Interfax: Defense finish reviewing evidence in Browder, Cherkasov dossier

File Photo of William Browder Seated at Table with Microphone as Woman Listens, with Image Watermark Saying Presented by Library of Congress with U.S. House of Representatives Seal, adapted from image at house.gov

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – The materials concerning Hermitage Capital Management co-founder William Browder and his business partner Ivan Cherkasov were sent for approval to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, the defense lawyer Alexander Antipov said on Thursday. “The defense finished reviewing the case files, currently, the dossier has been sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office but I don’t think […]

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In Annual Report, Medvedev Says Russian Economy Avoided Catastrophe

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – April 19, 2017) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has promised not to raise taxes in 2017 and vowed to consider indexing retirement payments for working pensioners, delivering a moderately upbeat annual report on the troubled economy. Addressing the lower house of parliament on April 19, Medvedev said the Russian economy had avoided “catastrophe” despite low world […]

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Russia Eyes Reforms to 13 Percent Flat Income Tax; A new series of reform proposals could tie tax rates to income levels

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Kupfer – February 22, 2017) #Russia has long prided itself on its simple 13 percent flat income #tax rate. But a series of reform proposals could push the country towards a progressive alternative. The Finance Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry and the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) are actively developing reforms for the Russian […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting on budget planning

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Kremlin.ru – September 28, 2016) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting on federal budget planning. Participants discussed the budget policy priorities for the upcoming period. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, Government efforts to draft the federal budget are entering the final stage. By November 1, the draft is to be submitted to the 7th State Duma. I am confident that […]

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Russia Ratifies International Agreement on Financial Information Exchange

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 12, 2016) Russia has signed an international agreement on the exchange of financial information, state news agency TASS reported Thursday. The head of Russia’s Federal Taxation Service (FNS) Mikhail Mishustin said that Russia will join the global system of data exchange between tax authorities in different countries in 2018. “This will allow us to […]

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Putin’s New Internet Czar Wants Apple and Google to Pay More Taxes

iPad file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov and Stepan Kravchenko – February 8, 2016) When he’s not checking Gmail on his MacBook, Vladimir Putin’s new Internet czar can’t stop railing against American technology companies. Google, Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp., collectively worth more than Russia’s gross domestic product, have all entered German Klimenko’s crosshairs since he was named Putin’s first Internet […]

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Russia’s Great Shift Downward; Putin has shown little interest in changing the economic model.

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Carol Matlack – January 28, 2016) For Russia’s battered economy, 2016 already looks miserable. The ruble has slumped to record lows as oil prices have fallen 11 percent since Jan. 1, to around $30 a barrel. The government, which gets nearly half its revenue from oil and gas, is scrambling to plug a 1.5 trillion-ruble ($19.2 […]

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For Protesting Russian Truckers, A Christmas Far From Home

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – January 6, 2016) KHIMKI, Russia — After dark in the frigid parking lot of an Ikea outlet north of Moscow, in the trailer of a grubby white truck heated by a generator, a dozen men are sitting in winter coats and hats watching a Soviet blockbuster on a projector. The cramped space has been a […]

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Majority of Muscovites Support Truck Driver Protests – Poll

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 11, 2015) More than 70 percent of Moscow residents aware of the ongoing protest by truck drivers support their action, a poll released Wednesday by the independent Levada Center indicated. While the majority of Muscovites are familiar with the protest, 21 percent of the capital’s residents said they had heard nothing about it, while […]

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Putin Majority Breaking Down But Elite Splits and Mass Protests Won’t Come Immediately, Solovey Says

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 8, 2015) The truck drivers’ strike and the seriousness with which the Kremlin has reacted to it show that “the Putin majority, the Putin consensus and Putin stability are all beginning to break down, Valery Solovey says; but that does not mean that more mass protests are likely to occur in […]

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Tax system in Russia to remain unchanged for next few years – PM

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) – The Russian government is not planning to raise taxes in the country in the next few years, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “Currently a decision has been made, it was supported by the president, that we in the next few years will not touch the tax system in general and we will not touch […]

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Why are Russian truckers protesting? 10 questions and answers

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

For over a month now, long-haul drivers in Russia have been engaged in a mass protest, staging rallies across the country, which have now reached Moscow. Truckers, especially those who are self-employed or work for small businesses, believe that the recently introduced additional toll for using federal highways will put their business on the brink of bankruptcy. (Russia Beyond the […]

