Thus, the tax system does not simply consist of taxes per se.

Thus, the tax system does not simply consist of taxes per se.

Since the state must ensure the receipt of taxes and therefore subordinates individuals and legal entities to fiscal discipline, such a state cannot but be an administrative state.

“Administrative state” is an essential analogue of the more widely used concept of “rule of law” with the difference that the rule of law should mean law-making and constitutional norms of statehood, and the state in its administrative role focuses on functional, executive, law enforcement activities of government agencies. and services.

Since in fiscal terms the administrative state is armed with a system of taxation, the focus of the doctrine of the administrative-tax state are the already mentioned national tax systems – created on a historically determined institutional basis, theoretically grounded and enshrined in constitutional rules of combination of taxes and establishment, cancellation and payment, methods of control over the taxation process, types of liability for tax offenses.

Tax systems are always national-state in the form of organization (German, French, Ukrainian, Russian, etc.), which does not exclude the affinity of tax systems of sovereign states, close in level of socio-economic development, as well as unification and harmonization of national tax systems. on the basis of the requirements of integration associations, such as the European Union.

Thus, the tax system does not simply consist of taxes per se. The tax system is a sphere of interaction between people, market structures and state institutions in a particular socio-economic and international environment. As a national-state phenomenon, it reflects the historical and ethnographic circumstances of its formation, as well as legislative and regulatory, organizational and administrative, information and analytical environment of taxation. In this case, to meet the system requirements, changes in one of the components of the tax system cause chain changes throughout the system, affect the results of its operation.

There are at least three alternatives to traditional tax systems:

global tax system; tax-free financing of state needs; and the ancient chimera of tax reformers is a single tax.

The creation of a global tax system has not yet left the stage of conceptual discussion.

Far-right American economist Ayn Rand fantasizes about the possibility of filling the budget through voluntary deductions from individual incomes, provided that government functions are reduced to a minimum in his work “Financing the State in a Free Society.” How does the author imagine this extravagant idea of ​​the existence of a tax-free state?

According to Rand, the minimum necessary expenses for the maintenance of the army, police, administrative institutions and law enforcement agencies can be covered by voluntary contributions of 5-10% of individual income. He appeals to the experience of the church, which similarly accumulates tens of billions of dollars, and expects to save unproductive costs such as abandoning the maintenance of the “anti-capitalist” United Nations. Rand connects the implementation of his project, not to mention a project funded on a voluntary basis, with a number of conditions: the elimination of the general welfare state, the mixed economy embodied in the globalization of the new world order. We consider Rand’s ideas utopian.

If we take into account periodic tax reforms, as well as partial changes, additions, modifications, construction of the tax system – a long, complex, essentially continuous process. In this case, is it not possible to reduce the tax system to absolute simplicity through the introduction of a single tax? Financial science knows several projects of this kind, which were admired or ridiculed.

The most famous of these come from France and the United States: the “royal tithe” of Sebastian Vauban (1633-1707), the single land tax of Francois Quesnay (1694-1774) and Henry George (1839-1897). And although none of these and other projects have been implemented, the single tax, like the perpetual motion machine, is being offered again and again. For example, some economists – D. Lvov and V. Sokolov (Russia), M. Geffney (USA), F. Harrison and R. Banks (Great Britain) – see the strategic financial resource of Russia’s revival in replacing the modern multiple tax built on Western stereotypes. systems for taxation of rent from land and natural resources. The realism of this proposal in Russia – a country uniquely rich in natural resources – is worth thinking about.

The considered non-traditional forms of filling budgets with international taxes, voluntary donations or a single tax have not yet come out and are unlikely to leave the stage of ideas and hypotheses. Administrative and legal state was and in the future, as far as can be predicted, remains a tax state. Therefore, we consider it quite legitimate to merge these concepts into one – the administrative-tax state.

Once taxes are rightfully at the center of public life, in developed Western countries has long formed a tax (fiscal) state – a tax-based body to perform public functions for the allocation and (redistribution) of resources, regulation of socio-economic processes by taxation and fiscal policy.

