Taxation in Ukraine's IT sector in Ukraine will change and could potentially generate an additional GDP growth in a couple of years. This was one of the key messages of Ukraine's State Tax Service Serhiy Verlanov in his interview published on August 8 by the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
Ukrainian officials are discussing the idea of exempting IT people from taxation for a period, something Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has alluded to earlier. But Verlanov says in the interview that history is more complicated than a simple tax exemption.
"This issue is bigger than simply removing taxes from businesses in the IT sector. The President’s Office is now dealing with this issue. There have been several meetings with the IT business," Verlanov said.
Ukraine's tax chief said the history and problems of Ukraine's IT sphere involve both vocational education and the migration, that is, attracting programmers from other countries to Ukraine.
As for the return of Ukrainian programmers who went to work abroad, Verlanov said it would be difficult to entice them back.
"The Google-level people have left," he said.
"This is a question of GDP, foreign exchange earnings, innovation ... And now the state will balance this story together with industry. I think there will be a separate project. I look at this from the point of view of Ukraine as a whole is very optimistic," he said.
He emphasized that the IT industry was not moved by either a jump in the exchange rate in 2008, or the next in 2013. "IT workers have proven that they can work in conditions of political uncertainty, they have not left Ukraine in large numbers," he said.
According to Verlanov, IT is one of those sectors that can generate additional GDP growth, possibly up 7% in 2021, as alluded to by Ukraine's president in a meeting with business leaders.
"It is necessary to take bold, decisive steps. We won’t achieve this in a simple evolutionary way. Today we live in the realities of 2.5-3.5% [annual GDP] growth," he said.