Goltsblat BLP advises that Federal Laws of 27 November 2010 amending the Tax Code of the Russian Federation (the RFTC) come into effect from 1 January 2011 (excluding certain provisions):
No. 306-FZ “On Amendments to Part One and Part Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation and the Law of the Russian Federation ‘On Tax Authorities of the Russian Federation’”;
No. 309-FZ “On Amendments to Chapter 21, Part Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation”;
No. 307-FZ “On Amendments to Articles 342 and 361 of Part Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation”.
A significant proportion of the amendments are aimed at aligning the RFTC with the customs legislation. On the whole, reference to the customs legislation of the Russian Federation (RF) is replaced by reference to the customs legislation of the Customs Union and RF legislation governing customs affairs. The term “customs territory of the RF” has been replaced by “territory of the RF and other territories under its jurisdiction” (the latter meaning territories of artificial islands, structures and installations under RF jurisdiction in accordance with Russian and international laws). The term “customs regime” has been replaced by “customs procedure” throughout the RFTC. The word combination “border of the Russian Federation” has been replaced by reference to “border of the Customs Union” where appropriate.
Important amendments have been made to Chapter 21 of the RFTC regarding the 0% VAT charged on services directly related to goods conveyed across the customs border. Instead of the general and open definition of such services making it possible to qualify them as subject to the zero rate even when, essentially, they are not, an exhaustive list of relevant services taxable at the zero VAT rate has been introduced. The amendments are a positive achievement for taxpayers, precluding widespread tax disputes as to whether particular services are subject to the 0% or 18% rate.
A list of confirming documents has been prescribed for each group of services, indicating their specifics. This, in particular, solves the issue over documentary confirmation of the right to apply the zero rate to international carriage services under a so called “indirect” contract. It has been determined that, where a service contract is with a person who is not directly transacting a foreign trade deal with the goods, the taxpayer is obliged to provide a copy of the contract between this person and the person directly involved in the foreign trade transaction with the carried goods. A confirmation procedure has been detailed for the right to apply the zero rate for each service, including the time when the 180-days confirmation period starts to run.
Furthermore, some notable amendments have been made to Chapter 22 of the RFTC regarding calculation and payment of excise duties. Excisable goods will include cognac spirit, which was not previously subject to excise duties. The rates of excise duties have been changed for a variety of excisable goods (cigarettes, non-filter cigarettes (papirosy), passenger cars, petroleum products, etc.). The specifics of the excise duty collection procedure have been prescribed for Customs Union commodities imported into the RF and subject to labelling with excise stamps.
Payers of excise duties manufacturing alcoholic products and excisable alcohol-containing products are now required to pay the excise duty in advance. The amount of the advance payment will be determined on the basis of the total volume of ethanol purchased by the excise duty payers and the payment will be made not later than the 15th day of the current tax period. The advance payment so made will be subsequently deducted.
The amendments made to Chapters 26 and 28 of the RFTC increase certain tax rates on mining operations and transport tax.
Some insignificant amendments to Chapter 25.3 of the RFTC give relief from government fees on activities related to registration of pharmaceuticals submitted for registration prior to the effective date of Federal Law No. 61-FZ of 12 April 2010 “On Medicaments Handling”.
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