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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State Duma Agrees to Review Bills on Innovation and Taxes

The State Duma on Friday agreed to consider several bills next month, including proposals to boost spending on innovation and to introduce market value to real estate for taxation purposes.

April's agenda was approved by deputies prior to their week's break from regular sessions, which their will use to work in their constituencies. The Duma is set to reconvene on April 4.

In a session April 27, a second reading of amendments to the Tax Code designed to encourage holding companies to register in Russia rather than in offshore tax heavens will be put forward for consideration. The changes envision lifting taxes on dividends received by holding companies from shares in their own subsidiaries if the holding's stake consists of at least 50 percent.

Russian holding companies currently have to pay a 9 percent tax on dividends if they originate from a Russian company and 15 percent if they come from a foreign company. The Finance Ministry calculated that the federal budget could stand to lose 30 billion rubles ($1.2 billion) annually if the bill becomes law, but the expectation is that holding companies will invest more heavily in their subsidiaries.

Also on April 27, Duma deputies will discuss the crucial second reading of a bill to assign market value to all real estate. The implication of the legislation would be that tax authorities could use the value to calculate property taxes on companies and individuals. Property is currently valued at significantly lower levels, but experts say the re-evaluation will take until 2014.

On April 4, the Duma will review a first reading of amendments to the Tax Code aimed at promoting the development of new technology by voiding the value-added tax on research and design work. The amendments, sponsored by the Cabinet, may also expand the list of research funds whose grants would be exempted from profit taxes.