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Tax Code Amendments Will Cost Brokers Hundreds of Millions in Losses

18.10.2012 15:14 / Vedomosti

Next in line after the banks to be exempted from VAT in 2013 are the licensed participants of the stock market, or namely compensation for their services. While the new procedure offers an opportunity to make extra money or lower fees, the transition is likely to incur additional spending. The fact of the matter is that according to Tax Code Article 170, further use of property in VAT exempt business requires the company to pay the VAT that has been previously deducted.

For Brokerkreditservice this means "hundreds of millions of roubles, payable from the end of Q1 2013", says Legal Department Director Natalya Vyskochkina. She adds that the VAT subject to reinstatement arises from purchase of real estate, intangibles, software. This will effectively cost all market participants billions of roubles. "The problem of the transition period remained unresolved when VAT was cancelled", confirms NAUFOR CEO Alexey Timofeev. According to him, NAUFOR is working on the issue and expects to resolve it by the year-end: debates with Minfin and the State Duma are already underway.

A Federal Tax Authority representative has confirmed that VAT will have to be reintroduced temporarily "on certain points". A source in Minfin declined comment. Deputy head of the Federal Tax Authority Daniil Yegorov pointed out that the amendments had been lobbied by the business community: "They were part of the MIFC Roadmap".

Still, it is as yet unclear which transactions will be exempt from VAT: the government has not approved the final list of services. The business community expects the list from the government, but "a clear Minfin standpoint could suffice", says RTS Non-Commercial Partnership Vice President Andrey Salashenko. It could happen that, for instance, with incoming VAT from the client and no VAT going out, the broker may be responsible for paying the VAT, he says. He stresses that this matter is "subject to interpretation".

The situation may affect financial planning options, since the VAT to VAT-exempt transaction ratio will change dramatically. This will limit exemption options for financial companies that planned to pay VAT as part of their revenue management system that maintains optimal balance between VAT paid on expenses and incoming VAT from clients, says PwC Partner Ekaterina Lazorina.

Galina Kamneva

Taxation of financial transactionsProject Group №3