collectors were unpaid by the state but they were considered as the most honorable persons.

In XVII-XVIII centuries, this duty in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod amounted to 5% of the value of the goods (except grain) and was levied at special places called “Mytny yard”. Moscow’s Mytnaya Street has kept this historical name: it is at this place where the cattle yard was located in XVIII century and duty on cattle for sale was collected (so-called “myt”).

 

READING COMPREHENSION

Make up the summary of the text using the questions to organize your answer:

1. What is the name of the oldest Russian road duty levied on trade?

2. Who had the right to set road duty rates?

3. Where did proceeds from the tax go?

4. Was there a special document specifying the tax amount?

5. What was located at the place of the today’s Moscow Mytnaya street?

 

Vocabulary notes

road duty                 дорожная пошлина

outpost                    застава

duty rate                  размер пошлины

clergy                                 духовенство

proceeds                   доходы, выручка

attach                                прикреплять, присоединять

treasury                    казначейство

tax evasion               уклонение от налогов

fine                           штраф

punished with whip наказывать хлыстом

cattle                        крупный рогатый скот


UNIT 4

PART 1



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