The company sought protection in “meetings” with tax authorities.

There is no clear regulation of communication between the tax authority and companies outside the scope of tax audits. In most cases, this allows the inspectors to put pressure on the activists to act from a position of strength even in the initial phase of negotiations, according to Sergey Katyrin, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI of the Russian Federation). Daniil Yegorov, head of the Federal Tax Service. “Vedomosti” knew the letter.

The CCI proposes a clear description of the procedure for this “informal” communication. In general, auditors send letters to companies informing them of the risks identified and offering them an offer to clarify their tax return. An entrepreneur can be called to the commission and offered to pay taxes voluntarily before opening a local inspection, which always ends with additional charges, Katyrin points out. “In many cases, the amount of tax payable based on the results of a committee meeting is quite impressive. A single payment of these amounts could make it impossible to do more business and could lead to a real bankruptcy of the company, “he said in an appeal to the Federal Tax Service.

For fear of bringing the matter to committee, the business may accept the requirements of the inspectors at the preliminary stage, even if there is no reason to do so. To avoid this practice, companies should immediately show all materials that have become grounds for suspicion, and the letter states that they should allow enough time for inconvenience. FTS has more resources to collect data while the business is in an information vacuum. It is often impossible to provide accurate and quick explanations – you need to ask your counterparts for information, upload documentation, etc. Therefore, the period for clarifying the tax obligations of the company based on the results of the commission should be extended by one month. , suggests the Chamber of Commerce.

Vedomosti sent a request to the Federal Tax Service.

Bring that on, I don’t know what

For the pre-verification analysis, it is not necessary to follow the same strict procedure as in a tax audit, Dmitry Satin, deputy head of the Federal Tax Service, said earlier. The tax authority has the right to call the taxpayer for explanations (Article 31 (1) (4) of the Tax Act). “This meeting of ordinary people” is called the tax commission, but in fact this is the exercise of the powers of the tax authority, – he said. “They’re very clear in the NK and they’re pretty limited.” In fact, inspectors report risks to the business and “there is an opportunity for dialogue,” Satin said. “It can’t be said that this tool is fully used by the tax authorities,” says Satin. “It only applies to companies that enter the risk area.”

These commissions are a hidden burden for the business. Preparing for them does not take away less resources from the business than the inconvenience of the tax audit action, says Anton Zykov Deloitte, a member of the CIS Tax and Legal Department. In many cases, audits require the volume of documents as in a tax audit – for tens and hundreds of transactions, and sometimes even basic documents for the entire activity for several years. “Many companies perceive this attention negatively and consider it excessive to request a large number of documents outside the scope of tax audits,” said Alexander Erasov, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s head of tax dispute resolution.

Although the law sets out clear rules for tax audits, including appeals, the examination of the forecast is not regulated at all in the law, tax advisers interviewed by Vedomost have confirmed. Guidance documents from the Federal Tax Service Department have been sealed for “official use,” says lawyer Ivan Yagolovich, a partner in the consulting firm “Nomen”.

The articles of the Tax Code governing tax control were written 15-20 years ago. “Tax control has become fundamentally different, but the rules have remained the same,” Yerasov said. As a result, today a whole layer of tax control is not regulated by law and is actually in a gray area, which often leads to misunderstandings between companies and the tax authority. Local abuses are possible. “

When it comes to communicating outside the scope of the audit, the tax authority is not compelled to disclose evidence of alleged violations, and the employer does not always understand what it suspects and what the suspicions are based on, Zykov said. “I don’t know where to go, bring that, I don’t know what.” they are often similar to actions on the results of inspections, and no one can be held responsible for the reasons and manner established by the Tax Code of the Russian Federation (Article 108 of the Tax Code), Yerasov points out.

The pre-audit analysis protocol is not considered a decision of the tax authority and cannot be appealed to the courts. After adjusting for duties outside the scope of the audit, it is impossible to recover the losses of the unscrupulous counterpart, Alexander Ovesnov, a partner in the MEF PKF tax litigation practice, explained the shortcomings of the practice.

The FTS has required territorial inspectors not to accept arbitrary requests for documents and other abuses of authority (FTS letter of 27 June 2017). Excessive inquiries can lead to complaints from companies that reduce the reputation of the Federal Tax Service without improving tax control, the document says. “Unfortunately, not all inspections comply with these explanations,” Yerasov said.

Failure to provide information on the application may result in a fine. The penalty may be challenged in court, but the practice is debatable. For example, the Moscow District Arbitration Court refused to suspend the fines in March 2020 for the company Pari Aseguru JSC. In six months, the audit sent 161 applications to the company outside of tax audits.

At the same time, in October this year, the court ruled that the decision on the Stroyresurs case was illegal for the tax authorities to have a broad understanding of their rights. The ongoing request for documents entails mandatory monitoring of the taxpayer’s activities, the court noted, noting that the Tax Code establishes a form of tax control such as tax control, the use of which is voluntary and provides a number to taxpayers. among the priorities that are not in the form of clause 2 when documents are required. 93.1 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation

“In fact, the CCI is proposing to legalize an additional tax control mechanism,” Ovesnov said. “This is an imaginative solution to the problem,” Yagolovich said. The negative effect will be to extend the powers of the tax authorities.

The best solution is to completely ban interaction with businesses outside the scope of inspections, Zykov is confident. Camera inspections (based on the statement, documents submitted and information from the tax authority. – Vedomosti) and field inspections may face a similar task, experts agree.

If we leave the “tax commissions”, their minimum requirements should be access to materials based on suspicion, the ability to file objections in a timely manner after the results of any audit, a ban on repeating them over and over again. Simultaneous tax events, Zykov said.

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