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COVID-19 employee testing: what is important for an employer to know

COVID-19 employee testing: what is important for an employer to know

LEGAL DIGEST, NEWS \ 09.07.2020

“The expenses for testing employees for the presence of a coronavirus infection, as well as immunity to it, the employer has the right to take into account for profit tax purposes” – the Federal Tax Service bodies note in their Letter.

These expenses may be taken into account as other expenses that reduce the profit tax base, but only if they are aimed at ensuring safe labour conditions. Similar arguments are confirmed by the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

According to the provisions of tax legislation, other expenses associated with the production and sales include expenses for ensuring normal labour conditions and safety measures. And the obligation to ensure the established requirements and to comply with sanitary standards is assigned to employers in accordance with employment legislation and rules approved by the Federal Service for the Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare (abbreviated in Russian as “Rospotrebnadzor”).

In view of this, the profit tax base may be reduced by the expenses of testing employees in terms of ensuring safe labour conditions.

Please note that there is a separate reason for taking into account in other expenses the costs for the purchase of diagnostic tools and treatment facilities for coronavirus. The list of such tools was established by the Government of the Russian Federation in its Resolution No. 714 dated May 21, 2020.

Also, the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation included coronavirus in the list of dangerous infectious diseases, the presence of which may constitute grounds for cancellation or refusal to issue a number of documents to foreign persons during their employment in the Russian Federation. These changes entered into force on June 27 of the current year.

Confirmation of the presence or absence of this disease is carried out as part of a medical examination with the voluntary consent of a foreign citizen. When passing the examination, a citizen of a foreign country should undergo corresponding testing.

The result of the laboratory testing is a medical opinion with a certified signature and stamp of the medical organization, which is issued to a foreign person for its subsequent submission to the territorial bodies of the Federal Migration Service (hereinafter referred to as FMS). The opinion is valid for 3 months from the date of its issuance.

If the COVID-19 test shows a positive result, the foreign person may be refused in obtaining the following documents:

  • temporary residence permit;
  • resident card;
  • patent;
  • work permit.

If a foreign person refuses to undergo a medical examination, the medical opinion will not be issued. Consequently, it will be impossible to prove the absence of disease in order to obtain documents from the FMS bodies.

Please be reminded that the list of dangerous infectious diseases for the presence of which foreign citizens also need to undergo testing includes tuberculosis, leprosy (St. Giles disease), syphilis and HIV.

Please contact Acsour’s specialists regarding issues relating to the application of tax and migration legislation. Document: Letter of the Federal Tax Service of Russia No. SD-4-3/10479 dated 29/6/2020, Order of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation No. 581n dated 15/6/2020