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Called for interrogation to the tax: go or not?

Andrei Shvetsov explains what to do if you or your employees were summoned for questioning by the tax office: is it worth going or sending a representative and is it mandatory to give evidence
So, you have been summoned to the tax office for questioning or for any explanation. This phenomenon is quite frequent, this procedure is the most popular and important for the tax inspectorate in the process of implementing tax control measures, and more simply, for collecting information both for an ongoing tax audit and for a possible future. How to behave in this situation? Let’s try to figure it out.

First, let’s answer the question, is it worth going? Responsibility for failure to appear is established by Article 128 of the Tax Code – 1,000 rubles. In addition, if the tax firmly decided to ask something, then they will call you again, and sometimes, if there are a lot of questions, according to the tax authorities, they can attract other structures to “convince” to come. In practice, this can already be handing over the summons directly to the house or to relatives, as well as calling the documents to the investigator and, possibly, a completely different responsibility for failure to appear, according to article 111 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (for this, however, confirm the initiation of a criminal case, which is still a rare case, at least in the initial stages of the implementation of tax control measures).

Can I send my representative in my place?

The tax inspectorate expressed its opinion on this matter, for example, in Decision of the Federal Tax Service of Russia SA-3-9 / 2269 @ of April 11, 2018, which indicated the following: “Subject to part 1 of article 48 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, every citizen has the right to use legal assistance when giving explanations as a witness, but do not replace yourself with another person, in this case, a representative by proxy. ”

Thus, it is better not to send a representative in your place, but it is quite possible to take a tax lawyer with you who can help you on the spot.

Here you can recall the sensational letter of the Federal Tax Service of Russia dated July 10, 2018 No. ED-4-15 / 13247 @, in which, among other things, the tax inspectorate considered the presence of a lawyer during interrogation as one of the signs of a one-day company, but later, after a resonance, everything -so this sign was excluded.

Should I not give evidence at all, referring to article 51 of the Constitution of Russia?

In this regard, the opinion of the tax inspectorate is contained in the Decision of the Federal Tax Service of Russia SA-4-9 / 6950 @ dated April 12, 2017. Among other things, it states: “The applicant refused to testify on all questions posed to him, regardless of their meaning, including questions whose answers allow us to assess the nature of financial and economic legal relations, their economic feasibility and determine the actual size tax liabilities. Thus, the witness’s refusal to give answers to absolutely all questions in the situation under consideration does not indicate a desire not to disclose information that affects the rights and legitimate interests of himself, but his intention to prevent the tax authority from establishing the actual circumstances of the case in any way. In view of the foregoing, the Federal Tax Service considers it reasonable to conclude that the Interregional Inspectorate stated that the applicant’s broad interpretation of Article 51 of the Constitution, understanding its content as an obligation of individuals not to give any evidence, is erroneous. ”

In this regard, it seems that he will be faithful to answer legibly to questions, but, as they say, not to leave the topic. That is, if you have on the agenda the reason for calling to testify about specific transactions and specific counterparties, then the conversation should be conducted on a given topic. If the reason is not clearly indicated on the agenda, and often it can be quite vague, for example, as giving explanations on the activities of such and such a company, then it is worth asking what the tax inspection is specifically interested in.

In general, one can single out the most common questions at such events, for example:
What was the reason for choosing the counterparty? Do you personally know his leader? Who made contacts between the companies?
What services were provided under the contract? What goods were delivered? Where was the product purchased? How were the goods transported?
The most important part of the interrogation is the compilation of the protocol, it must be carefully checked for the correctness of the compilation, so that everything was written down truly from your words, without any distortion.

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