What tax reform in Russian oil industry really means for investors

The Russian oil industry's taxation system-established during the previous decade-is inflexible, basically revenue-based rather than profit-motivated, overcomplicated, and fiscally oriented. In order to improve it, the Russian government has introduced a new, simplified tax system for the industry in the recent draft, "Russian Energy Strategy for the Period to 2020," the guidelines of which the government approved Nov. 23, 2000. Implementation will consist of three main components: a profit tax, a severance tax (on extraction of mineral resources), and an incremental revenue tax (IRT). Each of these components is designed to extract a particular portion of oil-related economic "rent:"...

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