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On May 1, 2016 Russia’s President signed Federal Law No. 130-FZ on Amendments to Part One of the Russian Federation Tax Code (the “Law”). The Law was published on May 2, 2016.
The Law is generally intended to improve communication between taxpayers and the tax authorities during tax audits, including in the tax monitoring format, and when appealing the tax authorities’ actions.
For example, when an appeal is filed after June 2, 2016:
For tax audits completed after June 2, 2016, taxpayers will be entitled, before decisions on audits are rendered:
In addition, entities that are required to file returns only electronically, in particular, those consisting of more than 100 people, must arrange for electronic document exchange with the tax authority during a tax audit.
Finally, as of June 2, 2016, entities for which tax monitoring is carried out may receive the tax authority’s reasoned opinion not only on business transactions that have already been completed, but on planned business transactions (similar to an “advance tax ruling” in a number of foreign states).
As there are fewer than 10 such entities in Russia today, this and other related innovations are apparently intended to both make tax monitoring more attractive for big business, and to demonstrate to investors that the Russian tax legislation has modern tools. To this end:
However, there are a number of unclear points in the regulation of issues related to providing advance reasoned opinions:
In other words, failure to follow the reasoned opinion may increase the risks of a tax audit and dispute as compared to a situation where the taxpayer has not requested a reasoned opinion.
This essentially means that in order to get a reasoned opinion it is necessary to describe the situation to the tax authority in as much detail as possible and to not deviate from those details when completing the transaction. However, frequently the market situation and, consequently, the contractual terms change considerably in the process of clearing transactions and performing operations. The Law’s lack of protection against additional tax assessment in the event of “good faith” deviations from the initial information may become an additional tax risk factor.
Based on extensive experience in supporting tax audits at the pretrial stage, the lawyers of Dentons’ Tax practice are ready to help your business take best advantage of legislative innovations.
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