The government introduced in the State Duma a bill on ratification of a Convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters. The Convention exists since 1988. At the moment around 70 states has signed it. In 39 of them it has already come into effect.
In Russia the Convention was signed as far back as 2011. It gives an opportunity to get assistance while collecting tax payables within the territory of the participating countries and sharing the tax information.
The majority of debtors to Russian budget are in the common law countries. Than follows the largest Russian foreign trade partners.
According to explanatory note, the effective debt of the legal entities to the Russian budget in Canada amounts to RUR 1,38 billion, in Turkey – RUR 1,22 billion and in the USA - RUR 1,10 billion. Accession to convention will help to return the part of this debt to the budget.
Apart from coming into effect of the Convention, the British beneficiary register will become the helping hand for Federal Tax Service of the RF in struggle with the offshore companies. Great Britain is the first country in EU that is going to make a list of the final profit beneficiaries of its companies. The register will contain information about the name, date of birth and nationality of the beneficiaries. At the same time, there will be data on the entities that hold more than 25% of the company’s share or control its activity other ways. The main goal of the register is to enhance the confidence to the British business.
However, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation wouldn’t wait for English colleagues to create the register. Thus in April, 2014, the authority published the letter, where it is stated that intermediary company can’t be the final income beneficiary. As a result, Russian companies will have to prove who the final beneficiary is. Intermediary company should ask the income receiver for the confirmation that he is a beneficiary owner. However, this information might be denied by the data of receiver financial statements.
In the second quarter 2014 it was decided to create and constitute own National system of payment cards in Russia. Russian state was inspired by international payment systems like Visa and MasterCard, which switched off services for some Russian banks because of imposed sanctions by USA. Visa and MasterCard control 85% of Russian market.
Currently the State activity for creation of own payment system is noted by the following number of actions:
1. Amendments to the legislation, which provide the creation of full-fledged national payment system (NPS), have been adopted.
Such notions like "nationally significant payment system" and "foreign payment system" are introduced by law. Operators of payment systems, which are not nationally significant, will have to make a security deposit on the special account in Russian bank.
2. Action plan and relevant committee for creation of national payment system are prepared.
Specialists doubt: to create NPS from scratch or to use available technologies. Two proposals are considered: realization on base of JSC «Universal electronic card» and PRO100 (Sberbank) system or on base of Golden Crown, processing centre of which is OOO «Payment Center» - part of «Center of financial technologies» group of companies. Payment clearing and operational center – is ZAO «Golden Crown». At the beginning of July 2014 the Central Bank of the Russian Federation committee for choosing of a technological basis for national payment system deferred making a decision for a month.
3. Within short-term measures between banks inter-host technological connections are created.
Processing centres, clearing and operational center are organized on the territory of Russia. Because of that domestic banks will be able to issue payment cards based on Russian technologies, all processing and the transaction will be carried out on Russia territory.
4. Discussion about mitigation of law provisions with respect to the existing international payment systems on the territory of Russia is continued.
Security deposit is a real problem for Visa and MasterCard. This fact led to their tough statements to leave the Russian market of payment cards. As a result of negotiations Visa and MasterCard received a motion for postponement of payment till October 31, 2014.
During this period companies are recommended to transfer their processing to nationally significant systems or NPS operator, which now creates the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, or to create structures, which will be integrated into Russian payment system.
It is also necessary receive the status of nationally significant payment systems. In such case the zeroing of security deposit for international payment systems is possible. MasterCard started to search for Russian partner in June, and Visa has announced a tender only recently.
5. According to statements, announced on the International bank congress – July 2014, national payment system will be created from scratch.
Today the creation of national system of payment cards is a temporary solution. All complex of actions for creation of national payment card, including its emission, has to be completed in the III quarter 2015.