At the same time, within the framework of the discussion of the amendments to the procedure of the division of powers between, yet another attempt was made to implement the mechanisms of direct subordination of heads of municipal formations to regional leaders. This time, the option being discussed envisaged the granting to the supreme official of subjects of the Federation of the right to put forth the initiative of dismissing a head of a municipal formation. At the stage of preparing the draft law, the amendments to this effect were abolished. However, by all indications, this was just a “rehearsal”. In January 2009, the President submitted to the RF State Duma a draft law that envisaged, according to representatives of United Russia, the creation of a new institution for dismissing heads of municipal formations from their posts42. This dismissal procedure, in accordance with the new proposals, can be initiated either by a group of deputies of a representative body of local self-government (no less than one-third), or by the supreme official of a RF subjects – a governor. For this decision to be adopted, it must be approved by no less than one-third of all the deputies, in accordance with the established number of deputies to the representative body of a municipal formation. If the decision is rejected, the issue can be once more submitted for the consideration of the deputies, but no earlier than one month later.
It is necessary to note that throughout the whole period of implementing municipal reform many legislative initiative were put forth with the aim of dramatically increasing the degree of influence of regional authorities on bodies of local self-government. To achieve this end, various instruments were suggested – for example, the redistribution of the key powers in favor of subjects of the Federation, or significant restriction of the federal guarantees to local self-government when applied to regional capitals. However, until recently such initiatives had been voiced by certain groups of deputies, and usually had no significant impact on the lawmaking process. At present, the situation has been fundamentally changed, in that this time a presidential draft law was submitted, with a high probability of being actually adopted. This step may result in some very significant changes in the role played by local selfgovernments in this country’s political life. Therefore it is rather illustrative that, in answer to the question asked by a journalist as to what would happen in a situation when mayors were conflicting with a governor on the grounds of their, say, belonging to another political party, Vladimir Pligin, Chairman of the RF State Duma’s Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Development replied as follows: “No one has promised anybody an easy life”43.
Some amendments of corporate taxation rules:
depreciation assessment amendments Т. Malinina Federal Laws № 158-FZ, dated of July 22, 2008 and № 224-FZ from November 26, 2008 have introduced amendments to Part Two of the Tax Code in regard to the depreciation procedure. The major amendments are made in regard to the non-linear method of depreciation: from 1 January, the non-linear method is applied to the range of assets, which significantly simplifies the depreciation assessment for the taxpayers, as well as for the tax authorities. Moreover, the standards for the depreciation are extended in terms of a nonlinear method application, as well as the maximum limit of depresiation premium for the objects of depreciable property, belonging to the third - seventh depreciation groups. Therefore, the new provisions of the Tax Code make for significant acceleration of the depreciation assessment, which is especially important in the situation of high inflation.
Federal Laws № 158-FZ, dated of July 22, 2008 and № 224-FZ from November 26, 2008 have introduced amendments to Part Two of the Tax Code in regard to the depreciation procedure.
First, we should note that the amendments to the tax legislation have expanded the range of depreciable property. The range of depreciable assets has included investments in the form of integral improvements made by the organization-borrower in the capital assets, let for free use upon the consent of the lender. Therefore, the taxpayers can assess depreciation not only for capital investments in the form of integral improvements of leased fixed assets, but in the fixed assets transferred (received) for free use.
The main changes are introduced to depreciation assessment by nonlinear method. Before January 1, 2009 depreciation was estimated for each item of depreciable property, regardless of the tax depreciation method. Recent amendments to the Tax Code provide that with the nonlinear method depreciation is assessed for each group (subgroup) of depreciable property, rather than per each item. For the purpose of depreciation assessment, when the taxpayer is applying the non-linear method, the total balance is formed for depreciation groups (subgroups) as the the total value of items, included in each depreciation group (subgroup), with the exception of items, on which depreciation is assessed under linear method in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 25. Subgroups in the groups of depreciation items are formed by taxpayers, who apply reduction (inflation) factors to the major depreciation standard44.
Items included in the taxpayer's depreciable property are recorded in the total balance of depreciation groups (subgroups) as per their original or residual value. Those items, that have been temporarily excluded from the depreciable property in accordance with Clause 3, Article 256 of the RF Tax Code are included in the depreciation groups (sub-) by residual value. If the taxpayer has moved from linear to the non-linear method of depreciation in accordance with his accounting policy for taxation purpose, the items, depreciation of which will now be assessed by non-linear method (it should be noted, that the RF Tax Code contains a list of items, depreciation of which should be assessed only by linear method ), are included in the total balance of depreciation groups (subgroups) by residual value.
Herewith, the relevant objects are included in the depreciation groups (subgroups) on the basis of the utilization term, established at the point of their input into operation.
With bringing into operation the depreciable property, the total balance of the relevant depreciation group (subgroup) is increased by the initial cost of the items. Herewith, if the taxpayer applies the depreciation bonus, the relevant objects are included in depreciation groups (subgroups) regardless amounts, charged to expenses of the reporting period in accordance with the provisions of the Tax Code on depreciation premium.
To assess the total balance value of the purchased by the taxpayer second-hand depreciable items of property they are included in the depreciation of the group (subgroup), in which they were included by the previous owner.
