The relevance of the study is due to the fact that, caused by the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, it put on the agenda issues about choosing the best methods to support businesses and citizens. However, the choice, evaluation, and practical choice of steps faces with the still existing lack of elaboration of the methodological aspects of performance evaluation. Both instruments (tax expenditures and direct expenditures) have their own advantages and implementation, their application should be directly linked to the goal. The subject The subject of the study is the list and mechanisms for the formation of tax expenditures used as part of support measures. The aim of the study is to determine how to use the methodological approaches accumulated in the scientific literature and international experience to the definition and assessment of tax expenses, as well as their accounting and management. When forming the work, such methods as reasoned-critical analysis, hypothetical-deductive method, case methods, method of analysis of generalizations and extrapolation (interpolation) of results were used. The study used data from the Federal Treasury, Rosstat and the Ministry of Finance of Russia and GTED Database. The scientific novelty of the study consists in the use of new data to analyze the structure of tax expenditures and compare the methodologies of different countries. The result of the work was a report containing: 1. Generalization of methodological approaches to the definition and evaluation of tax expenditures in scientific research 2. Analysis of international experience in accounting and management of tax expenditures 3. Analysis of the Russian practice of granting tax expenditures 4. Evaluation of the effect of the introduction of the fiscal rule on the nature of the cyclicality of fiscal policy in developed and developing countries 5. Description of opportunities for optimizing tax expenditures in the Russian Federation. The results obtained allowed us to conclude that the Russian tax system is replete with too many deviations from the standard rules, which produce a significant amount of tax expenditures by world standards. In addition, the stated goals of preferences do not fully correspond to the distribution of tax expenditures by type of tax. Part of the tax expenditure generated under indirect taxes is implicitly intended as a tool to stimulate business and investment. This creates an opaque system for distributing preferences and comparing their volume (imputed subsidy) with the result. In turn, this contributes to the strengthening of the effect of fiscal illusion. In the future, the authors plan to continue the study of the effectiveness of tax expenditures in Russia and the world.