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Russia’s budget lost at least $20 billion on offshore deals in 2013 — lawmaker

December 22, 2014, 19:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW
As much as $75 billion was withdrawn from Russia into Cyprus and the Virgin Islands alone last year, of which only $53 billion returned to the country, Andrey Makarov said
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© ITAR-TASS/Pavel Smertin

MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Russia’s budget lost at least $20 billion on transactions conducted by Russian companies with the involvement of offshore firms last year, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Monday.

Andrey Makarov, head of the Budget and Tax Committee at the State Duma, said at a meeting of lawmakers and senators with President Vladimir Putin that 312 deals worth $108 billion for the merger and acquisition of Russian companies had been signed last year.

As much as 80% of these firms involved “purely Russian companies and 50% of these transactions were conducted with the participation of offshore structures,” the lawmaker said.

“Russia’s budget lost at least $20 billion from these transactions because taxes are not levied on them and revenues are received by foreign companies,” Makarov said, adding he estimated net capital outflow at $40 billion.

As much as $75 billion was withdrawn from Russia into Cyprus and the Virgin Islands alone last year, of which only $53 billion returned to the country, the lawmaker said.

President Putin proposed in early December an all-out amnesty for offshore capital, if money returned to the country. “I propose carrying out full amnesty of capital returning to Russia, precisely an all-out amnesty,” Putin said in his state of the nation address. “And, of course, we need to explain to people who should take corresponding decisions and what full amnesty means,” Putin said.

“This means that if an individual legalizes his funds and property in Russia, he will receive firm and legal guarantees that he will not be summoned to various bodies, including law-enforcement agencies, will not be ‘questioned’ there and will not be asked about the sources and the methods of gaining capital and he will not be faced with criminal or administrative prosecution while tax and law-enforcement agencies will not have questions about him,” Putin said.

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