Tax in uniform: why Russia recalled fiscal police

The joint inspections of businesses by the tax authorities and the police the average amount of additional taxes increases dramatically: alone tax credit additionally the average for 7.5 million rubles for one check, and with the participation of the police two or three times more, researchers found Financial University under the government. The conclusion is made on the basis of data of Federal tax service (FTS) and the Ministry of internal Affairs (MIA), said study leader, Professor of the Financial University Ivan Solovyov. The press service of the FTS has confirmed the relevance of the data. The interior Ministry on the request is not answered.

The purpose of the study is to formulate proposals for improvement of legislation to improve the interaction between tax and law enforcement authorities in the detection of tax crimes, it follows from explanations for Solovyov . According to him, scientists are performing a public task, received from the government. To complete the study is planned for early November. According to the results of the study, the researchers can propose to the government the creation of a specialized body for investigation of tax crimes — on the model of the Italian Guardia di Finanza and by analogy with the tax police, which existed in Russia until 2003.

In 2013, with independent checks on business has donacilla average of 6.9 million rubles in taxes per check, and the inspections with the police, three times — 21.6 million rubles, the statistics, which were analyzed by the researchers. In 2014, a joint inspection was 2.5 times more efficient (20.6 million vs. 8.2 million RUB), and in 2015 — twice as efficient (19.1 million vs. 8.9 million rubles).

FNS explains the significant difference the fact that joint inspections are conducted in the most difficult cases of tax evasion. For example, if there is evidence of unreasonable compensation of the VAT or excise tax, or the detection of criminal schemes of evasion from payment of taxes where the taxpayer avoids tax control or actively opposes on-site tax check (in cases of “migration” of the organization, change of founders or management, restructuring or liquidation after the decision of the tax authorities to conduct a field test), or uses in the one-day firms, etc.

In addition, according to explanations of the tax, the tax authorities can involve the police if the reason for the test be materials on tax violations, which the police themselves sent to the IRS. The powers of the police in collecting evidence of tax offences is broader than the tax authorities, primarily at the expense of the right to conduct operational-investigative activity (OSA), specifies a press-service FTS. The content OSA is considered appropriate evidence in the cases on tax offences. Now FNS and the Ministry of interior complete the harmonization of the draft of the joint order on the procedure for transferring such materials to the tax authorities, it will certainly have a positive impact on the efficiency of interaction of two departments”, reported the press service of the tax service.

Not only the efficiency

Solovyev admits that a joint tax audits are more effective because in the presence of police officers, auditors and taxpayers is less opportunity to “negotiate” — during such inspections is to search for infringements.

“Indeed, the joint inspections by tax and police have a synergistic effect — their rights together, and this is much deeper and thoroughly check the business”, says Roman Terekhin, managing partner of Bureau “Business fairway”, which specializiruetsya on the protection of the business during tax audits. When inspectors have more rights, there will be a lot more opportunities for the detection of offences and additional taxes, says Terekhin.

But there is a downside: when joint inspections increases not only efficiency, but also aggressiveness. “The more power we give reviewers, the more risk that this power will be used not only benefit, but harm,” — said Terekhin. Unlike the tax authorities, who speak with the business in plain language and examine the accounting documents, the police — a body that is “responsible” for “zakoshmarivaniye” business, this method is still alive and applies “are to abuse,” he regretted. According to him, during a field tax audit, the police often ask for the documents in the audit, and in their operational-search activities, later these documents in this field test can even not get. “And as they would later be used, we do not know beforehand,” says Teryokhin.

Hardly the results of a joint tax inspections talking about a deeper and competent inspections, rather the opposite, it is an indication that it is hardly appropriate to involve law enforcement agencies for inspections that require specialists, not threats, said the co-Chairman of “Business Russia” Andrei Nazarov. The actual tax accrual can only be performed by competent employees of FTS, and not the police, he said. But in the presence of the police, the entrepreneurs are more prepared to accept the additional charges, so as not to jeopardize subsequent, more stringent checks, notes Nazarov. “I think in the outward appearance of a positive result for the economy and the investment climate such joint checks are likely a negative factor,” says the source .

Better themselves

Despite the statistics, the tax authorities still prefer to verify the business independently, according to the Financial University. In 2013 cops were involved in 6531-site tax inspection of 41331 (16%), in 2014 — 7123 from 35758 (20%), in 2015 — 6460 from 30663 (21%). Now every fifth inspection carried out by the police, confirms a press-service FNS. The service isn’t aimed at all inspections conducted jointly with the police, this is not feasible, said in response on the request . A significant number of inspections amount of additional accruals above the average is the tax authorities themselves, according to the tax authorities.

Joint inspections are conducted at the initiative of the tax authorities. Tax asking of police involvement, especially when particular actions are needed for implementation of tax control (seizure of documents, research, interview, inspection of premises), the development of FTS, if their activities interfere or need protection of their life and health during inspections, the clarification of the press service of the FTS.

Tax audits involve the police when you see a clear evidence of tax offences where information about violations is obtained from law enforcement, but most of all — “when they’re scared”, and in other cases prefer to act independently, Soloviev explains. “There are different taxpayers — can someone on the threshold is not allowed. That is a kind of military component,” the scientist said. The police call, when the company is sabotaging the interaction — does not give the documents, staff are not on interrogations, the police, unlike the tax authorities can conduct examination, to summon people for questioning, to come to their home to deliver the agenda, agree Terekhin. But the police, he said, and she may be involved in any field inspection — particularly if there is some information about the taxpayer.

