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Russian companies leaving tax havens

December 20, 2013, 12:00 UTC+3

Experts have expressed certain skepticism about the successful continuation of the “return action”

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MOSCOW, December 20. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. Five major Russian companies at a time, including the largest non-ferrous market players, have announced that they are leaving the offshore jurisdictions.

Experts of the government’s Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper draw attention to the fact that this happened a week after President Vladimir Putin in his state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly (both house of national parliament) announced several new measures aimed at “deoffshorization” of the country’s economy.

Experts have expressed certain skepticism about the successful continuation of the “return action.” The companies that have announced the return from offshore jurisdictions almost all need state support of that or other kind, says Boris Kheifets, an offshore expert at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). He recalls that not long ago the metallurgists have received a promise of “a targeted support,” and naturally, now don’t want to lose it.

In addition, the Russian president proposed to deprive the Russian companies that are managed from offshore jurisdictions of state support and also to bar them from government contracts and even levy additional taxes on their income.

The expert also says that Russian businessmen have objective reasons to register their companies in other countries. They include more just operation of the judicial systems in many countries, well thought-out legislation and a high level of the financial institutions’ development. However, the expert told Rossiyskaya Gazeta, it is the Russian domestic regulations that sometimes make businesses keep their money abroad.

Kheifets cites an example in which a company, registered abroad and operating in Russia, pays five percent of the income from dividends. At the same time, a Russian company in similar circumstances pays nine percent, and a foreign company, operating in Russia — 15%. It is obvious that management of operations from abroad results in saving of four percent of income only on this item alone, the expert says. But there are many such items - the tax on interest, royalty and the payment of social fees, he notes.

The current rules should be revised to make registration of a company in Russia more advantageous, believes the chief research associate of the RAS Economics Institute.


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