On January 27, the State Duma adopted in the final reading a package of amendments that incredibly expanded access to data on bank clients for tax authorities. As noted by finanz.ru, we are talking about amendments to article 86 of the Tax Code (TC) of the Russian Federation.
The amendments adopted by the deputies oblige credit organizations to provide tax authorities with information that had not previously been received by the FTS from banks. From now on, tax authorities will have access to copies of clients' passports, copies of powers of attorney for the disposal of funds, copies of the agreement for opening an account and applications for closing it, as well as samples of signatures and imprints of seals.
"The Federal Tax Service will also have access to all the information and documents that the client provides to the bank", - the message says.
At the request of the tax authorities, within three days, banks will be required to provide not only complete information about customers, but also data on the ultimate beneficiaries of financial transactions. They will relate to both individual transactions of interest to tax authorities, and transactions for the period specified by them. From now on, banks will store all information about their customers and their financial obligations not for 4, but for 5 years, and provide all available information to the tax authorities.
Amendments on the actual abolition of banking secrecy in Russia were adopted in a "fire" mode in one day, without public discussion. The government of the Russian Federation introduced on January 26, not as a separate bill, but as an "additional clause", which turned out to be "sewn up" in another document that dealt with tax control over pricing.
The very next day after the introduction, on January 27, the amendments proposed by the Ministry of Finance were adopted in the final version. Meanwhile, as a rule, at least two months pass from the moment the document is submitted to its adoption by the State Duma.
The Ministry of Justice tried to oppose the introduction of the proposed amendments, expressing serious doubts about their expediency. However, the opinion of the department's experts turned out to be ignored, and the deputies, when approving the adjustments, took the position of the Ministry of Finance, which explained that the amendments to the Tax Code of the Russian Federation are needed to "exercise tax control". As an additional thesis on the importance of abolishing banking secrecy, the Ministry of Finance cited the need to fulfill the international obligations of the Russian Federation on the exchange of information for tax purposes.