Citizens of Russia will always be considered to be the currency by residents, however long they may have lived in other countries, the bill of the Ministry of Finance (published on the portal disclosure of draft normative acts). Under the current law on currency regulation the Russian currency residents cease to be citizens who are a year or more living in other countries on any legal basis (for work or study visas, residence permit, etc.). The changes potentially affect at least 2 million people — that is, the number of Russians, including the consulates in different countries, reported by the CEC in August of 2016, shortly before the elections to the state Duma.
Foreign currency-residents are obliged to submit to the Russian currency legislation, in particular, are required to promptly (within one month) notify the tax authorities about opening of accounts in foreign banks and to report annually on the movement of funds in such accounts. In addition, for the Russian residents there are restrictions on the set of operations that can be performed with the use of foreign accounts (for example, now in such accounts cannot be credited the money raised from the sale of the vehicle or property to non-law).
The Finance Ministry proposes not to distribute these rules to citizens of Russia, who for a year or more living abroad: they do not need to immediately notify the tax authorities of open and closed accounts in foreign banks, to report on the movement of funds on such accounts and use of foreign Bank accounts only in the operations that are allowed in Russia, follows from the bill. But if these citizens decide to return to Russia, they will have to report to tax authorities about all their foreign accounts and currency transactions for the whole period of his absence in the country, according to the draft. Including such a report will require those citizens who will stay in Russia in the aggregate for more than three months within one year, although do not plan to return permanently.
A new law is proposed to enter into force from 1 January 2018. The Russians, who by this time will not be considered as currency by residents, to March 1, 2018 will be required to notify the tax authorities about the accounts that they have been to foreign banks involves the project.
The presumption of guilt before tax
The current definition of the Russian foreign residence creates difficulties for Russian banks, which are required to quickly determine whether their client is a Russian resident or non-resident when carrying out transactions on his behalf, stated in the explanatory note to the bill. But living abroad Russians the amendment of the Ministry of Finance about the “eternal exchange residency” would actually mean the introduction of a presumption of existence of obligations (before tax) and restrictions, says partner Paragon Advice Group Alexander Zakharov. “In fact, the Finance Ministry is trying to shift the burden of proving the absence of obligations on the holders of Russian passports” — says Zakharov. In his opinion, this, in particular, limit freedom of movement in Russia for the Russians permanently living abroad: “You put before a choice — less to be in Russia, so the ruble was not your currency”.
Still people complained about how difficult it is to get rid of Russian currency resident saving citizenship — enough to return to Russia just for one day a year to tax again began to consider the Russian currency resident and require a report on foreign accounts and flow of funds on them, says Zakharov. But current law does not consider currency by residents of those who are permanently or temporarily living in foreign countries, and imposes on them the obligation to provide to the tax authorities notifications of the opening and closing of accounts and reporting of cash flows (for the period when they were not considered residents), indicates the head of the legal Department of AKG MEF-Audit” Alexander Ovesnov and confirms Zakharov.
In General, the main provisions of the bill are aimed at strengthening control over financial operations of Russian citizens, according to Ovesnov. Laying on living permanently in other countries Russians resident status will be obliged to impose on them additional responsibilities and restrictions under Russian law on currency control, including the calculations with non-residents (not citizens), predict Ovesnov. In particular, this new responsibility will be a necessity for all living abroad Russians to notify the tax authorities about their foreign Bank accounts before March 1, 2018, says the interlocutor of RBC.
RBC expects comment from the press service of the Ministry of Finance.