The author of the idea and concept of “tax state” – a prominent economist and sociologist Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950). According to him: “Taxes not only helped to create the state. They helped shape it. The tax system became the body whose development led to the emergence of other bodies. With the help of tax law, the state subjugated private households and ensured dominance over them. The tax brings the spirit of money and calculation in all nooks and crannies, where it did not smell before, and thus becomes a creative factor of the state body that created the tax. “

Schumpeter saw a significant typological feature of the tax (fiscal) state in the growing importance and new importance of taxation and public debt in nation-states, due to the strengthening of centralized power, expansion of government functions, foreign policy, ambitions of national elites … (According to these signs, Ukraine already belongs to this type of state).

The monograph, written in 1918 outlining the doctrine of the tax state, Schumpeter did not accidentally call the “Crisis of the tax state” (“Die Krise des Steuerstaates”). Schumpeter’s views can be explained in light of the circumstances of the era and his creative life. The reason for the conclusions about the crisis of the tax state were the grand events of the early twentieth century: World War I, the collapse of four empires (Austro-Hungarian, Russian, German, Turkish), the socialist revolution in Russia, and the first difficult years of independent Austria, where Schumpeter held the post of Minister of Finance.

From Schumpeter’s arguments it follows that the crisis of the tax state occurs under certain conditions:

loss of the state’s ability to collect taxes and / or fully control the tax process; nationalization of the economic system; exaggerated development of the fiscal foundations of statehood.

Thus, the demise of the Roman and Byzantine empires was caused by a systemic crisis, part of which was a reduction in tax revenues as a result of economic decline, a reduction in the number of taxpayers, and a loss of border control. The acute deficit of public finances accompanied the collapse of those empires that collapsed before the eyes of Schumpeter and his contemporaries. To a large extent, the paralysis of the ability to curb the shadow economy, prosecute and punish violators of financial discipline is inherent in the last years of the USSR, which, moreover, was not a tax state in the full sense of the word.

The second lesson is that a state that is trying to replace the economy, seeks to perform the full range of economic and political functions, inevitably expects bankruptcy. According to Schumpeter, the socialist state, which owns the economy, manages itself and, accordingly, without collecting taxes, lives on deductions from the profits of state enterprises and organizations, and whose citizens, instead of caring for their own interests, expect benefits from the state. Schumpeter’s prophecy is all the more significant because he was a contemporary of the birth of the first socialist state and immediately foresaw that a de facto tax-free state with an inefficient socialized economy is unviable in principle, and that its existence is no more than gradual agony. Apparently, the fate he prophesied came true.

However, taxes in a “normal” tax state must have a measure. In order not to become an economic parasite, not to overdo the fiscal function, the state has the right to take from the private sector only as many taxes as are compatible with the preservation of individual benefits of taxpayers. In other words, the tax state should not demand from taxpayers so much that they lose financial interest in production, that the level of taxation paralyzes economic energy, causes demoralization of society. Otherwise, there is also a crisis of the tax state, when taxes have a devastating effect “first on the economy, then on the way of life, and finally – on the cultural level.”

It is useless to think that fiscal crises were possible only in the past. Thus, the phenomenal economic, military, technological, and informational power of the United States as a single superpower is by no means a guarantee against the fiscal crisis of the modern American state. Experts are concerned that about 80% of Americans born during the demographic boom after World War II will retire in 2010. By the time this process is completed in 2030, the elderly population will double. Accordingly, the generation that came into the world at the beginning of the XXI century will bear twice the tax burden for financing social benefits compared to the current level. Together with the problems of budget deficits and growing public debt, this will significantly weaken the financial condition of the United States.

To prevent the uncontrolled growth of the fiscal function of the tax state and the mass dissatisfaction of taxpayers, which grows into resistance to taxation, Western countries have taken countermeasures, which we reduce to three positions: