Finance, Tax & Accounting

Russia Offers 18 Percent Discounted Tax Free Shopping for Foreign Visitors

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Weekend jaunts to Russia as a shopping destination?  That’s what is now on the cards as Russia has introduced a whopping 18 percent tax refund on items purchased in Russia provided they amount to more than Rubles 10,000 (US$170). The incentive kicked in from January 1. The 18 percent is deducted from the full purchase price upon provision of a receipt.

However, the tax refund system does not cover the products charged with excise tax, such as alcohol, tobacco, and cars, among others. Further, the Russian government is entitled to add or remove the type of products covered by the tax free system. The system has been immediately deployed in Moscow, Sochi, and St. Petersburg, the most popular tourist destinations in Russia, as well as in the Far Eastern Primorsky Territory, including Vladivostok. It is expected to be rolled out across Russia from October 2018, when the electronic document management system is expected to be introduced. It does not apply to residents of the Eurasian Economic Union as these goods are already traded duty free between the member states.

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Understanding Russian Regional Tax Incentives

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An employee counts Russian ruble banknotes at a private company's office in KrasnoyarskForeign investors in Russia can work with regional authorities in Russia to actively reduce their tax bills. Although there are regional differences, such authorities in Russia have the right to reduce their regional allocation of profit tax of 18 percent to 13.5 percent (a minimum overall tax rate of 15.5 percent, including the 2 percent federal portion), and provide a reduced rate or exemption from property tax chargeable at the maximum rate of 2.2 percent of the cadastral or residual value of fixed assets (depending on regional legislation).

Other incentives and grants are also available in a variety of regions (e.g. land tax incentives and subsidies for interest on loans). Such exemptions are normally conditional on specific investment criteria in the region being met.

Movable property recorded in statutory books as fixed assets starting from January 1, 2013 is not subject to property tax (except for the movable property that has been acquired as a result of the reorganization or the liquidation of legal entities, as well as a result of the transfer thereof between affiliated parties). Therefore, regional incentives might bring benefits in the event of significant investments being made in immovable property or sufficient taxable profit during the period that the incentives are applied (usually the first three to eight years). Continue reading…

Russia & China Agree to US$10 Billion OBOR Fund

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rmb_rubbleRussia and China have agreed to establish a US$10 Billion Russia-China RMB Cooperation Fund following last week’s meetings between the two leaders in Moscow.

Both the China Development Bank and the Russian Direct Investment Fund have signed an agreement to establish a joint investment worth 68 billion yuan (US$10 billion). The fund will invest in projects related to China’s Belt and Road initiative as well as the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union initiative.

The new fund will make ruble and yuan settlements, with Beijing expecting it to help boost the yuan’s international standing. Continue reading…

2016 & 2017 Annual Audit Procedures in Russia

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By Dezan Shira & Associates Russia Desk

rublesEach legal entity or foreign company operating in international markets knows that effective management and correct financial administration are key to successful business operations. Audit is an independent inspection of bookkeeping and financial reporting aimed to provide a professional report on its accuracy.  Continue reading…

Russia’s 2017 Investment Trends & Opportunities Into Asia

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CDE Op-Ed Commentary

russia-graphic2016 has been a year of hard work and effort on behalf of Russia, beset by sanctions from the EU and US, and globally mired in bad press and media coverage. No matter what it does – from fighting Isis and terrorism in Syria to being accused of influencing the American election results, Russia is often described in far from flattering terms. All this noise has detracted Russia’s real achievements and clouded observation of the true directions the Russian economy is taking.

In fact, Russia has recovered from sanctions rather well, 2017 will see it move into positive GDP growth of 1.5% over the year, the same ironically as the EU. What has changed is that while the EU has damaged its trade relations with Russia – losing an estimated USD60 billion in export vales to Russia over the past two years – the efforts to supply the Russian market with product have moved instead to, and been taken up by Asia. President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the two main protagonists of the sanctions, appear not to have understood that when championing a global market economy, the imposition of regional sanctions will not work.

