According to the Federal law №23-FZ «On Amendments to the Budget Code of the Russian Federation» it is not allowed to provide subsidies and budget investment to foreign legal entities with the place of registration in offshore areas. It is legislated that offshore area is a state or territory, granting privileged tax regimes and do not requiring the disclosure of information in the source of financial transactions. The List of such countries and territories is approved by the Order of the Ministry of Finance of the RF №108n dated 13.11.2007.
The ban on the provision of subsidies and budget investment is related in particular to contribution to producers of goods, works and services for lost income, as well as costs connected with the production. These restrictions are also related to Russian legal entities, the share of offshore companies in the authorized capital of which is more than 50%.
In addition, since 2017 offshore companies won’t be able to receive state and municipal guarantees or act as a principal or beneficiary on guarantees. In case of violation of this rule, financial funds paid under guarantees must be returned to the budget by their recipient. The exceptions are only state guarantees of the RF, relating to the provision of support for industrial exports.
The provisions mentioned above apply to legal relations, which arose by drawing up and meeting budgets of the RF, beginning with 2017, i.e. as of 2017 and the planning periods 2018-2019.
At the present time the above mentioned List of states and territories, being offshore areas, includes 40 items. The dividends of enterprises registered in the states, which are included in this List, are applied by the tax rate of 9%. In the near future China's Special Administrative Region Hong Kong will be excluded from the List of offshore areas due to the ratification of the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Hong Kong.
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Russian education market goes to network
The rapid growth in popularity of educational online-courses throws into question the efficiency of traditional teaching methods. How long will the higher school keep its reputation of sole stronghold of background knowledge?
Online for everyone. According to the expert assessments, in 2016 the number of Russians participated in educational online-courses based on local and international platforms has increased twice in comparison with the previous year and amounted to 1 mln people. Most of the students are people with university degree, in addition to this, it is marked that the share of bachelors and masters, taking online courses, has increased. The market is also rapidly growing due to applicants who failed the entrance examinations: most often those, who couldn’t enter the budget form of training, choose online education due to readily available cost. The most popular courses are IT, marketing, business and personal performance. The basic science and foundational disciplines may exist for a long time within traditional education, but it is no longer possible to imagine the dynamic areas of knowledge, which requires professionals instantly mastering all new trends, without online education. The market analysts see positive aspects in this. On the one hand, online education gives the ability to upgrade the quality of education; on the other hand, it certainly expands the scope of persons admitted to the best knowledge.
Low profitability is not a barrier for the growth. According to 2017 forecasts, the Russian online education will continue to grow. New forms of educational process and joint work of students will develop. However it is already obvious that such rapid industry growth will lead to scarcity of specialists providing educational process; in this connection, in the nearest time the market will start experiencing real employee scarcity, including positions, which haven’t exist in the labor market until now. Various experts will be required: from producers of educational programs to authors with new methodological possibilities. It is interesting to note that the market growth doesn’t stop even under the conditions of extremely low profitability, which is typical not only for Russia, but for most countries. It is hard to create the profitable educational project; however this business is attractive for many entrepreneurs due to low startup investment and relatively easy entry.
Higher Educational Institutions go to network. Universities are also trying to respond to market changes by suggesting new forms of extramural training. Here it is necessary to mention the «National platform of open education» – the portal with free online courses for everyone. The project was created in 2015 by the community of leading Russian universities with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. The ministry is expecting that the development of the platform will upgrade the quality of Russian higher school in the coming years. First of all the project is aimed to replace the poor quality of extramural training and classes at branches of universities. However, according to the officials, even the leading Russian universities are reluctant to implementation of online education, so it is early to speak about the achievement of the project objectives.
Decided advantage. Today the demand for online education inevitably goes up as Internet becomes available for more Russians and the distances between educational centers and possible applicants remain huge. The education is considered as investment and the most popular on labor market become experts in areas, which were recently formed and actively developing at the present time. New educational formats do not seek to compete with traditional higher school as a source of background knowledge, forming own competitive advantage in mobility, relevance and cost of provided services. At the same time, the rapidly changing reality throws into question the necessity of fundamental knowledge for successful career. One thing is obvious now: the advantage on education market will get the one who will make an offer to obtain necessary information for the shortest time and at competitive price; necessary information - information which will be really useful in practice and will convince the employer, who is less interested in diplomas and certificates, of high applicant’s qualification.