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Automation of Tax Administration: Interview With Working Group Head
Klerk, a professional news service in Russia, interviewed Alexander Mikhailovich Khaminsky, the Head of The Working Group on Issues of Economic Crime. The group is part of the Public Council of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Moscow Division.
In 2017 the bodies of the Federal Tax Service noted the need to move from routine verification activities to optimizing their analytical work by using automated control systems (ASC) data. A directive was passed, but has the mechanism already been put into action?
Indeed, at working meetings with the heads of departments of the Federal Tax Service for a number of subjects of the Federation, the procedure for applying the planned system for on-site tax audits and the assessment by arbitration courts of the justification for obtaining tax benefits by the taxpayer were discussed under current conditions.
And already in 2018 there are a number of activities to be implemented. But in fact, over the past 15 years, the tax authorities have already made many conceptual changes in their approach to determining the integrity of the taxpayer.
Are the tax authorities now spending more time in the office and less - on going out on audits?
The work is sufficient in all areas of activity. Simply, at first, the data of automated control systems began to be used for pre-testing, then for field audits, then for desk audits – and now – when analyzing the activities of the taxpayer and his counterparty relationships in order to form so-called auto-notifications. Some, obviously, have already seen these, but for the rest I will explain. An auto-notification is an analytical document not provided for by the Tax Code, which, in the framework of the current risk-based approach, indicates the potential for the presence of tax offenses.
Auto-notifications are generated by automatic control systems according to established criteria and outside the will of the leadership or employees of the tax authority. And here the taxpayer is faced with a dilemma: to make changes in the tax return, or to get an unscheduled audit. The choice remains with the taxpayer.
And in practice, what exactly has changed?
Today, a risk-oriented approach to implementing regulatory and supervisory activities is being used at all levels of government. And this applies to administrative and legal issues in the sphere of taxation to the same extent as it does to all others.
At the end of last year, at a meeting, the head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin, said: "We must not prevent business from working. Business in general should not notice us. But our effectiveness should be based on the results of a thorough analysis of taxpayer activities. Moreover, we have all the necessary numbers and criteria. "
This is true: in the automated control system VAT-2, there are presently about 200 criteria for assessing the bad faith of the taxpayer. In total, within the automated control systems used by the Federal Tax Service, the number of such criteria is close to a thousand.
Simply put, the number of reasons that a business might be called into the office of the Federal Tax Service has increased hundreds of times.
However, the main issue to consider when deciding the conscientiousness or bad faith of the taxpayer is the validity of the transactions.
And if the transactions are not valid, no article of legislation will save them.
What will law enforcement working with economic crime do in 2018?
They will continue to struggle with tax schemes, take measures against fraudsters, suppress illegal commercial activities, prevent illegal cash out operations, and illegal transfers of capital abroad.
Only now, for those who are not willing to return voluntarily to legal operations, penalties will be imposed faster, and punishment will become inevitable.
Why is that?
We live in a new tax reality. The automation of the tax administration will reduce any attempt to come to an agreement with a living person to nothing.
Translated by Alinga Consulting Group.
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