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7. Letter of the RF Tax Service No. 03-1-08/2467/17 of December 9, 2004, informed about the enforcement of federal law No. 109 FZ of August 20, 2004, On amendments to articles 146 and 149 of the Second Section of the RF Tax Code. The law entered into force on January 1, 2005. The letter explained that taking into account the amendments concerning the abolishment of exemption from taxation or determination that taxable operations should be considered as operations exempted from VAT taxation, the taxpayers should apply the procedure of determination of the tax base (or exemption of taxation), which was in force on the date of shipment of goods (works, services), notwithstanding the date of the respective payment.

In the case the goods were not shipped or transported, but the ownership rights of these goods were transferred, this transfer should be equal to the sale of the goods.

The taxation privileges in the course of realization of residential houses, living premises, and shares thereof, as well as transfer of the shares in the joint property located in apartment houses in the course of realization of apartments should be applied in the case such a transfer of ownership rights (properly registered) took place after January 1, 2005, notwithstanding the accounting policies of the seller for taxation purposes, and, respectively, notwithstanding the date of payment for the said property made by the buyer.

The exemption from VAT should not be extended to construction and assembly works related to capital construction of residential houses and living premises carried out on the basis of respective contracts (subcontracts) by contracted (subcontracted) organizations.

L. Anisimova A review of economic legislation: December of In December, there were introduced the following changes in the legislation currently in force: the RF Tax Code was supplemented with new article 31 Land Tax; the Central Bank approved the key guidelines of common state monetary policy for year 2005; the portion of forex denominated proceeds subject to mandatory sales on the part of residents was diminished from 25 per cent to 10 per cent; the Tax Service brought to the notice of all concerned parties the data used for the calculation of the mineral extraction tax rate on oil in November of 2004.

I. FEDERAL LAWS of the Russian Federation 1. ON AMENDEMENTS TO THE SECOND SECTION OF THE TAX CODE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND CERTAIN OTHER LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, AND THE ABOLISHMENT OF CERTAIN LEGISLATIVE ACTS (PROVISIONS OF LEGISLATIVE ACTS) OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION No. 141 FZ of November 29, Enters into force on January 1, 2005, but not earlier than one month since the day of promulgation.

The RF Tax Code was supplemented with article 31 Land Tax. It is the first article in section X of the Code (Local Taxes).

The land tax, as one of local taxes, is regulated by the RF Tax Code and regulatory acts issued by the representative authorities of municipal entities (in Moscow and St. Petersburg by laws of these subjects of the Russian Federation). The provisions of the RF Tax Code directly regulating the land tax stipulate the following.

Organizations and individuals owning, using in perpetuity, or inheriting land plots on the terms of life estate are defined as payers of this tax.

The objects of taxation should be land plots situated in the territory of the municipal entity (in Moscow and St. Petersburg with the city limits), in the territory of which the tax is imposed with the exception of land plots withdrawn from turnover or limited in terms of turnover in accordance with the law, for instance, plots of land provided for defense needs, areas of the forest funds, water funds, and so on.

The tax base is defined as the cadastre value of land plots. The Code sets forth the procedure governing the determination of the tax base by taxpayers co-owning plots, organizations, businesspersons, and individuals.

The article envisages a decrease in the tax base by Rub. 10 thousand for a number of categories of individuals (Heroes of the USSR and RF, holders of the full Order of Glory, invalids of the first group, invalids of the Great Patriotic War and war invalids), as well as privileges for certain organizations and institutions.

The tax period is defined as a calendar year.

The tax rates should be set forth by local authorities; however, these rates can not exceed 0.3 per cent as concerns the plots of land used for agricultural purposes and those occupied by housing and public facilities, as well as plots granted for part time farming; the tax rate can not exceed 1.5 per cent with respect to other plots of land.

As concerns tax privileges, article 31 sets forth that the plots of land occupied by penitentiary institutions and organizations of the RF Justice Ministry, plots of lands occupied by the motor roads of open for public use, objects of mobilization purposes, test grounds, airports and so on should be exempted from taxation. In certain circumstances, land tax related privileges may be granted to religious organizations, organizations of disabled persons, folk craft organizations, small aboriginal peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East, the Russian and sectoral Academies of Sciences.

The article sets forth the procedure governing the calculation of the tax and land tax related advance payments, as well as the procedure of submission of the tax declaration (the deadline for the submission of tax declaration is set on February 1 of the year next to that following the expiration of the tax period).

The representative authorities of municipal entities and legislative authorities of Moscow and St.

Petersburg should set the tax rates within the limits indicated above, the procedures and terms of the payment of the tax and should have the right to set additional tax privileges, the grounds and procedures of such privileges, including the determination of the amount excepted from the tax as concerns certain categories of taxpayers.

