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Business Duty Officer

Wouldn't spill: businesses have to adapt to sanctions, and to the new priorities of the state

Wouldn't spill: businesses have to adapt to sanctions, and to the new priorities of the state

Summing up RSPP showed the results of the year, that the union assesses the state of Russian companies as a fragile and unstable balance and de facto asks for one: do not disturb it with drastic regulatory and fiscal changes, enabling entrepreneurs, time and resources to adapt to life in an already worsening environment. Part of the state apparatus is ready to meet business halfway - for example, without strengthening formal control and supervision and working out models for its minimization on a limited pool of checks. However, RSPP is clearly more concerned about the growth of meaningful state participation in the economy: Against the backdrop of digitalization of tax control, the Ministry of Finance increasingly perceives not only state-owned companies as a source of operational coverage of budget expenditures, but also all business in the Russian Federation.

 

Although in 2022 companies managed to adapt to the sanctions, next year may be more difficult for the economy - due to the risks of secondary sanctions, new partners may be lost, as well as alternative supply chains built in a year, told yesterday the head of the RSPP Alexander Shokhin. About, that the adaptation of business to new conditions is delayed, the economy is simplified (which means, and reduced profit, cm. “Today's date”), and in 2023 the situation will be exacerbated by the growth of pro-inflationary factors, the Bank of Russia has been talking since summer 2022 y. Business will also be pressured by the continuing decline in final demand. Companies have to maneuver between the priorities of the state in filling the budget (and related solutions to increase the tax burden on businesses) and his own efforts to stimulate investment activity (not yet to increase production, and to save production). The outcome is unclear - two trends are clearly visible in the relationship between the state and business.

Part of the state apparatus is engaged in easing the burden on business - speech, in particular, it is about its reduction in the framework of the CND reforms and licensing activities.

Yesterday, at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and White House Chief of Staff Dmitry Grigorenko, it became known about the continuation of this work - in 2023 risk indicators will be developed, which will create a transparent and understandable mechanism for assigning checks. There will also be a prevention system and a risk map to prevent violations, and controllers and business will be allowed to enter into agreements to eliminate shortcomings, redirecting the costs of the latter to fines. At the same time, the investment unit, supervised by First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, is creating incentives for business - this is also the SZPK mechanism, and adjustment of other investment mechanisms, and introduction of unified investment standards in the regions: in 2023 the authorities will study more 180 proposals to reduce the regulatory burden on investors. Another track provides for the creation of mechanisms for adapting to sanctions (anti-crisis packages), including import support, removal of currency restrictions and creation “lazy” to circumvent sanctions (cm. “E” from 21 December).

The second trend is the tendency of the Ministry of Finance to solve the problems of filling the budget at the expense of private business..

The RSPP understands the difficulties for the budget and insists on the predictability of fiscal decisions. According to Mr. Shokhin, this year, some of these decisions were made without discussion with business (rules on the use of only the cadastral value when calculating property tax, insurance premium adjustments), in 2021 2009, the severance tax was increased in the same way and an excise tax on liquid steel was introduced. At the same time, the introduction of a tax on dividends was discussed., to encourage companies “windfall profits” invest. De facto conflict of interests of the Ministry of Finance in relation to state-owned companies (as the recipient of their dividends and as the owner, responsible for the development of the state JSC) as tax transparency grows, it gradually extends to all large businesses in the Russian Federation.

A similar picture is observed in the struggle of companies with pressure on them from the security forces - so far “Business Russia” discusses targeted easing of criminal pressure on business, systemic control over tax evasion by businesses is strengthened. However, despite the beginning of work on the humanization of criminal legislation, concessions not fully implemented, RSPP insists on limiting the terms of detention and on alternative measures of restraint - bail practice and house arrest. In “Business Russia” drafting a bill to include “tax fraud” (VAT refund with violation) part “entrepreneurial” articles of the Criminal Code (Art. 159.7), which will free entrepreneurs from criminal liability after paying a fine; similar initiatives are also being discussed for business violations when working with government orders. The current measures paralyze the economic activity of companies - they lead to its bankruptcy and loss of work by employees..

What does business want from UK

About questions, that remain with the business to criminal enforcement, spoke yesterday at the Business Russia site. The expert center of the business association on criminal law policy and enforcement of judicial acts reported on the prepared draft law, which involves amending the articles 159.7 and 159.8 Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on VAT refunds on tax compositions. “Today, cases of tax fraud are qualified under the general criminal parts of Article 159 (fraud.— “Kommersant”) - it means, that no guarantee, provided by law, entrepreneur can't count: it is forbidden, in particular, compensate for the damage and thus be released from criminal liability. In addition, such cases cause serious damage to the reputation.,- explains the head of the expert center, ambassador “business officer” Ekaterina Avdeeva.

Number of crimes, qualified under these articles, growing (370 ten months of 2022 against 297 for the whole of 2020) - including therefore the need for a specialized composition, which will clarify, how exactly did the entrepreneur break the law, consider in "Business Russia". The Federal Tax Service supports the initiative of the business community, but at the same time note, that bringing to criminal liability is a “good prevention” of tax crimes: relapses in such cases in the Federal Tax Service do not remember.

In the future, members of the expert center propose to change parts of the articles of the Criminal Code, related to fraud in the performance of government contracts. It's about, to provide businesses with the same guarantees, what is already provided for him under the "traditionally entrepreneurial" articles. Due to the lack of such guarantees, believe in "Business Russia", entrepreneurs are afraid to work in this area.

Part of the proposals, which were discussed yesterday at the site of the organization, systemic: experts propose to allocate a separate structural unit in the prosecutor's office to oversee the observance of the rights of business representatives during the investigation of criminal cases, and create a probation center for entrepreneurs, in which it will be possible to receive advisory, methodological and psychological assistance. The main thing, What are meeting attendees expecting?,— adoption of amendments to humanize criminal legislation, which, on behalf of Vladimir Putin, were developed by the Ministry of Justice (cm. "U" from 5 August).

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