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Reloading RIPs

Minskostokrazvitiya launches new benefits on regional investment projects for the Far East

The Federation Council approved a federal law that provides for investors in the Far East income tax and mineral extraction tax exemptions. Now the Far East will receive a new universal support mechanism for business that is not tied to specific zones, as it used to be with TORs and the Free Port.

Reloading RIPs

Once the draft law "On Amendments to the Tax Code of the Russian Federation" was already sent to the Federation Council by the developers, but was rejected by them due to a technical error. What kind of mistake it was remains unknown - the question of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, asked at one time by the EastRussia correspondent, was left unanswered. The second receipt of the law by the Federation Council means that now it should completely suit the upper house. The adoption of the law after its revision shows that its form is now indeed impeccable. But it is still impossible to say this about his very idea of ​​such a mechanism - both during its development and now a number of experts remain skeptical. First of all, because among the factors voiced by investors that discourage them from investing in investment projects in the Far East, income tax and tax on the extraction of minerals are far from being the priority obstacles.

Alexander Galushka, the head of the Ministry for the Development of Russia, announced a new mechanism for granting benefits to regional investment projects (RIP) as follows: “The investor receives a benefit after he reaches a certain level of investment in the project, in a notification order. An investor does not need to prove anything to officials, to enter some registries, to sign some agreements. In fact: I invested money in the Far East - you get a benefit. ”

The mechanism of the benefits, reflected in the adopted law, is as follows. If the investor realizing the project in the Far East has invested 50 million rubles within three years, or within 5 years - 500 million rubles, then he automatically gets the right to the privilege as a regional investment project. At the same time, investments made since 1 January 2013 are taken into account. For the period of 10 years, the investor is exempt from the payment of the profit tax credited to the federal budget. Also, during the first 5 years, a reduced income tax rate credited to the regional budget is applied, from 0 to 10%, for the next 5 years, not less than 10%. The income tax benefit begins to apply from the period in which such a profit was first received. The exemption for MET is calculated as follows: during the first two years, the investor is completely exempt from the severance tax, in total the benefit is valid for 10 years, during this period the benefit amount is reduced by 20% every 2 year.

According to the law, any production can get the status of the RIP, except for the enterprises producing excisable goods (the exception is production of such products as cars, motorcycles, etc.), as well as enterprises operating in the field of oil and gas production.

Expectations from innovation in Minvostokrazvitiya significant. According to Alexander Krutikov, the director of the Department for Ensuring the Implementation of Investment Projects of Minskostokvitiya, the agency "expects that, after the adoption of this law, hundreds of investors will hurry to obtain the status of RIP for their projects. And the first few dozen projects will acquire such status before the end of 2016. Since the investment of 50 million rubles is an investment that can be done by medium-sized businesses. "

“The proposed RIP tax model is similar to that provided for by advanced development territories. Except for the fact that, in addition to privileges on income tax and mineral extraction tax, TORs also provide for social tax benefits, ”added Alexander Krutikov.

The experts interviewed by the EastRussia correspondent generally supported the initiative to create a new mechanism to support investors in the Far East, but noted that interest in it is likely to be rather cautious. So, according to one of the opinions, the effect of the benefit will be felt only at 100% of "white" accounting - a criterion that often not only in the Far East, but also in the country as a whole. "And it's not at all a fact that the new privilege will be sufficient incentive to become" whiter ", - says the EastRussia source.

According to Vice-President of the ANO "National Institute for System Studies of Entrepreneurship Problems" Vladimir Buev, the current income tax - 20% - is not excessively high for Russian producers. And, besides, not all manufacturers pay now, as it is reset in the absence of profit from the enterprise. And also because many businesses are easily leaving it today - both small and medium-sized businesses, and large ones, in order to avoid taxation, today either artificially understate profits or use offshore schemes. It is not so easy to get away from mineral extraction tax today, but since this tax affects resource-producing companies, then, according to the expert, granting a benefit on it is unnecessary, as these producers have enough interest in investing in the Far East today. 

"If this or that investment project is at least to some extent profitable, then in what territory it would not be located, the investor will invest in its implementation. If the project is unprofitable, then granting such a state support here will not help much. Therefore, taking into account also modern realities, it seems doubtful that these tax incentives are a great incentive for investing in mining in the Far East. There is perhaps a probability that these benefits will help some state corporations in the implementation of some individual investment projects. And then - it's a question of single projects, already without tax privileges that provide active assistance, including financial assistance, from the state, "explained Vladimir Buyev.

Nikolay Troshin, Senior Researcher of the Economics Sector of the Center for Economic Research of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, drew attention to the relationship between the new mechanism and the "cleanliness" of business reporting. According to the expert, "a certain effect for the development of the country from the operation of the new law is possible only when its adoption will be accompanied by a tightening of the reporting that all producers in Russia are exposed to today. Since only in the event of the exclusion of a variety of fraudulent schemes, in particular, making it possible to avoid tax payments, they will finally begin to be produced in Russia in full. "

According to the expert, it is now fundamentally wrong to rank the acceptability and value of individual Russian taxes, and, accordingly, to provide opportunities for their selective reduction to Russian producers. It is necessary to assess the overall scale of the entire tax burden that exists today in Russia, and it cannot be called prohibitively high against the background of world practice. According to foreign studies, in Russia deductions from ruble profits are lower, for example, than in China, and are approximately equal to those made in India and Brazil. Thus, the reason for the insufficient volume of investments in Russia is not the high level of taxes, but rather the insufficient stimulation of the modern system of tax concessions for investments.

"Today, this system does not have a so-called" direct link "to investment: obtaining a benefit is not directly related to investing a certain amount of investment by an agent in mining and / or production. There is a possibility of obtaining a benefit by an agent without parallel investment in the development of production and / or production. When such an opportunity is excluded and the fulfillment of obligations by the investor taken with the receipt of the privilege will be tightly controlled, then the taxation system in Russia will begin to act as an incentive for investment activity in the country, "Nikolai Troshin explained.

According to him, taking into account the state's focus on priority development of the economy in the Far East, it is necessary to start "direct linking" of the tax incentive system with this particular macroregion.

“But the fact that most of all today can contribute to the implementation of investment projects in Russia, and, in particular, in the Far East, is the introduction of accelerated depreciation within their framework. That is, such depreciation, which would provide for the write-off of the cost of all the expenses incurred by the investor in the process of investing in fixed assets during the two years of operation of the enterprise. Because just one of the subsequent effects of accelerated depreciation on enterprises will be a reduction in the amount of tax deductions that are obligatory for them - since such depreciation allows the enterprise to reduce its profit, which falls under its taxation. Other important consequences of the introduction of accelerated depreciation will be the acceleration of the return of invested funds by investors and the ability to more accurately predict future earnings, ”said Nikolai Troshin.

The expert notes that now in Russia the possibility of accelerated depreciation is not provided for - enterprises operate according to a system that involves depreciation over 5-10 years. At the same time, according to Nikolai Troshin, it is advisable for the state to make the process of implementing accelerated depreciation publicly available in Russia and to exclude the possibility of “gray” schemes emerging within its framework. At least starting from the Far East. 
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