The Finance Ministry has proposed to wean business from the “tax samoregulirovaniya”

The Ministry of Finance to draft guidelines for tax policy in 2017 and the planning period of 2018 and 2019 (the document is available) proposes to increase the penalty that is charged to all debtors on tax payments to the Russian budget. Penalties are to be increased by 66% from 1/300 of the refinancing rate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (16 September equal to 10% per annum) up to one 1/180 rates.

The document says that this measure will be implemented to improve the effectiveness of fines as a tool for the timely collection of taxes and reduce the debt on their payment.

Now, given the level of the key rate of the Central Bank, one day of delay in tax payment costs 0,0333% of the outstanding amount (for example, if the debt is 1 million rubles, then in one day, interest will be charged in RUB 333,3). The Finance Ministry’s proposal means that the penalty will increase to 0,0555% of the outstanding amount (per day will be charged 555,5 RUB fines).

According to the NRF on 1 August 2016, the debt on taxes and levies to the Federal budget of the Russian Federation amounted to 991,6 billion. Of these, only 7.7 billion rubles of debt is recognized as the FNS is impossible to recover. There is also debt on payment of fines and other tax penalties. According to FNS, on August 1, the budget was underpaid 258 billion rubles of fines. Often the budget does not pay or underpaid the value added tax (VAT): on August 1, the debt of this tax before the budget was 448,2 billion rubles — almost half of all arrears of taxes and levies. When it is impossible to recover from this amount, FNS believes that only 2.9 billion rubles.

The proposal to increase the size of fines has long been discussed, said the head of the legal Department “MEF-Audit” Alexander Ovesnov, as the current interest rate is in annual terms in fact corresponds to the size of the key rate of the Central Bank — enabled the taxpayers to use the “tax credit” in the form is not fully paid to the budget taxes and fees at a rate lower than commercial.

“Now the calculation is likely to virtually double key Central Bank rate (about 20.3 per cent per annum, which is closer to current interest rates). “This change will affect all taxpayers, especially in the calculation of taxes according to the results of tax inspections, when the period of delay can be several years,” he says.

Because of the crisis in the economy entrepreneurs are often made not paying taxes for this “lending”, said the expert of SKB Kontur Natalia Gorbova: “in the conditions of falling incomes, the businesses are able to make a choice — to pay taxes and go bankrupt or to delay the payments to the budget, to make a profit and then pay fines. “Loans are expensive and lending business due to non-payment (underpayment) of taxes with falling rates, the Central Bank, is a very attractive way of lending. Also do not need to be distracted by the collection of documents, waiting for a response,” the Bank says Gorbova.

In a situation when the interest rate rises to almost twice the enterprises with debt better before the end of the year to optimize tax payments, said Gorbov. “To reduce those penalties that are assessed today, is not possible, except in one way — as soon as possible to pay the tax and interest”, — said the expert. If this is not done, the debtor companies will be forced to cut back on employees to reduce staff, bonuses and other payments, she said.

The increase in penalties will take, not all companies that have delayed tax payments to the budget. Great difficulties await the service sector and manufacturing, where traditionally a high proportion of small and medium enterprises, especially after the introduction of online cash registers, which will show the real turnover of the companies, said Gorbov. “I can assume that the first time, all waiting for a shock — the increase of taxes on the basis of actual turnover and at the same time, the inability and unwillingness to pay them. Followed by large fines, verge of bankruptcy, many small companies”, — the expert believes.

What other initiatives are contained in the project of the Ministry of Finance

In the project “Main directions of tax policy for 2017-2019” contains a number of tax changes that may affect virtually all citizens:

2018 — 2019 proposes to charge VAT on products purchased by Russian citizens to foreign Internet sites. This will automatically lead to increased cost of goods international e-Commerce 18%.

Also, the Finance Ministry proposes to oblige to pay a tax on property of physical persons in respect of unregistered objects of capital construction. Now many individual houses are not recorded in the organs rosreestra, therefore, not listed as construction in progress frost are taxed on the property, said Ovesnov of “MEF-Audit”.

The document also contains a proposal to improve conditions for the timely payment of taxes and fees. Among them there is a paragraph on amendments to the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, which proposes to allow citizens to pay taxes for each other.