Legal Digest (April 2018)
Legal Digest \ 25.04.2018

You could download legal digest here.

1.     The results of Acsour’s annual client satisfaction survey

Every year we ask our clients to evaluate the general level of our services and let us know what they think about our specific services. Based on the results of the survey we have conducted, we can state that we have managed to maintain our figures from last year and even to raise the level of satisfaction. Based on 2017 year results, 92% of our clients are satisfied with us.

To find out more about the survey we have conducted, please follow this link.

Acsour appreciates the business of our clients and the confidence you have placed in us. We are constantly working to maintain the high level of our services and to improve the services we supply.

2.     New requirements for the protection of personal data of EU citizens will be of concern for Russian companies

Starting from 25 May 2018, a new General Data Protection Regulation for European nationals (GDPR) is coming into effect in the European Union.

The GDPR will have extra-territorial effect, meaning that it will apply in relation to all companies that provide goods and supply services to EU nationals or those companies that process their personal data, regardless of the geographical location of such companies Therefore, Russian companies that employ EU nationals should review their personal data documentation in terms of its compliance with the GDPR and amend it, if necessary.

Should you receive any requests from your headquarters regarding compliance with the GDPR, Acsour’s experts will help you to bring your personal data regulations into line with the EU statutory requirements.

3.     The St Petersburg Government has approved a draft law on tax benefits for IT companies

IT businesses in St Petersburg may count on a reduced regional profit tax rate.

IT companies in St Petersburg will be able to take advantage of a profit tax benefit of up to 13.5% (12.5% in 2019-2020) instead of the 17% that is now paid to the regional budget. The benefit is aimed at encouraging the establishment of commercial data centres (CDCs) in St Petersburg and at promoting the export of information technologies abroad.

The main criteria for obtaining the reduced tax rate will be the following:

  • for software developers: income from export operations should be at least 70% of the total income;
  • for CDCs: financial investments in the construction of data centres and acquisition of equipment should be at least RUB 500 million over a 3-year period during 2018-2027.

The maximum period of the tax relief will be 10 years. The draft law is pending consideration in the legislative assembly.

Acsour is monitoring the development of the statutory initiative and will advise you of any changes in its status.

4.     St Petersburg: changes in workplace quotas for disabled persons

Starting from March 2018, several amendments have come into force with regard to workplace quotas for disabled persons in St Petersburg.

  1. When the quota is being calculated, no employees are included in the average headcount whose working conditions are classified as hazardous and/or dangerous.
  2. Employers must create workplaces and adopt internal regulations containing provisions regarding workplace quotas for disabled persons in their companies.
  3. To meet the quota employers may conclude a contract with private employment agencies that may offer supply disabled candidates to be employed by the company.
  4. An outsource company may be engaged to equip the workplaces for disabled employees.
  5. Companies may create joint workplaces on account of the established quota, further to an agreement with other companies.

Please be reminded that, for St Petersburg companies with an average headcount of over 100 people, the necessary quota is a minimum of 2.5%, while in Moscow it is 2%. No quota is applicable to companies with fewer than 100 employees. There have been no changes in the quota regulation in Moscow this year.

If you require more detailed information regarding work quotas for disabled persons in your company, please contact Acsour.

5.     A new online service of the Federal Tax Service: to obtain an excerpt concerning a foreign branch or a foreign representative office

It is now possible to visit the official website of the Russian Federal Tax Service to check accreditation.

The online “State register of accredited branches and representative offices of legal entities” service allows information to be obtained, free of charge, about branches and representative offices of foreign companies. The information is presented in the form of an electronic document with an enhanced encrypted and certified digital signature of the tax authority.

The data in the interactive service will be updated daily.

If you wish to obtain accreditation of a branch or a representative office of a foreign legal entity, please contact Acsour’s experts.

6.     The deadline is fast approaching for filing a notification of controlled transactions for 2017

20 May 2018 is the last day for filing with tax authorities a notification of controlled transactions for 2017.

The following are controlled transactions:

  • transactions between Russian related parties with a turnover of over RUB 1 billion a year;
  • any transactions with foreign related parties (including loans); 
  • transactions with a turnover of RUB 60 million a year (in certain cases).

The fine for the failure to file a notification amounts to RUB 5,000. If during an audit an inspectorate of the Federal Tax Service identifies any violations of transfer pricing rules, taxes and default interest will be additionally accrued, as will a fine of 40% of the tax arrears (subject to a minimum of RUB 30,000).

If you need to prepare a notification of your company’s controlled transactions and a set of transfer pricing documentation, please send a request to Acsour.