Articles by Boris Bruk

B2B: Finance Ministry Moves to Fight Abuse of Double Taxation Agreements

  • 19 May 14
  • Dentons
On April 9, 2014, the Finance Ministry issued guidelines on the application of agreements on the avoidance of double taxation (DTAs), which requires tax agents and tax authorities to conduct an assessment of whether foreign recipients of income in Russia have the right to apply a tax exemption in Russia or a lower tax rate.

B2B: The G20 BEPS Initiatives: Enforcement of Taxation Will Get Harder

  • 15 October 13
  • Dentons
The G20 countries are no longer satisfied with the abilities of their tax administrations to detect tax planning arrangements.

B2B: The Power to Tax Is the Power to Destroy

  • 16 July 13
  • Dentons
Although the use of anti-abuse language has become routine in the court room, some insight can be gained from recent rulings.

Do Russian Arbitration Courts Endorse Aggressive Tax Planning?

  • 04 February 13
  • Salans
In 2012 Russian arbitration courts ruled on several cases that may be considered landmarks in the fight against allegedly abusive tax schemes.

The Court Halts One Step Before Application of the Beneficial Ownership Concept

  • 02 October 12
  • Salans
On Aug. 29,  2012, the Moscow Arbitration Court made a noteworthy ruling in the Eastern Value Partners Limited (Decision of the Moscow Arbitration Court No.A40-60755/1220-388 of 29 August 2012) case concerning interest withholding tax issues and applicability of the double tax treaty between Cyprus and Russia (the Treaty).

The Naryanmarneftegaz Case: An Expansion of Russian Thin Capitalization Rules?

  • 13 March 12
  • Salans

Following the recent pronouncement by the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation on the Severny Kuzbass case, which was in the spotlight for the tax community in January and February, another court case has almost reached the final stage. On Feb. 27, 2012, the Federal Moscow District Arbitration Court upheld the rulings of the lower courts enforcing Russian thin capitalization rules in respect of financing received by a Russian borrower from its foreign sister company.

Court Decision Rocks Intragroup Finance Practice

  • 31 January 12
  • Salans
In early January, the Russian Federation's Supreme Arbitration Court published Presidium Ruling No. 8654/11 in the case of OAO Coal Company Severny Kuzbass. One of the main issues in the case was the application of Russian thin capitalization rules (in Article 269.2 of the Tax Code) in view of the nondiscrimination provisions of double taxation treaties.

New Transfer Pricing Rules: Information Issues

  • 06 December 11
  • Salans
Russia has recently adopted rules on transfer pricing that, despite their considerable detail, have left a number of practical questions unresolved. One of the main issues raised by the new rules is more an organizational and technical dilemma than a legal one: where to find the information required for transfer pricing analysis.

Elimination of Double Taxation in Russia: Practical Issues

  • 18 October 11
  • Salans
Elimination of double taxation suffered by Russian companies carrying out cross-border activities is one of the cornerstones of the Russian tax system. Despite this, the topic has long been overshadowed by discussions of tax implications for inbound investments (withholding taxes, permanent establishments, nondiscrimination, etc). In conjunction with this, in practice, elimination of double taxation has become an important issue for Russian businesses. Although Russian domestic tax law on the matter is brief and plain, a number of important issues arise when it applies.

Beneficial Ownership Is a Big Factor in International Tax Planning

  • 19 October 10
  • Salans
When taxpayers gain access to double taxation treaty benefits in situations where they were not expected to gain such access, the technical term used by tax practitioners to describe this improper use of tax treaties is treaty shopping. Treaty shopping usually implies that the taxpayer takes certain formal steps to qualify for application of a tax treaty.

Is There a Panacea for Tax Issues of Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies?

  • 04 May 10
  • Salans
The Russian government’s increasingly vigorous regulation of pharmaceutical pricing has put a squeeze on foreign pharmaceutical companies’ profits from their Russian operations, with adverse tax consequences.