Monthly total balance of depreciation groups (subgroups) is reduced by the amount of the assessed depreciation for this group (subgroup). Depreciation rates used for depreciation of each group should not be determined by the taxpayer independently on the basis of useful life of depreciable property, but and on the basis of provisions, stipulated by Chapter 25922 of the RF Tax Code.
When the item is disposed from the total balance of depreciable property of the relevant depreciation group (subgroup), the residual value of such an object is reduced by the formula, established by Clause 1, Article 257 of the RF Tax Code. Herewith, the formula for the residual value of the item depreciation was assessed by non-linear method of depreciation for the group does not include the accrued depreciation of the item, therefore, tax accounting does not require to distribute the amount, estimated for the group (subgroup) of depreciation for the items, included in the depreciation group (subgroup).
It should also be noted that before January 1, 2009 the RF Tax Code provided that the chosen by the taxpayer method of depreciation assessment can not be changed within the complete term of depreciation for the depreciable property objects. The new edition of the Tax Code provides the taxpayer an opportunity to switch from the non-linear method to the linear method of depreciation once in 5 years, including the depreciable property, depreciation of which has already been assessed by the business entity. Therefore, the minimum term is established for the taxpayers to apply the non-linear method of depreciation for the groups (subgroups) of depreciable items, if a taxpayer has accepted the non-linear method of depreciationin for tax accounting perpose.
When the taxpayers change the method of depreciation in the accounting policy for tax purposes, they are required to assess the residual value of depreciable assets in tax accounting.
Depreciation rates for nonlinear method are increased. If the taxpayers apply the non-linear method of depreciation to the standards established by Paragraph 5 of Article 259 of the RF Tax Code, a half It should be noted, that the subgroups, included in depreciation groups can be formed in an analytical account, for example, to distinguish the amount of depreciation, related to the direct and indirect costs in compliance with the accounting standard, accepted by the taxpayer.
of the original cost of the depreciable property would be written off over a quarter of the period of its useful life45.. For comparison: according to the nonlinear method of depreciation under the Tax Code, effective before January 1, 2009, half of the original cost of the facility was written off within a third part of its useful life.
Moreover, the depreciation bonus for the fixed assets, related to the classification of fixed assets, approved by the Government of the Russian Federation to the third - seventh depreciation groups, including cases of their finishing, reconstruction, modernization, rehabilitation, partial liquidation is increased from 10 to 30% since January 1, 2009. Herewith, the rule is established, that in case of the earlier than 5 years since the fixed assets input in operation, in regard to which the depreciation bonus was applied, the relevant costs are to be recovered and included in the tax base of corporate income tax of business entities. This regulation is applicable to the objects, put into service from January 1, 2008 and is aimed at reduction of opportunities for abuses, related to the resale of fixed assets, including those among interrelated entities, with a view of multiple use depreciation premium on each resale on the new accounting record of the capital assets item.
We would also like to note other changes in regard to depreciation.
1. The order of depreciation assessment for organizations, subject to restructuring, liquidation or other transformations is changed (except for changes in the organizational and legal status). Earlier, the Tax Code had provided that the liquidated and restructured organizations did not charge depreciation from the first day of the month in which the liquidation (reorganization) was completed. From January 1, 2009 the liquidated and restructured organizations, for which the tax period is started or ended before the end of the calendar month, shall assess the depreciation for the month, in which the liquidation (reorganization) is completed.
2. Formally, the condition of actual cost reimbursement of capital investments in the form of integral improvements for the depreciation by the lessor to the lessee is eliminated. Now the depreciation of capital investments in the leased fixed assets (as well as capital assets, obtained for free usage - see above) can be accounted up to the month, in which the lessee (lender) has refunded the lessee (lessor) has reimbursed the value of those capital investments. This, however, does not mean that the amount of such investments can be depreciated twice, by and the lessee, and lessor. Exclusions in the actual conditions of reimbursement of capital investments in the form of integral improvements to the leased facilities of capital assets are provided by the Tax Code in accordance with the framework of corporate tax liabilities for organizations by accrual method and does not provide a waiver of tax control.
3. The procedure for using inflation index to the depreciation rate is amended. Regardless of the taxpayer’s method of depreciation assessment, the rate not exceeding than 3-fold to depreciation is not applicable to the assets, that are the subjects of a commercial lease agreement, included in the first - third depreciation group. Earlier this provision was stipulated by the Tax Code only in regard to the fixed assets, depreciation of which was assessed by the nonlinear method.
Development of Forecast Research in Sphere of Science and Technology I. Dezhina At the end of 2008 the development of two long-term forecasts of scientific and technological development of the country that had been prepared independently by the Russian academy of science and the Ministry of education and science of the Russian Federation was finished. After official promulgation of these two documents a sort of a conflict situation has evolved since both the forecasts are claimed to be the national forecast. The analysis of the forecasts content allows drawing the conclusion that they rather supplement than contradict each other.
At the end of 2008 the development of two long-term forecasts of scientific and technological development of the country was finished. They were developed independently by two institutions - the Ministry of education and science (Long-term forecast for the scientific and technological development of the Russian Federation up to 2025, further referred to as MES Forecast) and the Russian 45 Based on the average useful life of depreciable assets, included in depreciation group (subgroup).
Academy of Science (Forecast of the scientific and technological development of the Russian Federation for long-term outlook up to 2030, further referred to as RAS Forecast).
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