Starting March 17, Russian tax authorities will have expanded access to banking secrecy – within three days after receiving a request, banks will be required to provide copies of customer passports, powers of attorney for money management, agreements for opening an account and applications for closing it, cards with sample signatures and imprints of seals.
This also applies to information about beneficial owners, client representatives, beneficiaries or individual transactions for a certain period.
Nadezhda Karavaeva, senior analyst of NRA bank ratings, commented on the expansion of the list of information that constitutes banking secrets available to tax authorities. She recalled that until now the tax authorities could receive data on accounts and deposits only within the framework of tax audits, and now they will have the right to request information outside of such audits.
Reduction of the gray area in economics
The purpose of the innovation is to increase control over the cash flows of both people and enterprises – not only over income, but also over expenses, which will make it possible to draw conclusions about the possible volume of undeclared income.
“Part of the economy’s cash flows is in the gray zone, and the tax authorities are trying to force the participants in the gray sector to pay taxes, thereby replenishing the budget,” Karavaeva explained.
The innovation is unlikely to lead to a noticeable departure of bank clients from non-cash payments, according to experts interviewed by RIA Novosti.
“For unscrupulous taxpayers, this news is hardly positive, but I would not say that the intensification of the exchange of customer data will have a significant negative impact on the willingness of a mass client to bring money to banks,” said the agency’s senior director for bank ratings. Expert RA “Vladimir Teterin.
Pavel Baranov, senior lawyer at Deloitte Legal in the CIS, added that he does not expect a significant flow of legal entities into cash.