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Truck Protests Signal New Kind of Social Activism

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vasily Kolotilov – December 4, 2015) “I think I will set my car on fire soon. The tax will take us all down. I get 112 rubles a month in social payments for my kid – how am I supposed to raise him on that?” says Rasul, a truck driver from Russia’s North Caucasus republic […]

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Russian Press Digest (17 August 2015)

(opendemocracy.net – EDITORS OF OPENDEMOCRACY RUSSIA) This Monday, the Russian press reports on the import ban on foreign medicines, Rosneft’s taxes, and an attack by Orthodox activists on a Moscow sculpture exhibition. Kommersant opens with an article on new plans to ban imports of a range of medical products. Several large NGOs, including Vera and Podari zhizn, involved in medical […]

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New tolls on heavy trucks to raise funds for road repairs in Russia

Moscow Roads

Russia is to introduce a new system for collecting tolls from heavy trucks, with the proceeds – some 50 billion rubles ($896 million) a year – to go toward vital road repairs. Payment will be controlled by special gates set up on major highways. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Kuchma, RBTH – July 28, 2015) Help may […]

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Russia to crack down on tax evasion

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 17, 2014) Russian authorities are moving ahead with a campaign to plug external and internal tax loopholes, with the government preparing a new law on ‘de-offshorisation’ and the central bank closing down banks complicit in grey capital outflows. The de-offshorisation campaign is intended to repatriate Russian business from offshore zones. The finance ministry […]

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Russian Banks to Help U.S. Tax Service After New FATCA Law Passed

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 23, 2014) The State Duma on Friday passed legislation allowing Russian banks to pass information on their U.S. clients to the U.S. tax service, as demanded by FATCA, a law that drags banks around the world into the U.S. fight against tax evasion. But lawmakers were not keen to bend over backwards for the […]

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RIA Novosti: Moscow, Washington Will Not Postpone FATCA Agreement – Russian Finance Minister

Anton Siluanov file photo

MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti) – Tensions between Moscow and Washington will not derail the two countries from signing an agreement on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA, Russia’s Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov said Wednesday. “It will be all right. We will undertake all necessary steps for our banks to provide information about American taxpayers,” Siluanov said. […]

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RIA Novosti: 15-20% of Russians Work in Shadow Economy

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

MOSCOW, January 17 (RIA Novosti) ­ Up to a fifth of Russians work in a shadow economy that does not generate adequate tax payments, the country’s labor minister said Friday. “Fifteen to 20 percent of citizens” work jobs that do not provide proper tax and social security payments to the government, Maxim Topilin told an economic forum in Moscow. “I […]

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Putin, Facing Sputtering Economy, Declares a Tax Crackdown

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – December 13, 2013) President Vladimir Putin capped off a year of aggressively seeking to fill the government’s coffers by announcing Thursday that the government would begin to tax Russian offshore companies and no longer support foreign-registered enterprises. Praising Russia’s improving business environment, Putin also used his annual Constitution Day speech to highlight […]

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Interfax: Putin rules out more taxes on ordinary citizens to resolve business problems

Cash, Calculator, Pen

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Dec 4 (Interfax) – President Vladimir Putin ruled out the idea of boosting the tax burden on ordinary citizens in order to resolve problems facing entrepreneurs. The president criticized a proposal to collect additional budget funds to create infrastructure for housing construction, for example, by introducing an excise tax on soda pop. “Don’t do that. This means that a […]

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Outcry Prompts Putin Compromise Offer on Tax Investigation Bill

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – November 26, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Monday proposed a measure aimed at mollifying a business community alarmed by a recent Kremlin-sponsored tax crime bill. The legislation, which earlier caused Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to lose his poise and lash out in a rare public disagreement with his boss, would give employees […]

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Russia’s Tax Climate Rated 56th in the World

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 21, 2013) Russia has risen eight points to rank 56th best country in the latest survey of taxation environment, which is part of the World Bank’s Doing Business effort. The improvement was thanks to a reduction of administrative red tape, but the survey of 189 countries found that it still cost Russian companies too […]

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Kremlin struggling to get a hold on graft

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – November 19, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin is frustrated with the slow progress in his anti-corruption drive and struggling to take charge of the situation. Having ignored the problem for over a decade, the president has been forced to finally deal with the problem of graft, as Russia can […]

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Putin Takes Inputs on Tax Investigation Bill

