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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ask a Stupid Question

Do expats have to submit an income tax return?

Olga Boltenko, tax lawyer with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, writes:

If an expat has a taxable income, he might have to submit a Russian income tax return.

Worldwide income is subject to Russian tax only if the expat is a Russian tax resident. For nonresidents, Article 208(1) of the Tax Code gives a list of Russian-source income subject to tax. It includes interest and dividend income, royalties, rental income, capital gains, proceeds from the sale of Russian property, employment income, pensions, benefits and stipends.

This list can be modified by a treaty on dual taxation with the expat's country. Many treaties reduce the Russian tax on dividends, and exempt interest, royalties and capital gains from movable property from Russian tax.

Russian income tax is often withheld by the company that pays the expat's salary. If the expat earned no other income than that from his company, there is no need to submit a tax return.

However, if he sold any property, won a lottery or received any income untaxed, he is obliged to submit a return.

Even if there is no obligation, an expat can choose to submit a tax return to claim taxes already paid as an unused tax deduction.

An expat has a right to a personal deduction, a child deduction, and deductions for education, medicine and charitable donations. Certain restrictions apply, however, so consult the Tax Code before making a claim.

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