natal2014

Legal Articles

Controlled Foreign Companies
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Under the label “de-offshorization” Russia has – as expected – enacted several amendments to its tax laws which will take effect from 1 January 2015. The key element of the new legislation was – at least initially – the introduction of CFC rules intended to discourage the artificial deferral of income tax payments through the use of off-shore companies in tax planning structures. The CFC rules are intended to apply not only to foreign companies under the taxpayer’s direct control, but also to indirect control (including through trusts, fiduciary arrangements and similar). In order to make the rules effective the new legislation requires Russian tax residents to disclose relevant holdings. Disclosure will have a broader scope than the taxation of foreign income under CFC rules. The law has been discussed during the entire year since the Ministry of Finance published a first draft on 18 March 2014. The Russian business community could obtain some improvements to the draft, but the discussion in Parliament was delayed until the last moment, probably because the Government could not reach consensus. The text finally approved is less liberal than the business community hoped for. Many provisions lack precise wording and leave considerable room for interpretation.

Russia | 01/23/2015

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