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13.02.2018

Close Panama Canal: Russians will be returned from the offshore

Russia is negotiating with Panama and Monaco on the beginning of the exchange of tax data, "Gazeta.Ru" found out. These countries are among the most popular offshore among Russians, and their closure could lead to the return of part of the capital to their homeland, experts say. however, some of this will be quite small - most will prefer to change their jurisdiction.

Russia is negotiating the beginning of an exchange of data with such tax residences as Monaco and Panama.

"Gradually, we will solve the issue of exchanging data with them, this is the subject of negotiations," Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma's financial committee, told Gazeta.ru.

Since 2018, Russia has joined the automatic data exchange system, to which more than 100 countries are connected. However, not all of them are ready to provide Russia with data. As the director of the Moscow office of Tax Advisor UK, Eduard Savulyak, explains, "there is a list of countries that Russia has chosen to exchange data, and there are those who, in turn, have chosen Russia" and are ready to provide us with data.

At the same time, Russia is ready to provide information to 53 countries, and our tax authorities agree to this 73 jurisdiction.

Among these 73 countries open to us are most of Europe, part of South America (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia), Australia, as well as some of the jurisdictions that many Russians have used as offshore - Cyprus, Samoa, Cayman Islands, Jersey , Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Seychelles, Barbados, Korea. Ready to provide information to the Russian tax also two Baltic countries - Lithuania and Estonia, with Latvia on the exchange of data so far, Russia could not agree.

Russia is ready to exchange data with most European countries: Denmark, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Estonia, Italy. We are also ready to reveal ourselves to India, Japan, China, Pakistan and most of the countries of South America. Russia will also supply information to Jersey, San Marino, Seychelles, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

At the same time, European countries are ready to provide information with more jurisdictions than Russia. For example, according to the list at the end of December last year, with Germany, France and Italy ready to exchange information 79 jurisdiction, with Ireland - 80.

In January 2018, a few jurisdictions from the black list of offshore companies of the EU were excluded, which until recently were considered offshore in the EU. These are Grenada, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates. So far, these jurisdictions are not listed in the official list of willing to cooperate with European countries, but, according to experts, it is only a matter of time.

A number of countries from the black list of offshore companies of the EU are still not ready to provide information to the EU countries. This, for example, Bahrain, Marshall Islands, Trinidad and Tobago.

In this case, Monaco, with which Russia, as well as with Panama, has not yet agreed, is ready to provide information to 53 countries (according to the list at the end of December last year).

Panama is more popular than Monaco

According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Panama is the second most popular jurisdiction for the registration of offshore companies (in the first place - the British Virgin Islands). Almost every fifth offshore company mentioned in the Panama Archive is registered in this Central American republic. According to the database, in the materials of "Panama archives" and Offshore Leaks, 6285 personal cards referring to physical and legal entities from Russia are mentioned. The number of offshore companies, beneficiaries of which are Russian citizens, is 11 516.

"Panama is one of the most famous and popular offshore companies. It's very simple and inexpensive to register a company, there is no profit tax received by non-residents, you do not need to provide accounting and pass obligatory audit, "explains Diana Maklozyan.

In this case, Monaco is historically considered a point of attraction for wealthy Russians. Until recently, our businessmen here and rested, and stored their yachts, and used Monaco as an offshore company. However, he used the popularity much less than Panama, experts explain. Basically, those who planned to move from Russia transferred their money here.

"Monaco as an offshore among Russians was less popular than Panama, because even if the income of individuals and the profits of enterprises are not taxed in the Principality, all these benefits can be obtained only if certain conditions are met. In order not to pay income tax, you need to be a resident of the principality and reside on its territory in order not to pay the corporate income tax, it is necessary that 3 / 4 this profit enterprises formed due to work again on the territory of the principality. In all other cases, higher tax rates are applied above 30%, "explains the managing partner of the Veta expert group Ilya Zharskiy.

In Europe there is no more banking secrecy

Such intensity of the exchange pleases European officials. In Europe, there is no more banking secrecy, European Commissioner for Economics and Finance Pierre Moskosvisi told 12 February in an interview with France2.

"The bank secrecy in Europe is over.

If someone owns an account in Switzerland, there is an automatic exchange of information, that is, we immediately know about it,

- said the official, recalling that, in addition to Switzerland, agreements on the exchange of information were signed with Liechtenstein, San Marino, Andorra and Monaco.

"Europe has been actively fighting illegal means recently. European banks are now much more afraid of huge fines on the part of regulators than losing customers,

- comments on the arrangements with these countries, the head of the analytical department of the UK "BC Sberezhenie" Sergei Suverov.

So, at the end of last year it became known that the Federal Reserve System (FRS) of the USA imposed a penalty of $ 42 million on Deutsche Bank for transactions that do not meet the requirements for countering money-laundering. At the same time, the Fed announced that Deutsche Bank should take measures aimed at combating such "unsafe and unreliable practices".

In Russia, meanwhile, they hope that the information from countries that have already been negotiated will help identify those who shirk tax evasion. So, the Federal Tax Service expects that the information obtained through an automatic data exchange system will allow us to estimate the size and structure foreign assets of Russian taxpayers.

Tax finds out the truth

"Within the framework of the tax exchange, Russia, in particular, will be able to find out information about the owners of controlled foreign companies (CEC). The law obliges them to notify the tax authorities about the presence of shares in foreign companies, as well as pay tax on profits. The exchange will allow to reveal discrepancies in the information presented to the Russian tax bearers, with an actual state of affairs "

- explains Nina Kozlova, president of the international network FinExpertiza.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) last year submitted a report in which it tried to calculate the amount of money that Russian citizens keep on offshore accounts. According to analysts, the amount of such investments for 27 years of observations continued to grow steadily, and in 2016 reached the size equivalent to 75% of Russia's national income. As a result of 2016, Russia's GDP amounted to 61,1 trillion rubles.

According to Valery Mironov, deputy director of the Center for Development of the NRU (HSE), recent initiatives to exchange information between other countries and Russia can actually lead to the return of part of the capital to Russia. According to him, in the near future capital can return to Russia for several tens of billions of dollars.

However, while all offshore companies will not open before tax, most businessmen will still transfer their foreign accounts to other jurisdictions.

According to head of the legal department of HEADS Consulting Diana Moklozyan, the owners of overseas accounts will use countries that are not part of the automatic information exchange system.

"Part of the funds, perhaps, will indeed" whitewash "and return to Russia, but it is unlikely to be significant, the majority still prefer to transfer their funds to other tax jurisdictions," Sergey Suverov believes.

A source: BBC

Author: Natalia Eremina, Evgenia Petrova

Tags: Russia, Economy, Offshore, Panama, Monaco, Taxes, Analytics