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China/Russia Trade Opportunities Under The Russia-Hong Kong Double Tax Agreement

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The Comprehensive Double Taxation Agreement (CDTA) between Hong Kong and Russia entered into force on 1st January this year in Russia, with Hong Kong following on 1st April this year.

Signed at the beginning of 2016, the CDTA aims to provide greater certainty on taxing rights between Hong Kong and Russia, incentivizes foreign investment with reduced income tax and withholding tax rates, and helps investors to better assess their potential tax liabilities on business transactions.

Before the CDTA came into effect, companies operating in Hong Kong but listed in Russia were subject to income tax in both jurisdictions. In some cases, the taxation of repatriated profits of a Hong Kong company based in Russia would be determined by the tax bureau individually, depending on the source of the income.

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2017 Changes To Russian Tax Code Affecting Foreign Investors

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Numerous amendments to the Russian Tax Code came into force on 1st January, mostly related to the issuance of Russian Federal Law 401.FZ dated 30th November last year, which introduced some new concepts and clarified the existing taxation rules. The most important changes that may have impact on foreign investors are outlined as follows:

Third Party Tax Payment Permitted
The revised Tax Code now allows third parties to pay taxes of a taxpayer. This will solve several problems faced by corporate taxpayers. It will be useful for example in cases when a taxpayer’s account is frozen in connection with the revocation of its bank’s licence or if the account is blocked by the tax authorities. Similar problems also occur with payments of taxes when an organisation, which is liquidated, closes its accounts, and unpaid taxes are discovered in the course of preparation of its liquidation balance sheet. It should, however, be noted that third parties who have paid taxes of another person will not be entitled to a refund of the amounts paid from the public funds.

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Moscow to lose 17 positions in the Global Financial Centres Index

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By Marina Romanova

1022697607Tallinn, Riga and Almaty had drown ahead Moscow to emerge as current Eastern Europe and Central Asia top financial centers, according to the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) rankings released this Monday by London-based consultancy firm Z/Yen and Long Finance.

The former capital city of the Republic of Kazakhstan scored 605 points, for the first time leaping over Moscow, which ranked 84 globally with 568 points. Russia’s second largest city, St Petersburg ranked 85 with 567 points, although losing only 3 points since March 2016.

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Russia’s National Debt to Remain Lowest in Europe

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By Marina Romanova

Russia’s share in a world’s national debt is the smallest in Europe, but its foreign-currency debt is the second high among emerging economies.

The Visual Capitalist, infographic data web site, has counted that the combine global national debt or world public government debt is amounted in 2015 to as much as US59,7 trillion. Using the IMF data of debt-to-GDP ratio by country, www.visualcapitalist.com experts found out that Russia’s share in a world debt is lowest in Europe and equal only to 0,49 percent of the world debt, while the European continent, excluding Russia, holds over 26 percent of total world debt.

India ‘s share in a world debt in 2015 was 2,06 percent, South Korea’s – 0,76 percent, Germany accounted for 4,81 percent, UK – 3,92 percent. Continue reading…

Russia’s Central Bank to accredit Hanoi based BIDV to promote comradeship with Vietnam

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By Marina Romanova

c1feff5bdbb45920cf7cbaa57d731347Russia’s central bank accredited Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) to be country’s first financial representative on the Russian market, Vietnamese and Russian media reports.

“It is important not only for the bank itself but for the future cooperation between Russia and Vietnam,” TASS quote Dmitry Skobelkin, a central bank deputy governor, as saying.

Earlier in April 2016, the central bank issued the operating license for BIDV’s representative office in Russia. The joint bank is taking part with Russia’s state-run VTB bank in a pilot project aimed at arranging payments between two countries in their national currencies. In the long term it is possible for BIDV to open a branch in Russia, bank press release said.

BIDV’s press office describe Russia as one of its key markets and VTB as its main financial partner in Russia for the last 17 years. The VRB, with 50 percent from BIDV and 50 percent from VTB, of chartered capital respectively, started to operate on November 2006. It has 5 branches in Vietnam, namely in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Vung Tau, Da Nang, and Nha Trang city. Continue reading…

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