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Mikalai Autukhovich is appealing alleged arrear in payment of insurance fees during his imprisonment

2015 2015-06-02T17:42:31+0300 2015-06-02T17:42:31+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Mikalai Autukhovich. Photo by RFE/RL

Mikalai Autukhovich. Photo by RFE/RL

Former political prisoner and entrepreneur Mikalai Autukhovich continues to challenge the illegal actions of the Department of Social Protection Fund (SPF) of Vaŭkavysk district, which requires him to pay the debt on compulsory insurance payments to the budget provided for entrepreneurs.

The debt of 1,836,000 rubles allegedly occurred during the period from February 27 to December 31, 2014. During a part of this period Mr. Autukhovich was kept in prison. In the beginning of June, after his release from prison, he got a job. However, this period, too, can not fall under the taxation.

However, on the basis of knowingly false information, presented to the public notary of the Hrodna District Notary Constituency by the head of the Vaŭkavysk district SPF B. Karalevich, the enforcement department of the Vaŭkavysk district ordered the recovery of arrears of the contributions and the notary tariff.

At the end of April 2015 Mikalai Autukhovich has filed a complaint against the illegal actions of the Hrodna regional department of the Social Security Fund, but received a formal reply, and had to appeal once again.

In his repeated complaint Mikalai Autukhovich reasonably proves to officials that he did not break the law, as an independent business activity involves independent and free activities on the basis of property and commercial interests, in accordance with the law of the Republic "On Entrepreneurship in Belarus". In accordance with the Presidential Decree No. 40, edition No. 87 of February 21, 2014: "the contributions are calculated from the income, determined by the entrepreneur ...".

"The decree doesn't say that I, being an entrepreneur, am obliged to use or seek some other sources to pay to your fund. Your guess and the requirement that my status as a businessman, even in prison, allegedly brought me profits, for which I have to make payments into your fund – is only a result of your imagination, not based on law. In your demands you mention the Decrees of the President №№ 40 and 87, but there we are talking about payments and calculations made by the owner (me) from the income. But if there is no income, then there is nothing to pay," reasonably notes the entrepreneur.

“In such a situation”, says Mikalai Autukhovich. “where should I take the money you need? Maybe I should go to steal or rob someone? You are engaged in extortion of money from intimidated businessmen, pumping even more popular discontent. Next, these entrepreneurs will be visited by the tax inspection and asked where they took the money, paid to the Social Security Fund, and will be punished for concealing their income! It turns out so judging by your demands. If an entrepreneur who does not operate and does not receive income pays to the Social Security Fund, he will automatically fall under the hammer of the tax inspectorate, and it's plainly absurd."

In this regard, Mr. Autukhovich asks Hrodno regional department of the Social Security Fund to recognize illegal the actions of the chief department of the Social Security Fund of Vaŭkavysk district B. Karalevich on calculating the arrears of insurance contributions to the budget of the Fund for 2014 in the amount of 1,836,000 rubles, recognizing the absence of such a debt for 2014.

Let us remind that according to the verdict of July 7, 2006, when the entrepreneur was sentenced for 3.5 years in prison for the first time, Mr. Autukhovich was forbidden to do business for 5 years.

He was detained against of February 8, 2009 and in 2010 was sentenced to 5 years in jail under Article 295 part 3 - "Illegal actions with firearms, ammunition and explosives". He was also sentenced to two more months in prison with the explanation that he had allegedly committed the second crime without serving two remaining months of the previous prison term. Meanwhile, Vaukavysk officials state that Mikalai Autukhovich is not prohibited to do business and the 5-year term of prohibition to this kind of activity ended at the time when he was serving his prison term.
Additionally Autukhovich was sentenced for another 2 months of detention, motivated by the fact that the alleged new crime he committed, not who has served 2 months with the previous sentence.

However, paragraph 4 of Article 51 of the Criminal Code "Deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities" clearly states, that "the appointment of punishment as additional to the arrest, restriction of freedom, sending to a disciplinary military unit or deprivation of liberty, applies to all prisoners while serving the main sentence and moreover – for the period specified in the verdict".

The officials ignore this provision of the law, demanding the money from the entrepreneur.

In this case, they also refer to the provisions of Presidential Decree №87 from 21 February 2014 "On amendments and additions to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus on the state social insurance", which states that the compulsory insurance premiums are not paid by the entrepreneurs who officially ceased their activities and were excluded from the register of tax payers. Mikalai Autukhovich didn't have such an opportunity. The matter is that in 2006 he was additionally sentenced to a fine of more than 350 mln rubles and couldn't stop his business activity without paying this sum. He couldn't pay the fine either, being kept in prison.

Since the adoption of Presidential Decree №87 in February last year, many individual entrepreneurs who physically ceased their activities but haven't got rid of their status of individual entrepreneurs according to the law will have to pay the obligatory fees to the Social Protection Fund.

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