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin and Delphine d’Amora – November 18, 2013) While the Kremlin considers possible modifications to a bill that will restore investigators’ power to open tax fraud cases, lobbyists said small businesses and individual entrepreneurs, whose numbers are decreasing, are the ones most threatened by the legislation in its current form. The tempest centers on […]

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Interfax: Putin denies that revision of tax legislation would be a clampdown on business

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – President Vladimir Putin has ruled out the possibility of restoring the practice where police were authorized to prosecute violators of tax laws. Putin, who was speaking at a meeting of the supervisory board of the Strategic Initiatives Agency, was referring to proposals for changes to the Criminal Code to adjust it to the 2011 liberalization […]

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Kudrin: Putin’s tax crimes bill means “major backward step”

Alexei Kudrin file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin, today head of the Civil Initiatives Committee, has slammed as a “major backward step” a draft law to bring back the practice where law enforcement agencies could bypass tax authorities in prosecuting suspected tax crimes. “I support those who don’t consider it correct to empower law enforcement authorities to […]

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Putin Blasts Officials Over Discussing Disagreement in Public

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – November 15, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has reprimanded officials for discussing government issues in the mass media and suggested that those who oppose government policy had better leave their posts. The president was speaking Thursday at a meeting of the Strategic Initiatives Advisory Board when he was asked about a contentious bill […]

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Business Leaders Ask Putin to Review Tax Case Authority

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – November 7, 2013) Prominent members of the business community have sent an appeal to President Vladimir Putin asking for a reevaluation of amendments to the Criminal Code, which Putin himself submitted to the State Duma on Oct. 11, Vedomosti reported Thursday. The amendments would authorize investigators to open tax cases at their […]

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Investigative Committee Seeks to Formalize Criminality of Tax Avoidance

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2013) The Investigative Committee has developed a bill criminalizing tax optimization transactions, Vedomosti reported Wednesday. The proposed bill is set to amend the Tax Code by introducing definitions for “imaginary” and “fictitious” financial transactions. These terms refer to transactions which business either did not complete, or have completed, but fudged the description and […]

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Introduction of Property Tax Postponed Until 2015

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 21, 2013) The introduction of the widely discussed new real estate tax that is set to replace the old system of levying fees on property with a market-oriented approach will not take place until 2015, a news report said. The bill was submitted to the government in August, but needs to be revised and […]

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Putin Amendment Calls for Restoring Tax Fraud Investigative Authority to Power Ministries

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 15, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has submitted to the State Duma a bill that would restore the right of investigators to open tax fraud cases without a request from the tax authorities ­ a move that critics fear could lead to a renewed persecution of business executives, a news report said Tuesday. If approved, […]

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Navalny Backs Economic Amnesty, Windfall Tax on Privatized Assets

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Goryachev and Oleg Sukhov – September 3, 2013) Mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny has voiced support for an economic amnesty and a windfall tax on some privatized assets at a high-profile meeting with businessmen and top executives, Vedomosti reported. The event was the first public meeting with entrepreneurs during Navalny’s campaign, with the previous ones […]

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Society at root of worries over rising Russian excise

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Maria Stambler – August 20, 2013) When Westerners think of Russia, bears, snow, matryoshki and, of course, vodka are among the first things that come to mind. The pervasiveness and social acceptance of vodka have attracted the government’s attention in recent years due to worrying levels of alcoholism. According to a 2011 report by the […]

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Russians Despise Living in Debt, Laxer About Tax Evasion – ­ Poll

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 14, 2013) ­ The vast majority of Russians see not paying their debts as an ethically unacceptable act, whereas they are much more willing to suspend moral judgment on tax evasion, a new poll showed Wednesday. Only 3 percent of the respondents said that leaving a debt unpaid was acceptable, compared with 95 percent who […]

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G20 Ministers Focus on Tax Evasion, Stimulus Measures

File Photo of Russia-Hosted G20 Banners Outdoors Before Yellow and White Facade of Historic-Looking Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – July 22, 2013) The fight against tax evasion by multinational corporations and measures to ensure recovery amid the global economic turbulence came into the limelight at the two-day meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers that finished in Moscow on Saturday. Finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s 20 biggest […]

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Audit Says Golos Owes 2.3M Rubles in Back Taxes

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 19, 2013) The Federal Tax Service has accused election watchdog Golos of not paying 2.28 million rubles ($70,200) in income taxes in 2009-10 on funding it received from USAID, in what rights activists see as the latest in a string of state attacks on independent observers. Auditors from Tax Inspectorate No. 9 concluded that […]

