New documents and filling rules for VAT settlements.


Legal Update No. 324
Goltsblat BLP advises that Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1137 “On the Formats and Rules for Completing (Maintaining) Documents Used in Value Added Tax Settlements” was adopted on 26 December 2011 (the Resolution).

The Resolution approves new formats and rules for issuing VAT invoices, adjustment VAT invoices, logs (books) of VAT invoices received and issued, purchase ledgers and sales ledgers relating to VAT settlements. It replaces the previous formats of these documents and the rules for their completion, as approved by Resolution 914 of the Russian Government on 2 December 2000.

The Resolution was tentatively expected to be published in the Russian Federation Legislation Digest No. 3 on 16 January 2012. So far, however, there has been no confirmation of the Resolution’s official publication. According to Article 6 of the Russian President’s Order No. 763 dated 23 May 1996, resolutions of the Government shall generally come into force 7 days after the first official publication date.

However, it can be argued that the Resolution was adopted pursuant to Article 169 of the Tax Code (which introduces the concept of the VAT invoice in the first place), and is required only for VAT purposes. The powers of the Russian Government to adopt the Resolution thus rely on Article 4(1) of the Tax Code, providing for the Government to issue resolutions on tax matters in the instances prescribed by the tax legislation.

According to Article 5(5) of the Tax Code, tax-related regulations by executive authorities are governed by the provisions on coming into force applicable to legislative acts on taxes, i.e., these regulations may not come into force earlier than one month from the date of their official publication date and than the first day of the next tax period for the purposes of the relevant tax (Article 5(1) of the Tax Code).

Although government resolutions are not expressly mentioned in Article 5(5) of the Tax Code, according to the tenor of the law, this provision should also cover resolutions adopted by the Russian Government as the supreme executive authority of the Russian Federation. The Resolution should thus become effective on 1 April 2012, at the beginning of the next VAT period (Article 163 of the Tax Code).

Please note the following provisions of the Resolution:

  • New details have been added to the VAT invoice: line 1a – index number and date of adjustment; line 7 – currency name and digital code; columns 2 and 2a – measurement unit code and identifier; columns 10 and 10a – the product’s country of origin code and abbreviated name.
  • The VAT adjustment invoice format has been approved. By way of a reminder, the VAT adjustment invoice is made out by the seller in the event of a change in the price and/or quantity (scope) of products shipped (works performed, services rendered) or property rights assigned. Previously, the format recommended by the Federal Tax Service in its letter No. ЕД-4-3/15927@ dated 28 September 2011 was used.
  • It is expected that VAT invoices (including VAT adjustment invoices) issued after the Resolution’s effective date are to be adjusted by the seller (when necessary) making out new of the VAT invoices (rather than making corrections to the already existing VAT invoice).
  • VAT invoices issued before the Resolution comes into effect are to be amended in the manner applicable on their issue date. Please note that the current procedure permits amendments to be made in VAT invoices certified by the seller’s seal and the signature of its CEO and specifying the amendment date.
  • The Resolution also establishes the specifics of keeping electronic logs of VAT invoices received and issued, purchase ledgers and sales ledgers upon issue (receipt) of VAT invoices. The new Resolution thus removes the principal obstacle precluding electronic issue and exchange of VAT invoices.

For additional information, please contact:

to Evgeniy Timofeev
Partner, Head of Tax Practice for Russia/CIS,
Goltsblat BLP
T: +7 (495) 287 44 44,

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