Article 31 also sets forth certain concrete powers of local governments, in particular, they should have the right to set differentiated rates of the land tax depending on the category of land or permitted use of the plot of land, not set the reporting period, grant certain categories of taxpayers the right not to calculate and make advance tax payments.

RF law No. 1738-1 of October 11, 1991, On the land related payments, which alongside with the land tax also regulated certain other land related payments (lease and normative price of land) should be abolished since January 1, 2006, with the exception of article 25, which set forth the definition of the normative price of land and granting the RF Government the right to set the procedures governing the determination of the normative price of land; article 25 should remain in force indefinitely. Certain provisions of the RF law On the land related payments and other legislative acts envisaging the possibility to regulate the land tax by the acts issued by the authorities of RF subjects, as well as those setting the rates of transfer of the land tax to the budgets of the subjects of the Russian Federation and the federal budget should be abolished since January 1 of 2005.

The new article of the RF Tax Code also sets forth that the RF law On land related payments with the exception of the provisions of article 25 should not be applied in the territories of the respective municipal entities (and the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg) in the course of approval by the representative authorities of municipal entities (legislative authorities of Moscow and St. Petersburg) of regulatory acts on the introduction of the land tax in accordance with article 31 Land Tax of the second section of the RF Tax Code since January 1, 2005.

The law also sets forth that the rates of the land tax being in force in 2004 with the exception of the land tax pertaining to the farm lands should be applied with the coefficient of 1.1.

II. RESOLUTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT of the Russian Federation 1. ON AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS OF THE FEDERAL FUND OF MANDATORY MEDICAL INSURANCE No. 795 of December 16, Enters into force on January 1, 2005.

An additional entry was supplemented to the list of the functions of the Federal Fund of Mandatory Medical Insurance. Since January 1, 2005, the FFMMI should spend its financial reserves also for carrying out of social support to certain categories of citizens as concerns the provision of medicines.

2. ON APPROVAL OF THE LIST OF DISEASES OF DISABLED PERSONS GRANTING THEM THE RIGHT FOR ADDITIONAL LIVING SPACE No. 817 of December 21, Enters into force on January 1, 2005.

In accordance with Article 17 of federal law No. 181 FZ of November 24, 1995, On social protection of disabled persons in the RF, the resolution approves the list of diseases of disabled persons granting them the right for additional living space. The list includes active forms of tuberculosis of all organs and systems, psychiatric diseases requiring the compulsory monitoring in clinics, HIV infections of children).

The RF Government resolution No. 214 of February 28, 1996, which approved the previous list, should be abolished.

3. ON THE APPROVAL OF THE QUOTAS FOR INVITATIONS TO FOREIGN CITIZENS ENTERING THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION WITH LABOR PURPOSES FOR YEAR 2005 No.

714 of December 1, In accordance with the Federal law On the legal status of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation, the resolution approves the quotas for invitations to foreign citizens entering the Russian Federation with labor purposes amounting to 214000 invitations.

III. INSTRUCTIONS, REGULATIONS, AND ORDERS 1. Directive of the RF Central Bank ON AMENDMENTS TO INSTRUCTION OF THE BANK OF RUSSIA NO. 111-I OF MARCH 30, 2004, ON MANDATORY SALE OF A PORTION OF FOREX DENOMINATED PROCEEDS ON THE DOMESTIC MARKET OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION No. 1520-U of November 26, Registered by the RF Finance Ministry on December 8, 2004, registration No. 6176.

Enters into force after 10 days after the promulgation in the Vestnik Banka Rossii. The portion of forex denominated proceeds subject to mandatory sales on the part of residents was diminished from 25 per cent to 10 per cent.

2. KEY GUIDELINES OF THE COMMON STATE MONETARY POLICY FOR YEAR 2005 approved by the RF Central Bank The key guidelines of the common state monetary policy for year 2005 were prepared in accordance with article 45 of the federal law On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) and include the following major sections:

Targets and principles of monetary policy;

Specifics of the development of the Russias economy and monetary sphere in 2004;

A scenario of macroeconomic development in 2005;

Purposes and instruments of monetary policy in 2005;

The measures the Bank of Russia is planning for year 2005 with the purpose to improve the banking system of the RF, bank control, financial markets, and the payment system.

3. Informational letter of the RF Tax Ministry No. 21-2-05/178@ of December 20, 2004 ON CALCULATION OF THE MINERAL EXTRACTION TAX RATE IN NOVEMBER OF 2004 The letter informs about the data used for the calculation of the mineral extraction tax with respect to oil in November of 2004:

- the average level of Urals oil prices on the Mediterranean and Rotterdam markets (US $ 37.08 per barrel);

- value of the Kts coefficient (3,2986);

- tax rate adjusted for the Kts coefficient (Rub. 1144,6142 per metric ton).

I. Tolmacheva

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