Following Presidential Decree 685, as of 1 January 1997, invoices issued by "VAT payers" for transactions for the sale of goods (provision of services) should conform to a prescribed format. Invoices should be issued in duplicate not later than 10 days after dispatch of goods (provision of services) or receipt of an advance payment, whichever is earlier. Invoices should be signed by both parties and are considered to be the only adequate back-up for claiming an input VAT offset. VAT payers should also keep sales and purchase books.
Government Regulation of 29 July 1996 No. 914
EXCISES/ TOBACCO PRODUCTS
The deadline for the introduction of the obligatory marking of domestically produced tobacco products with excise duty stamps has been extended. For cigarettes with filter (except for foreign brands) it is now 1 January 1997, for all other Russian produced excisable tobacco products - 1 April 1997.
Government Regulation of 17 July 1996 N 825
ALCOHOL PRODUCTS/NEW RULES OF PRODUCTION AND SALES
Starting from 1 January 1997 production of alcohol products manufactured in Russia without special stamps, confirming the legality of the production, is prohibited. Sales of unstamped Russian alcohol products will be prohibited from 1 March 1997.
Government Regulation of 3 August 1996 N 938
CRIMINAL CODE/VIOLATION OF EXCISE DUTY STAMPS LEGISLATION
Failure to comply with excise duty stamps legislation may now lead to an administrative penalty and a confiscation of unmarked stock. Second and subsequent violations within a one year period may lead to imprisonment for up to 2 years.
Law of the Russian Federation of 30 July 1996 N 103-FZ
CUSTOMS/NEW CLEARANCE RULES
No customs clearance may be obtained until customs payments are actually received by the customs authorities.
Decision of the State Customs Committee of 29 July 1996 N 01-14/844
FOREIGN LEGAL ENTITIES/NEW TYPES OF BANK ACCOUNTS
Foreign legal entities can now open special "S" accounts in authorised banks for transactions in state securities. A Tax Alert with a detailed analysis of this regulation will follow.
Order of the Central Bank of Russia of 26 July 1996 N 02-262
FLE/IMPOSITION OF INTEREST FOR PROFITS TAX
The tax authorities do not currently issue tax assessments when a foreign legal entity submits a profit tax declaration from which no liability to profits tax can be assessed. If, as a result of a subsequent declaration or investigation by the authorities, profits tax becomes due, because no assessment was issued in the past, the authorities are unable to levy interest on overdue tax. In the future, assessments will be issued, even where there is no apparent liability on the tax declaration. We will consider this regulation in a future Tax Alert.
Letter of the State Tax Service of Russia of 25 July 1996 NVG-6-06/516
PENSION FUND/ REDUCTION OF INTEREST
Interest for late payment of pension fund contributions was reduced from 1% per day to 1/300 of the effective Central Bank rate, which for the time being makes it 0.37% per day. A Tax Alert will also follow with the descriptive analysis.
Federal Law of 8 July 1996 N 88-FZ
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