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In what cases can a tax check come to you

Gleb Shevchenko explains which companies and for what reasons may fall under an unscheduled field tax audit, tells how to avoid possible risks
The main reason for conducting an on-site tax audit of the organization’s activities is the presence of the company in terms of conducting such an audit; the audit plan is posted on the website of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation.In addition to having a plan for the upcoming tax period, there are also unscheduled inspections that lead to significant problems for the entrepreneur, since they are always appointed unexpectedly and the taxpayers do not have time to prepare for them.

Unscheduled inspections are appointed if the taxpayer meets at least several criteria established by the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation. Thus, in order to reduce the risks of getting into an unscheduled field tax audit, you need to analyze your company for compliance with the established criteria and exclude matches as much as possible.

Where can one get acquainted with these criteria in order to reduce the risk of the unexpected appearance of tax agents at the doorstep of an office?

The “plus” is that this information is available in open sources. Officially, they can be found in Appendix No. 2 of the order of the Federal Tax Service of May 30, 2007 No. MM-3-06 / 333 @ and identify possible risk factors.

However, if there is a desire to delve deeper into the criteria by which the on-site audit controls taxpayers, then all 12 risk criteria in a more accessible form are presented in Appendix No. 1 of the aforementioned order.

The companies that are involved in export activities have the greatest problems, as a result of which they reimburse a large amount of value added tax from the budget. A large amount of tax refund negatively affects the quantitative indicator of tax collections of a particular territorial tax inspectorate and leads to a negative reaction from the tax authorities, especially for large business representatives in not very profitable regions. As you can see, the tax inspectorate in most cases checks exporters on average once every two to three years. However, as practice shows, such organizations carefully and very carefully keep records of their activities and inspections do not reveal violations in significant amounts, bringing only administrative discomfort for the enterprise.

Along with VAT refunds, high-risk factors for conducting an on-site tax audit, which the majority of taxpayers may already encounter, are a low tax burden, low industry profitability, and reflection of the organization’s losses over several tax periods.

The procedure for calculating the tax burden and profitability is given in Appendix No. 3 to the Order of the Federal Tax Service of Russia dated May 30, 2007 No. MM-3-06 / 333 @: for each industry, the Federal Tax Service has calculated the minimum required level of tax burden and profitability. IFTS proceeds from the understanding that with identical activities, taxes should also be proportional to the turnover, and the profitability of the same type of activity should not differ significantly. In case of revealing an understatement of the average tax burden and profitability of the taxpayer (due to its features of conducting economic activity), a check is carried out to establish the fact of illegal understatement of the tax burden. In particular, unscrupulous entrepreneurs can underestimate the tax base, increasing income tax expenses. For example, according to IFTS calculations, the tax burden in the construction sector is set at 10.4% in relation to 2018, respectively, if you are engaged in construction and pay less taxes to the budget, you are at risk of checking.

It should be noted that the Federal Tax Service lists the branches of activity very generally. So, trade is divided into only two types: road transport and everything else, but the reality of the economic situation shows that, depending on the type of product, region, and other factors, the profitability of various types of trade differs tenfold and cannot be equalized. For example, when analyzing the market, it can be seen that companies engaged in low-profit trading in derivatives of rubber and plastic throughout the Russian Federation do not exceed 6-7%. The tax authorities also established that the minimum level of profitability for all types of trade cannot be less than 10%, which inevitably leads this type of trade to the risk of an on-site tax audit.

The lowered tax burden may also indicate another risk factor. As a rule, this serves as a signal that financial and economic activity is built on a fictitious chain of counterparties, that is, contracts are concluded either with intermediaries or with resellers, which is impractical from an economic or business point of view.

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