Small businesses will receive the new tax regime

The Federal Tax Service has prepared a new tax regime for small businesses. The document is in the hands of Vedomosti, whose authenticity was confirmed by two sources involved in the development of the initiative.

According to the bill, the new regime in the simplified tax system (STS) is aimed at organizations and individual entrepreneurs (IE). The document provides for exemption from contributions for pension, social and health insurance for them (in the case of individual entrepreneurs) and for employees, increasing the tax burden. In particular, for companies with “income” from the STS scheme, the rate will increase from 6% to 8%, with the “income minus expenses” scheme – from 15% to 20% of profits. The amount of tax payable is reduced by the amount of the applicable trade tax in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol.

The bill also proposes raising the minimum tax level for companies with a “revenue minus expenses” regime from 1% to 3% of annual revenue. Now, if the tax amount of a company in this STS modality is less than 1% of its annual revenue, it is obliged to transfer 1% of its revenue to the budget.

The bill does not provide for the right of regions to reduce rates, as in the basic version of the simplified tax system.

The document concludes that the bill will be submitted to the State Duma if approved. Since the summer of 2021, the Federal Tax Service has been conducting an investigation into the application of the new regime among employers (Vedomostik has a questionnaire).

Alexander Kalinin, President of Opora Rossii, stresses that the transition to the new tax regime will be voluntary. All you have to do is submit your application through the taxpayer’s personal account. If all participants agree in the process, the scheme will be applied to a narrow category of SMEs – a maximum of five employees and an income of 60 million rubles. Vedomosti confirmed to Sergei Katyrin, President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI). A federal official had previously informed Vedomosti of the same parameters. In the current version of the bill, there are no restrictions on the types of activities.

Russia’s small business is made up of 96% micro-enterprises (annual income of up to 120 million rubles and a number of employees of up to 15 people), according to data from the Federal Tax Service on 10 September. 5.4 million of these companies employ more than 7 million employees. There is no public data from the Federal Tax Service on how many micro-enterprises use the simplified tax system.

According to Opora Rossi, the new tax regime will cover around 60-70% of companies in a “simplified” system. The simplified tax system is used by more than 3.5 million taxpayers, and even more so after the removal of the single income tax (UTII) allocated from 2021 onwards. In the simplified tax system, the turnover of 90% of entrepreneurs does not exceed 60 million rubles. and 60-70% of companies have five employees, according to Kalinin.

Users of the new tax regime will be exempted from maintaining the accounting obligation to file tax returns as indicated on the invoice. The auditors themselves will calculate the tax by collecting data on the turnover of entrepreneurs directly from banks and ATMs (KKT). Only transactions in current accounts or CCP-determined transactions will be considered as expenses. Employees should only pay salaries through the bank, not in cash. The banks will calculate, withhold and transfer the employee income tax (PIT) as indicated on the invoice.

Although the developers have not decided on the length of the tax period, it is clear from the document. Earlier, RBC announced plans to reduce it to one month. Now, the simplified tax system is paid quarterly, and reports are submitted once a year.

The new tax regime will be tested from July 1, 2022 in four regions – Moscow, Moscow and Kaluga regions and in Tatarstan, the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry told Vedomosti. “If it shows its importance and effectiveness, then the new tax regime will be scaled up,” Katyrin said, adding that the regime is planned to be extended to all small businesses from January 1, 2024. Now, according to the Federal Tax Service, almost. Already 3 million people have signed up.

Vedomosti sent inquiries to the government, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Federal Tax Service.

Initially, the FTS planned to exempt trading companies from reporting the USN “income” mode as of July 1, 2021. “Taxpayers have told us that they are not very interested in exempting reports for this regime separately. And we had to take a break to propose a new solution, “said Daniil Yegorov, head of the Federal Tax Service, quoted by TASS.

Benefits and risks

High insurance premiums are the main incentive for entrepreneurs to pay gray wages, so opening up zero rates to entrepreneurs is a “unique opportunity to launder employee salaries,” says Forward Legal lawyer Pavel Kapustin. In his view, the new regime does not provide any other clear financial advantage to companies.

There is no doubt that raising tax rates can be offset by savings from contributions and other priorities, says Olga Smirnova, a specialist in Aktion Finance (a member of the Aktion group). At the same time, he said, “you don’t have to worry about complex accounting, reporting, constantly responding to tax inquiries, and auditing.”

The idea is progressive – it is easier for the employer to manage a tax than for various types of contributions, says Anton Sviridenko, head of the center of experts under the business ombudsman. Leaving aside accounting, the costs of micro-enterprises will be significantly reduced, both financially (for the payment of an accountant) and administratively, Katyrin points out. According to Kalinin, despite the removal of the obligation to submit declarations, entrepreneurs still have to follow the accounting – first of all, to see the real situation.

You can’t do it without an accountant, yes Smirnova. At a minimum, you must verify your personal account data, which will be used to calculate the tax. “As the tax authority calculates the same payments according to bank and online ATM data, it will be more difficult to challenge payments generated by entrepreneurs,” warned Maria Russkikh, chief tax adviser at Audit Group. Smirnova believes that the tax authorities are at risk of incurring tax-free revenues within revenues.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry sees no “serious risk” to the company in this initiative. “The tax service has already done enough to make life easier for businesses,” Katyrin said. For example, audits will begin to calculate the tax on corporate assets based on the cadastral value from the 2022 tax period. During the widespread use of electronic services, a large amount of information is available. The Federal Tax Service, a general trend to prevent the circulation of paper, this decision, according to the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will become increasingly popular in the business environment.

Given that companies under the new regime will not contribute to workers’ pensions and social security, it would be fair to transfer part of the tax revenue to social funds, Kalinin suggested. “Vedomosti” has asked the Ministry of Finance how the pension will be calculated and how the social security of company employees will be organized as a matter of priority.

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