Russia Taxation

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Russia Gotoarrow.png Taxation

Taxation and tribute records

First enumeration of persons during 8th century in Kievian Rus

Tribute lists
Ryazan-1257 Novgorod-1273

Land tax lists
писцовые книги (pistsovyye knigi)
based on the соха (sokha)

Household lists
подворное обложение (podvornoye oblozheniye)
first used in Moscow in 1710, basis for taxation until 1719

Poll tax lists
подушная подат (podushnaya podat)
generated lists known as ревизские сказки (revizskiye skazki)

Censuses of population by the government began in 1718-1719 when Peter the Great introduced the poll tax to change the basis of taxation from households to individuals. They met with many difficulties and delays and were usually subjected to review and correction. Military units were sent into the provinces to intimidate local officials responsible for making the lists. In addition, torture, execution, and heavy fines were imposed for census evasion. It still took several years for the returns to come in. In the meantime, Peter died.

1st revision: 1719-1721, corrected through 1727, conducted by military
2nd revision: 1743-1747, with returns as late as 1757
3rd revision: 1761-1767, conducted by territorial governments without the assistance of the military and included females
4th revision: 1781-1782, corrected through 1787, conducted by the region fiscal chamber казенная палата (kazennaya palata), established in 1775 to handle income and expenses of governmental institutions, the collection of taxes, and the conduct of revisions; and local land courts responsible for уездь (uyezd) administration
5th revision: 1794-1795, with some returns as late as 1808, Jews required to use surname
6th revision: 1811, not completed due to Napoleonic wars
7th revision: 1815-1817, undertaken to complete abortive 6th revision
8th revision: 1833-1835, for first time data were verified by comparison to метрические книги (metricheskiye knigi)
9th revision: 1850-1851
10th revision: 1857-1859, used to distribute land after emancipation. 10th revision listed a serf population of 11,244,913 males and a total population of 23,069,631. This figure represented about one third of the actual population count.The last three revisions noted changes in families during the interim between revisions.

The revisions included only the rural and urban tax-paying classes; they did not count the nobility, the officialdom, the clergy, the army and the higher strata of urban population that were exempt - 5 to 10 percent in the 19th century. Separate volumes were kept for the different classes of society: merchant - kupchestvo, urban dweller - meshchane, peasant - krest'iane, etc. There were certain geographic and ethnic exemptions.

The first general census of the entire population took place in 1897.

Family lists and local census records are an equivalent source to the revision lists for the period 1860-1917. These were not mandated nationally but were compiled at the decision of local authorities. Therefore, the are more sporadic and not as comprehensive in coverage as the revision lists.