The news about the possible spread of “operating control” to a wider range of companies once again caused a resonance in the business community. Anna Astafieva, Acsour’s Senior Accountant, learnt more about this type of checks to find out how operating control will be carried out and who can be afraid of it. The article was prepared for the “Raschet” magazine.
On the federal portal of drafts of statutory enactments regulation.gov.ru there was a notification about the beginning of the development of a draft law on amendments to parts one and two of the Tax Code, the purpose of which is to include the so-called operating control in the tax control system. Let me remind you that now tax control is carried out by officers within their competence (clause 1 of article 82 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation) by means of:
In particular, other forms of tax control includes tax monitoring, the subject of which are the correctness of calculation (deduction), completeness and timeliness of payment of taxes, levies, insurance premiums, the obligation of payment of which is entrusted to the company in accordance with the Tax Code (clause 1, article 105.26 Chapter 14.7 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation).
For the first time, tax monitoring was introduced in the Tax Code of the Russian Federation by Federal law No. 348-FZ dated November 4, 2014 as part of the reform of means of control and supervision, the priorities of which are fixed in the Main lines of activities of the Government of the Russian Federation until 2024 and are available on the website control-nadzor.rf. In addition to fiscal monitoring, the reform includes the introduction of a risk-based approach, a comprehensive updating of the mandatory requirements applied to the companies, the development of prevention of violations of the above requirements, as well as the implementation of evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of means of control and supervision focused on reducing damage and costs of controlled subjects.
In the regulations of information interaction of tax monitoring, the procedure for submission of the documents to the Federal Tax Service of Russia associated with calculation and payment of taxes, levies, insurance premiums in electronic form, and (or) access to information systems of the organization containing the specified information on the selection of the organization is reflected, as well as the procedure of familiarization of the inspectors with the original documents in case of need (clause 6 of article 105.26 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation).
Tax monitoring is conducted on the basis of the decision which is made after the Federal Tax Service receives a statement from the taxpayer (clauses 2 and 3 of article 105.26 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation). And only persons who simultaneously meet the following three conditions have the right to submit a document:
On February 13, this year, the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held a meeting on the development of the tax monitoring system. Based on the results of the event, the Ministry of Finance of Russia together with relevant federal authorities were instructed to prepare proposals for the further development of the system of tax monitoring, including the expansion of practice in the application of such control by reducing the requirements to the cost of assets, the total amount of income received and total amount of taxes of the relevant taxpayers, and to analyse the adequacy of statutory regulation of the institute of the reasoned opinion of the tax authority.
It should be noted that this assignment was based on very positive reports from the participants of the conference. Thus, the Head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia Mikhail Mishustin noted that tax monitoring is, first of all, a joint risk assessment, when the company is absolutely frank and the tax service assesses risks before taxes are accrued.
If it is important for the company to understand the situation, it requests a reasoned opinion of the Federal Tax Service, which is a special answer to a specific question and cannot be used as a precedent for tax legislation in the future. This approach reduces the labour costs of companies to support tax control measures and the number of required documents.
Starting from 2005 to the present day, 27 countries have already implemented and applied a horizontal monitoring system with appropriate trust relationships between business and inspectors, which indicates its high efficiency.
In Russia, as mentioned above, the tax monitoring system has been operating for several years. During this time, several software solutions have been developed and implemented for realization of an opportunity to conduct this type of control.
Vitaly Saveliev, General Director of Aeroflot PJSC, explained how precisely tax monitoring is conducted using the airline’s example. Basic source documents are entered into the system – this is the manual operation of the accountant. Control is carried out from two sides: a revenue officer controls “in the window”, and a taxpayer checks the correctness of the entered data from the inside. When any discrepancies occur, they are recorded, and the inspector sees what the company corrected and how the operation was performed. If necessary, it can request additional data. The system also shows what documents are necessary to prepare VAT, profits tax, etc., and how these documents are distributed. This makes it possible to correctly draw up accounting reports and allocate accounting resources.
In addition, the system has a history of requests, which shows the surname of the tax service employees who entered the taxpayer’s database, additionally it shows how the inspectors see the company’s employees, and also the documents that are used to the request.
Certainly, there is a high probability that Dmitry Medvedev’s assignment was the beginning of the development of the draft federal law on operating control, although this wording is not mentioned in the decision. The rationale for the draft enactment is an initiative as part of the work for the development of contactless tax management and improvement of operating and tax control systems.
It’s not time yet to make specific findings on how an operating control will be conducted, how long it will last, by whom and how it will be initiated, since it is necessary to wait until the text of the draft will be placed.
As for concerns, only those companies whose management is aimed at illegal tax optimization and intentional tax evasion should be worried. However, for possible difficulties in technical and regulatory implementation of operating control, first of all, we should see a reduction of cases of desk audits and on-site inspections, which, even if there are no violations, interrupt the usual rhythm of the company’s work. Yet today, consent to tax monitoring allows businesses to form a positive image of the company itself as an open and modern enterprise.