Procedural efficiency tax collected material is low, the researchers note, a criminal case on him excited only 9-11% of cases. Methods used by the tax authorities, documented not allow tax crimes, the tax authorities are unable to tap telephones, conduct the operational implementation and monitoring — all to document the crimes used by the police, explains the warblers. At the same instant made a return to the old order of excitation of criminal cases on tax, according to which the Investigative Committee has obtained the right to use materials of police officers quickly-investigation actions, state the researchers. In 2015, the number of such cases increased by nearly fifteen hundred — 3102 to 4568.

“It’s not because there was that tax specialists began to send more materials to the Investigative Committee. The investigative Committee did a better job because it became to obtain additional materials from the police,” — says Soloviev. For this reason, significantly increased the amount of payments to the budget: the total amount of reimbursed damages with-out pre-investigation checks and investigations of tax crimes in 2015 amounted to 14.9 billion RUB Increase of 86%.

Italian recipe

Based on all of these indicators, scientists have come to the conclusion that “a significant strengthening of the state system of counteracting fiscal criminality”. The ideal option they believe the introduction of a “unified law enforcement cycle detection, suppression and investigation of tax crimes”. This can be done by creating a specialized law enforcement authority (the financial police), the researchers believe.

As a good example of scientists lead Financial guard in Italy (Guardia di Finanza). According to its annual report, in 2015, the amount of identified hidden taxes exceeded €1 billion In terms of rubles is about 84.7 billion — compared to 14.9 billion rubles in Russia as a whole, they said. That is much less human resources with less than half the number of taxpayers is established the damage is more than 5.7 times, scientists have estimated.

Back to the future

In Russia the special body on struggle against tax crime has been — the Tax police. It was established in 1992 and abolished in 2003. the Official explanation the need to eliminate not was, but the decision was preceded by a conflict office with “Gazprom” that the tax police have accused of evasion from paying taxes on “tens of billions of rubles”.

The Tax police to investigate tax crimes were the best in Russian history: in some years, was excited 40-50 thousand cases, reminiscent of Soloviev. At the same time, as now, there was the Institute of exemption from criminal responsibility when paying hidden taxes and revenues was enormous, says the source .

He confirmed that the scientists are discussing the possibility to propose to the government the creation of a specialized authority to investigate tax crimes. But, according to him, it is not offered “as an imperative” — only as a possibility. “But if it is absolutely objectively, not defending the position of the statists, or, conversely, liberal business, if we want to effectively identified tax crime, you need to gather all public powers in a single cycle, from detection to interdiction and investigation, to have this done “in one breath” — argues Soloviev. Such was the device of the Tax police, he recalls, but the question of the return of the Institute “scary reputation” is not. Unlike the 1990-ies now many more opportunities to score in a single on really skilled professionals, explains Solovyov.

The tax police by and large have not disappeared, drew attention Terekhin: after a series of transformations in the interior Ministry remained specialized investigative part of working in tax crimes. If we go about combining these units with FNS, it is necessary to take into account that those and other many other tasks, in addition to combating tax crimes, the expert reminds. If you merge it all into a single Ministry, it will, most likely, very clumsy giant — another sverhcheloveka Agency that is created under the head, than under the task, said Terekhin. However, when you choose special functions from FNS and the Ministry of interior, the “furrow”, which is now laid between the FNS and the Ministry of interior, in fact, will lie inside, on, for example, between the neighboring departments of cameral and field tax audits, predicts a source .

Simple solutions in this matter, said Terekhin, structurally it is better not to change anything, but rather to fight for the efficiency of interaction of the FTS and the Ministry of interior and for a clearer statement of their rights and responsibilities. For example, now the police when conducting the HORDES of tax crimes using the same methods as in the investigation of the murders, experts say, although it is clear that approaches to “white collar” crime should be very different.

Previously to transfer the investigation of all economic offences one enforcement authority for example in Italy offered by the business community itself. The proposal was contained in the report, the business Ombudsman Boris Titov, President Vladimir Putin in 2015, its preparation was attended by leading business organizations. The creation of a single body would help to change the situation with illegal criminal prosecution of entrepreneurs, as “the year 2015 was characterized by the strongest in recent years, the pressure of the criminal law on business”, judged the business community.

But the statistics of joint tax audits, investigated the Financial University is further evidence that this idea need to be careful, according to Nazarov (who was author of the chapters of the report of Titov, which contained a proposal for a single authority). There is a risk that such a single Agency will be power rather than analytical, he explains. If you add the power aspect to present a well-balanced tax policy, there is a danger of a return to the 1990s when the tax office was perceived as tight fiscal and power authority, whose actions often led to biased results in additional charges, with the result that many companies simply ceased to exist, recalled by the co-Chairman of “Business Russia”.

No action to implement the idea of establishing a single body to combat economic crime were not made, said a source close to Titov. Scientists his idea with officials not discussed, said the research participant of the Financial University. In FNS on the participation of the Department in these discussions said that the issue was not within the competence of the Ministry.