Fight Against Grey Salaries Intensifies
Last year, the tax authorities began widespread verification of payments of the unified social tax. Now they intend to bring under strict control the payment of personal income tax (PIT).
The Federal Tax Service's "recommendations for identifying tax agents not transferring individual income tax" (a document circulating with a "for official use" designation), describes in detail how inspectors in the field can calculate the amount of deductions that the employer must refer to the budget. The members of the desk audit department in the local inspections should take the base for calculating insurance premiums to the mandatory pension insurance fund and multiply the number by 13 percent. The figure is the amount of tax that the enterprise should transfer. "The discrepancy between the estimated and actual sum of PIT that should be transferred to the budget is evidence that not all such tax is being paid," write the authors of the "secret" tax instructions.
Experts believe that the proposed tax scheme for calculating the true sum of PIT does not hold water. From the Tax Service's point of view, the developed scheme is entirely logical. But its practical implementation will be yet another headache for businesses. First, the tax base for PIT and the base for transfers to the Pension fund differ. Secondly, the amount of PIT calculated by the inspectors will be different from that paid by a businessman because nearly all employees use the standard tax deduction (or other deductions, such as property deductions). In this way, a company's income tax is reduced.
As stated in the above-mentioned instructions, a company in violation can be subject to all the means of pressure at the disposal of the Tax Service. True, the inspectors will initially give the entrepreneur a chance to correct the situation himself by sending a notice "to give an explanation as to the circumstances." Then they would issue a Protocol which would specify the amount outstanding, and offer a month's time in which to pay the balance. If the employer does not agree to do so, the Tax Service promises to impose a number of measures:
Send a letter to the administration of a municipality to “adopt within a month measures to deal with the fact the organization has failed to pay PIT;
Send a similar request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs;
Invite the head of the company to a meeting of the commission for the legalization of "shadow wages;"
And finally, to simply freeze the accounts of the company.
Some experts do not understand why the tax service would need to summon businessmen to a tax commission meeting. It is not likely that any sensible businessman would take it into his head to pay into the Pension Fund for all wages, yet pay PIT only on "white" (above board) wages.
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