2010 Tax Novelties to Concern Everyone

Inna Andreyeva
Legal Advisor

At the end of 2009 a number of regulations were enacted to introduce a series of considerable amendments to tax legislation. This article focuses on novelties that affect how the majority of businesses operate, regardless of their profiles.

First of all, according to the revised Article 169 on P. 2 of the Russian Tax Code, nonmaterial errors in an invoice do not constitute grounds for rejecting VAT deduction.

Analysis of judicial practice shows that any petty blot or slip when drawing up an invoice could make the tax authority reject the VAT deduction and prompt taxpayers to take legal recourse to protect their interests.

However, now tax authorities cannot reject VAT for deduction if the error made does not impair identification of vendor, vendee, name of goods (work, services) and fee, as well as tax rate and tax amount.

Since Jan. 1, 2010, Chapter 24 of the Russian Tax Code stipulating the taxation procedure in terms of Unified Social Tax became inoperative, because the federal law on insurance contributions to the pension fund, foundation for social insurance, foundation for compulsory medical insurance and territorial foundations for compulsory medical insurance, dated July 24, 2009, No. 212-FL, came into effect.

Another amendment was meant to bring tax accounting and financial accounting closer together: since this year companies do not re-estimate advance payments made in foreign currency, neither in tax accounting nor in financial ­accounting. The corresponding ­amendments were introduced in P. 11 of Article 250 and Subparagraph 5, P. 1 of Article 265 of the Russian Tax Code.

Considerable novelties affected procedure for imposition of income tax upon interest under loan agreements and other debt liabilities.

First of all, P. 6 of Article 271 and P. 8 of Article 272 of the Tax Code are adjusted in accordance with P. 4 of Article 328 of the Tax Code. While earlier, under P. 4 of Article 328 of the Tax Code a taxpayer booked interests within profit (loss) as of the end of month only in analytical accounting, now interests as of the end of month are also included in the corresponding profit (loss).

Furthermore, once again interest on ruble liabilities has changed by a marginal amount, accounted within income tax expense — in the period from Jan. 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010 this amount is double the refinancing rate of the Central Bank. However, this novelty ­concerns only debt liabilities that emerged before Jan. 1, 2009. In terms of debt liabilities that emerged after Jan. 1, 2009, the refinancing rate of the Central Bank increased 1.1 times — a marginal amount. As for debt liabilities expressed in foreign currency, the interest margin is 15 percent notwithstanding the date that liabilities emerge.