Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin raised the prospect of higher taxes on luxury goods in an article for newspaper Vedomosti, in which he stated that Russia's rich need to contribute more to society.
Russia's taxes on imported luxury goods are already high, and if they became even more onerous, this could mean Russian shoppers descending on stores in Western Europe in even greater numbers than they do now.
Tax Free sales to Russians were up by 31% in 2011, following similar increases in the previous two years. Russians are second only to the Chinese when it comes to purchasing Tax Free goods.
Putin did not make clear what he meant by "luxury goods". At present Russians are supposed to pay tax on imported goods worth more than EUR 1,500, but discussion are taking place to increase this to a rumoured EUR 10,000 which would further fuel sales of Tax Free luxury goods in Europe. Russians' most popular shopping destinations are, in order of popularity, Italy, Germany, Finland, France and the United Kingdom.www.global-blue.com