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Crises bring out the best and worst in society and business. In terms of business ethics and corruption, however, it seems that in Russia, we are seeing much more of the worst than the best. This month, we focus on how the crisis is affecting Russia's legal environment.
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May 1-3rd will be days off for Labor Day. Victory Day will also be a three day weekend, from May 9-11.
Unemployment Compensation May Go To Employers
Officials of the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and of the Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) proposed rendering financial support to employers that hire a person who is receiving unemployment compensation.
Juice For Employees Is Compensation, Not A Sale
A company gave juice to its employees in accordance with labor agreements. The Tax Authorities, after reviewing the operation, concluded that supplying employees with juice should be considered a compensation-free transfer.
Notify Your Accountants!
There is much more "Accounting and Payroll" information available in the Russian version of this same newsletter!
New Tax Service For Americans Living in Russia!
Alinga Consulting Group, experts in Russian taxation and accounting since 1999, has now teamed up with US tax accountants to help expats living in Russia file their personal income taxes (information in English).
New Work Schedule For Moscow Tax Authorities
The Administration of Russia's Federal Tax Service in Moscow reports that as of March 23rd, all tax authorities are operating according to new special work hours during weekday evenings and on weekends.
Authorities In 10 More Regions Give Breaks To Those On Simplified Taxation
The most generous breaks were presented by Stavropol authorities. They decreased the tax rate to 5% for all taxpayers who use the simplified "income minus expenditures" taxation system.
Russia’s Ministry of Finance Has Added To Its "Black" List Of Offshore Tax Havens
Russian companies which receive dividends from foreign companies registered on the Seychelles Islands cannot apply for a zero rate of profit tax from dividends. Full list of countries is available in Russian here.
Not Everyone Is VAT-exempt
A Russian organization that works as an intermediary for a foreign company, selling goods in duty free stores and receiving a commission, is not VAT exempt.
Russian Audit Chief Tells Oligarchs To Sell Football Clubs, Not Beg State Aid
The chairman of Russia's Audit Chamber, Sergey Stepashin, has advised Russian oligarchs to sell their planes, villas and football clubs to settle their accounts rather than asking the state for help.
No Profit, No Dividends
The Federal Tax Service has decided to punish companies which pay out interim dividends but finish the fiscal year at a loss.
Can The Tax Inspection Declare A Repeat Audit?
At stake is whether the Tax Authorities, after losing a dispute with a company in the arbitration court, can attempt to punish the company by declaring a second tax examination.
Russian President's Advisers Suggest Abolishing State Corporations
The presidential council has suggested that existing state corporations, such as Vnesheconombank, Rostekhnologii (Russian Technologies), the Deposit Insurance Agency, Rosatom, Olympstroy (Olympic Construction), etc., should be converted into other forms of legal entity without special status or privileges. All seven of the state corporations that exist today were established during the presidency of Vladimir Putin.
Russia's Medvedev: Society Not Ready To Implement Anti-Corruption Laws
Society is not ready to implement anti-corruption laws, and the state is bracing to face the problem, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Director of News Programmes at Channel One Kirill Kleimenov, noting that anti-corruption legislation had been recently seriously updated.
Lawsuit Against BoNY Postponed
The Moscow Arbitration Court is postponing review of a $22.5 billion dollar lawsuit against the Bank of New York Mellon until April 14, at the request of both the Federal Customs Service and the Bank.
The Supreme Arbitration Court Legalizes SMS Spam
The Supreme Arbitration Court has legalized the SMS advertising messages regularly produced by mobile providers.
Foreign Creditors Will Not Be Prevented From Claiming Russian Assets
There seems to have been a radical turnaround in the mindset of Russia's officials. They are no longer concerned about the prospect of Russian assets - even the largest and most attractive - ending up in foreign hands.
Measures To Help Small Businesses
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has expressed support for an idea proposed by United Russia to free small business from inspections for one year. However, they decided that this moratorium on inspections should not influence the quality of materials or services that the small businesses provide.
Russian Human Rights Activists Alarmed With State Duma MP Attacks On NGOs
United Russia MPs have been making accusations ever more frequently nongovernmental organizations operating in Russia, said the leader of the oldest Russian human rights organization, Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alexeyeva.
Crisis Legal News
Crisis Boosts Bribes
The crisis has not reduced the bribes and kickbacks market. Corruption in Russia amounts to $240-300 billion a year. The scale of corruption will only increase during the crisis, as the government allocates more funding for anti-crisis measures.
Crisis Increases Numbers Of Economic Crimes And Financial Pyramid Schemes
"Amid the financial crisis we have already witnessed increased crime in the banking sector, including money laundering and fictitious bankruptcy," - announced Oleg Logunov, Deputy chief of the Investigative Committee of Russia's Ministry of the Interior.
This year, bankruptcy and company liquidation is turning into its own special form of business.
Crisis Hurts Business Ethics
Analysts note that during the crisis, many companies are placing "business ethics" on the back burner, or disregarding them entirely.
