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Returning to paper basic source documents: comments of the Federal Tax Service

Returning to paper basic source documents: comments of the Federal Tax Service

LEGAL DIGEST, NEWS \ 18.07.2020

Specialists of the Federal Tax Service commented on the use of scanned copies of basic source documents when performing transactions with counterparties during the coronavirus infection pandemic. Acsour’s experts have analysed the information and are ready to make a clarifications whether organizations are still entitled to use such documents.

In order to prevent the spreading of coronavirus infection, the Ministry of Finance authorities clarified in their Letter that the use of information from scanned copies of basic source documents does not prevent their registration in accounting registers. However, to do this, companies need to make additional provisions in their accounting policy and issue an order signed by the chief executive. Such documents confirm the absence of originals, but they are not the basis for accounting expenses for profit tax purposes. Therefore, it is recommended to use scans of primary documentation until the restrictive measures to counteract coronavirus are lifted in the territorial entity of the Russian Federation. Then, it is necessary to replace scanned copies of documents with their paper form, drawn up in accordance with the requirements of the Law “On Accounting”.

Please be reminded that the total basic source documents retention period is 5 years. In case of judicial disputes, documents should be retained until the court makes an ultimate decision. In case of loss of documents, especially for previous periods (3-4 years), the following measures should be taken:

  • to establish the fact of document loss;
  • to create a special committee if the scale of loss is significant;
  • to document the circumstances that led to the loss of the document;
  • to obtain a certificate on the incident from the security services (Ministry of Emergency Situations, management company).

Then, it is necessary to restore the documents. There are two methods to do this:

  1. Obtain a copy. The copy is marked with a certification endorsement (“True” or “Certified true copy”), the signature of the authorized person, and the date of the certification.
  2. Draw up a duplicate. If you choose this option, it will be necessary to print the document again, put the date, number, stamp “Duplicate” and other necessary details. The signature on the duplicate is put by the same person who signed the original.

Regardless of the chosen method, the counterparty should send a request to obtain a copy or duplicate of the documents. It is better to retain the evidence of actions to restore documents – this will allow you to defend your position in a dispute with the tax authorities during the inspection.

In case of non-compliance with the terms of retention of accounting and tax documents, the company may be held liable in the form of imposition of a fine:

– in the amount of 10,000 rubles – in case of failure to submit documents for one tax period;

– in the amount of 30,000 rubles – in case of failure to submit documents for several tax periods;

– in the amount of 20% of the sum of tax losses, but not less than 40,000 rubles – if the absence of documents led to an understatement of the tax base.

Liability in the form of a fine for the absence of basic source documents is also provided for an officer in the amount of 5,000 – 10,000 rubles. In case of repeated violation, the penalty is increased and amounts to 10,000 – 20,000 rubles or disqualification for a period between one and two years.

In the matters of carrying out of the procedure for the registration, retention and destruction of documents, please contact Acsour’s specialists.