Case in Point, August 2006
Case in Point: Taxes Paid to the Wrong Account
By: Alexei Spirihin, Sr. Accountant, Alinga Consulting Group
The problem of paying taxes to the wrong account or even the wrong tax inspectorate is not an uncommon one in the Russian Federation. The mistake can easily be made by entering a wrong number from the list of various accounts and offices, or by accidentally transposing or missing a number on the electronic form. Furthermore, the tax inspectorates bear no responsibility to double check payments made to them, no matter how large the sum or how unlikely the source. Resolving the problem can land the taxpayer in a double bureaucratic nightmare between the agency which is demanding back payments and the agency which incorrectly received payments.
Alinga Consulting Group recently resolved such a problem for a client. The business had incorrectly paid nearly two million rubles to Tax Inspectorate #4 over the course of 2005. The mistake was not discovered until the business was audited by Tax Inspectorate #47, the inspectorate to which payments were supposed to have been made. The company contacted the experts at Alinga Consulting Group to help resolve the potentially very expensive error.
Alinga Consulting Group wrote an official letter to Tax Inspectorate #4 describing the error and requesting its resolution. Alinga maintained constant contact with the representatives of that department, its managers and director, and kept in constant contact with Tax Inspectorate #47. By acting strictly according to procedure, by maintaining constant professional contact with all parties, and by demonstrating that the client had paid their taxes in good faith and wanted only to resolve the issue to everyone’s satisfaction, Alinga was able to secure the goodwill of both tax inspectorates. Although the difficult process took about six months to resolve, the sum in question was eventually transferred from Tax Inspectorate #4 to Tax Inspectorate # 47, thus resolving the issue for the client and saving them from the extra bill of two million rubles.
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