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Efforts by lawmakers

Since January 1, 2019, numerous changes to the Tax Code and other laws of the Russian Federation have become effective. The most debatable among them are VAT rate increases and changes in the procedure of pension assignment and payments, but one should not forget about other innovations.

Paperless statements

Accounting (financial) statements for 2018 may be executed both on paper and in the form of an e-document certified by an electronic digital signature. These amendments were introduced to the law "On Accounting" in November 2018.

However, in case the legislation of the Russian Federation or any agreement require submission of accounting (financial) statements to another person or state authority on paper, the entity shall at the request of another person or state authority and at its own expense make paper copies of accounting (financial) statements executed as e-documents.

Thus, as a general rule, organizations are allowed not to print out accounting statements.

However, there are cases when organizations still have to execute original accounting (financial) statements on paper.

For example, during the audit, because in the Russian Federation the auditor’s report is issued for accounting (financial) statements, which are executed on paper (accounting (financial) statements are an integral part of the report).

Submission of statements

Starting from 2020 (thus, we are talking about the final documentation for 2019), organizations will be required to submit reports not to statistical authorities, but to the tax authorities at the place of registration (with some exceptions) in the form of e-documents certified by the e-signature via telecommunication channels. In case of mandatory audit, the auditor’s report shall also be submitted to the tax authority.

Submission terms for the auditor’s report (in case financial statements are subject to mandatory audit) remain the same: within 10 days from the date following the date of the auditor’s report, but not later than 31 December of the year following the reporting year.

Thus, the obligation to submit statements and auditor’s reports to the tax authorities is reintroduced. As all organizations are required to submit VAT returns exclusively in e-form, those organizations that apply the general taxation system have their telecommunication channels already set up for submission of statements to the tax authorities, and therefore, no further difficulties with the said changes should arise.

Due to the submission of auditor’s reports directly to the tax authorities, tax officers may strengthen their control, for example, in case of submission of the auditor’s report with a modified opinion on the accuracy of statements.

New forms, old rules

Modification of report forms has become a traditional New Year change:

"Child" allowances: minimum and maximum

In 2019, minimum and maximum amounts of "child" allowances will be as follows:

The final amount of allowance will be known after indexation as of February 1, 2019.

There is a limit to everything, including insurance premiums

The limit base for insurance premiums has also increased, and since January 1, 2019, amounts as follows:

Insurance premiums payable to the Medical Insurance Fund shall be calculated on all earnings of the employee.

It should be noted that since January 1, 2019, the rates of insurance premiums for pension insurance in the amount of 22% within the limit base for insurance premiums and 10% in case of its excess has become constant due to the revision of the provisions of Article 425 and the abolition of the provisions of Article 426 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation.

New obligations and new penalties

Since January 16, 2019, amendments to the law “On the legal status of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation” has become effective, and according thereto the inviting party (employer) shall ensure compliance with the rules of stay (residence) in the Russian Federation by the invited foreign citizen, namely:

  • Compliance of the declared purpose of entry into the Russian Federation with the actual activity or occupation carried out during the stay (residence) in the Russian Federation;
  • Timely departure of the invited foreign citizen from the Russian Federation upon the expiration of his/her stay in the Russian Federation.

The Code of Administrative Offences provides for the imposition of large penalties for the violation of the said provisions:

Want to stay healthy? Have a check-up!

Since January 1, 2019, employers are obliged to give their employees a work leave for a medical check-up with the preservation of their job positions and average earnings. The reason for a work leave shall be a written statement of the employee.

As a general rule, an employee has the right to the work leave of one working day once every three years.

Employees of the retirement age (recipients of an old-age pension or a retirement pension) and of the pre-retirement age are entitled to the work leave of two working days once a year.

"Interview" with an auditor

Since January 1, 2019, amendments to part one of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation have become effective, and according thereto the tax authorities shall have an opportunity to obtain information about taxpayers from audit organizations and individual auditors.

Now for tax control purposes the tax authorities shall be able to collect, store and use documents (information) received from the auditors concerning their provision of professional services.

Despite the fact that this issue has already set off some panic, things are not all that bad: tax authorities may request information from the auditor only in the following cases:

  • On-site tax audit;
  • Verification of calculation and payment of taxes in connection with transactions between related parties;
  • Receipt of requests from foreign countries.

It is too soon to talk about the fact that the tax authorities will be able to obtain information, which may later be used against the taxpayer. Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that auditors will be willing to disclose information and provide tax authorities with the "leverage" over their clients.

In addition, it should be noted that auditors and tax inspectors pursue completely different goals when conducting inspections, and therefore, auditors may simply lack the required information.