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Rights commissioner denounces Magnitsky’s postmortem conviction

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 11, 2013) Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin has denounced the postmortem conviction of late Hermitage Capital auditor Sergei Magnitsky by Moscow’s Tverskoi Court. “I object to trying people post mortem. There is an element of some ancient pagan mentality in this,” Lukin told Interfax on Thursday. “Then let’s arrange the trial of Ivan the Terrible […]

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Hermitage Capital blasts Magnitsky’s posthumous conviction

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 11, 2013) British investment fund Hermitage Capital has attacked Thursday’s posthumous conviction of its lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and in absentia conviction of its chief executive William Browder. “This trial reflects the authorities’ disrespect for fundamental international legal values and personal rights and freedoms,” Hermitage said in a statement made available to Interfax. Moscow’s Tverskoi Court convicted […]

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Russia will not see significant change in tax system in next three yrs – Medvedev

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 10, 2013) Russia will not see any significant changes in its tax system within the next three years, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with members of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) board. The government has endorsed the principal areas of its tax policy development for 2014-2016, he said. “No […]

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Magnitsky-Linked Official is Suspect in Fraud Case – Report

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, July 5, 2013) ­ A former tax inspector included on a draft version of the Magnitsky List of Russian officials banned from the United States for human rights abuses has become a suspect for Russian investigators looking into a huge tax scam, Kommersant newspaper reported Friday. Olga Tsymai, a former employee of the Federal Tax Service, […]

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Gerard Depardieu: Russian needs a leader like Putin

Gérard Depardieu file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 29, 2013) Prominent French actor Gerard Depardieu, who recently became a citizen of Russia, believes Russia needs such a leader as President Vladimir Putin. “Putin and I are friends. He is a very strong personality, and Russia needs exactly such kind of leader now,” Depardieu said at a press conference on Saturday following the press screening […]

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Opposition Lawmakers Slam WTO Effect

WTO Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – June 21, 2013) Opposition lawmakers and businessmen said at a panel Thursday that Russia had lost billions of dollars due to cuts in import tariffs after its accession to the World Trade Organization. The panel was attended by groups lobbying the interests of the engineering, agriculture and clothing industries but was ignored […]

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Progressive income tax scale in Russia feasible from 2018 – Shuvalov

Igor Shuvalov file photo

(Interfax -ST. PETERSBURG, June 20, 2013) It would be feasible to introduce a progressive income tax scale in Russia in 2018, when the current political cycle ends, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told reporters on the sidelines of the St Petersburg Economic Forum. “It would probably make sense to make the transition to different taxation for personal income from […]

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G8 leaders tackle taxes, Syria, North Korea and terrorism

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yuri Paniyev, special to RBTH – June 18, 2013) With the G8 summit in full swing in Northern Ireland, the world’s leaders try to tackle financial and international challenges including tax evasion, the Middle East stand-off, the Syrian crisis and the North Korea nuclear problem. G8 leaders began their two-day summit at the […]

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Russia might adopt Foreign Account Compliance Tax Act in 2014

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Tatyana Lisina, special to RBTH – June 17, 2013) Despite initial reluctance, Moscow might help the U.S. hunt down tax evaders.   Russia appears to have finally yielded to American pressure to adopt a tax dodgers’ law known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Arguments advanced by Russian economists may have […]

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WHO Should Butt Out of Russia’s Cigarette Biz -­ Health Official

No Smoking Symbol

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 13, 2013) ­ The World Health Organization has no right to dictate to Russia how to develop its tobacco pricing policies, Russia’s chief health inspector said Thursday. The head of the WHO office in Russia, Luigi Migliorini, had earlier expressed disappointment in lower than expected increase rates for tobacco excise in the country after 2016. […]

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Countries to Jointly Fight Tax Evasion

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Guennadi Moukine – May 20, 2013) Greater cooperation between tax authorities from 45 countries, including more extensive information sharing to help catch evaders, was the result of an international conference in Moscow that was hosted by the Federal Taxation Service and ended on Friday. “The message to tax evaders and those who facilitate tax evasion […]

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Shedding light on Russia’s tax system

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Evgeny Basmanov, special to RBTH – April 24, 2013) Why the country’s tax system is more trustworthy than those in most European countries. At the end of last year, celebrated actor Gerard Depardieu, unhappy with the high rate of tax in his native France, decided to move to Russia and change his citizenship. […]

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