Written: Written on November 30, 1920
Published: First published in 1924 in the magazine Vestnik Finansov No. 1. Printed from a typewritten copy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, page 58b.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Commission for Abolishing Cash Taxes
More thought must be given to the conditions of the transition epoch (and the relevant facts studied in greater detail).
There is no doubt about switching from money to the exchange of products without money.
To make the switch a success, there must be an exchange of products (not exchange of commodities).
So long as we are unable to carry on the exchange of commodities, i.e., to give the peasants industrial products, the peasantry has to make do with the remnants of commodity (and consequently of money) circulation, with a Substitute for it.
It is economically wrong to abolish the substitute (money) before the peasantry has been given that which eliminates the need of a substitute.
This must be given very serious thought.
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The question of abolishing cash taxes was discussed at sittings he Council of People’s Commissars on November 3 and 30 and December 18, 1920. On November 3, the C.P.C. set up a commission consisting of S. Y. Chutskayev (chairman), N. I. Bukharin, N. N. Krestinsky, D. I. Kursky, S. P. Sereda, F. F. Syromolotov and 0. Y. Schmidt; later M. F. Vladimirsky and A. D. Tsyurupa were also included in the commission. On November 30, the C.P.C. adopted the decision on direct taxes written by Lenin (see present edition, Vol. 42, p. 230). On December 18, the C.P.C. adopted, in principle, Chutskayev’s draft decree on the abolition of cash taxes, and referred it to a commission consisting of Chutskayev, Kursky and T. V. Sapronov, instructing it to rework the draft on the strength of the directions which had been given, and, in the event of a unanimous decision, to submit the decree for Lenin’s signature and place it before the Presidium of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee. On February 3, 1921, the latter adopted a decision in principle, suspending the collection of all existing taxes, both state and local. The transition to the new financial policy in connection with the introduction of NEP once again brought out the tax problem.