Russian Cabinet Publishes Text Of 2009 Anticrisis Programme On Websites
The official websites of the Russian government and the prime minister have posted a complete text of the "Programme of anticrisis measures by the Russian government for 2009." The document is available in English here.
Russian Regions Slashing Expenditure
Russia's regional governments have updated the Finance Ministry on measures they have taken to cut budget spending.
Putin Is Prepared To Make Adjustments
Putin is willing to adjust anti-crisis measures, but the opposition isn't prepared to support the amended budget. Parliamentary opposition factions prepare to vote on budget amendments.
Crisis Strains Relations Between Federal Centre, Regions - Russian Deputy PM
According to Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Sobyanin, relations between the centre and the regions are going through a period of crisis.
Find Job Vacancies Here Find Employees Here
Crisis Changes Woman's Position In Society, Family
While many employers have begun to rid themselves (whenever possible) of women employees, for they think that in days of turmoil men are more reliable, in the managerial personnel segment women's share is growing, largely because they are less inclined to take unreasonable risks. Lastly, the promotion of women to senior positions is an official policy of the day.
Employees Can Be Switched To Part-Time Without 2 Months Notification
If a company's upper management plans to establish a part-time workday, they don't need to notify employees two months ahead of time.
Vacancies Increase In March
However, fundamental improvement in the situation is still far off.
Putin Warns Employers Against Layoffs During Crisis
Employers should not use the crisis to cut personnel or salaries, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia, Mikhail Shmakov, and grass-roots trade union leaders on Wednesday.
Notify Your HR!
There is much more HR information available in the Russian version of this same newsletter!
Dismissing A Foreigner – Buy The Return Ticket?
A labor migrant put out on the street without money or a ticket home cannot return to his home country. According to the General-Prosecutor’s Office, in order to keep him from turning to crime, he needs to be sent home.
Foreign Students Might Be Employed In Russia
Deputies from the Moscow City Council support changes to the federal law "On The Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in Russia."
Changes To Foreigners' Rights In Russia Proposed
The press center of the Moscow State Duma reports that two drafts of federal laws that touch upon the subject of foreigners in Russia are receiving a favorable reception by Russia's legislators.
Harvard Students Acting As Gazprom Top Managers
Students of the Harvard Business School (HBS) now see in quite a new light the reasons of the recent "gas war" between Ukraine and Russia, which the western media are often trying to describe as something short of Kremlin "expansionism."
Russians Who Receive Salaries In The USA Must Pay Taxes There
This is applicable if a Russian is not a tax resident in Russia.
Duma Will Not Ask Putin To Suspend Adoptions By Foreign Parents
The State Duma rejected Communist deputy Nina Ostanina's proposal to suspend adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens.
Russian Inflation Forecasts Improve, But Differ Wildly
Analysts are still unable to give coherent macroeconomic forecasts for 2009 due to the extreme uncertainty in the world in general and in Russia, and there is still no knowing what awaits the country this year.
Russia Recalled Most Proposals To The Forthcoming G20 Summit
The G20 summit in London will follow the American script.
Experts View, Doubt, Possibility Of Replacing Dollar As World Currency
What can edge out the dollar? "Supra-national currency is a question of decades."
New Challenges Ahead For Russian Economy
Officials are gearing up for global currency devaluation game.
Kremlin Monitoring Of Warning Signs From Regions, Personnel Problems Examined
Vladislav Surkov has developed a special computer program in the Kremlin to track political problems in the regions.
Absence Of Economic Infrastructure Will Impede Russia's Post-Crisis Recovery
Russia's post-crisis recovery will be hampered by the absence of economic infrastructure and independent judiciary, ex-leader of the Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky says in his article published on Yabloko's official web site.
Tax Haven Crackdown Could Deliver $120bn A Year To Fight Poverty
Developing countries miss out on up to $124 billion every year in lost income from offshore assets held in tax havens.
World Crisis Will End When U.S. Stops "Playing With Money" – Luzhkov
When the world economy recovers from the crisis depends on the economic policy of the United States, Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov said at an annual session of the Moscow International Business Association on Wednesday.
Russian Investments Into American Treasury Bonds Tripled
From December 2007 through December 2008, Russia more than tripled its investments in US treasury bonds, increasing it from $32.7bln to $116.6bln, according to estimates published by Russia’s Ministry of Finance and the US Federal Reserve System.
Kremlin Doles Out Funds To NGOs
The Kremlin has named five nongovernmental organizations that will decide on the allocation of 1.2 billion rubles ($35 million) of state grants to NGOs this year.
Re: Moscow Times Kremlin Doles Out Funds to NGOs
A counter argument to a statement made by a Moscow NGO representative in this recent article concerning the Federal Grant Competition for NGOs.
Russia Will Heat America, But Japan Will Get Sakhalin's LNG First
Russia starts exporting liquefied natural gas from Sakhalin. Exporting LNG frees Russia of its dependence on pipelines and transit countries.
EU supports Ukraine's gas transit monopoly. Russia shows its displeasure at EU-Ukraine gas transit agreement.
Europe Gives Gas The Cold Shoulder
Natural gas transit across Ukraine has halved. European Union countries are buying less gas from Russia.
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