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Since January 1, 2005, in the course of the computation of the single social tax and insurance contributions for the mandatory pension insurance should apply the rates set forth by article 241 of the Code (for the tax) and tariffs set forth by articles 22 and 33 of the Federal law No. 167 FZ of December 15, 2001, On mandatory pension insurance in the Russian Federation (for insurance contributions).

17. Letter of the Federal Tax Service No. 21-2-05/8 of February 2, 2005, explains the issues pertaining to the determination of the estimated costs of extracted mineral resources for the purposes of computation of the mineral extraction tax. The composition of expenditures included in the estimated costs of extracted mineral resources should be restricted, and only the expenditures directly related to the extraction of mineral resources are eligible for inclusion in costs.

The indirect expenditures related to the extraction of mineral resources should be included in the estimated costs in proportion to the share of direct expenditures for extraction of mineral resources in the total amount of direct expenditures. The expenditures for mining development works in the course of extraction of mineral resources, stripping operations, and reclamation of deposits (material expenditures) and expenditures for repair and maintenance works with respect to electrical equipment, cables, electrical power grids situated immediately in the quarry (expenditures for repairs of fixed assets) are defined as indirect expenditures related to the extraction of mineral resources and should be in full included in the estimated costs.

18. Letter of the Federal Tax Service No. GI-6-22/96 of February 8, 2005, taking into account letters of the RF Finance Ministry No. 03-03-02-02/19 of December 27, 2004, and 03-03-02-02/20 of December 31, 2004, explains the issues pertaining to the application of the simplified system of taxation in the course of payments for the purchased goods (works, services).

19. Letter of the Federal Tax Service No. MM-6-10/94 of February 1, 2005, explains the procedure governing the carrying out of collection orders issued by the tax authorities with respect to transfer of taxes, fees, and other payments in the budget system of the Russian Federation by crediting organizations as concerns the orders made by the collector prior to January 1, 2005 and placed in the database of payment documents not executed at the due time. In accordance with the explanations presented by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation in its letter No. 08-17/474 of February 2, 2005, the execution should be carried out by the crediting organizations in accordance with the stipulations of the Central Bank of Russia regulations No. 2-P of October 3, 2002, On cashless payments in the Russian Federation (as amended on March 3, 2003, document No. 1256 U), i.e. such orders should not be reregistered by crediting organizations. In fact it means that in the reporting period the tax authorities will receive the funds less those pertaining to the presented collection orders.

20. Letter of the Federal Tax Service No. GV-6-05/99 of February 9, 2005, taking into account letter of the RF Finance Ministry No. 03-05-02-03/1 of January 13, 2005, explains the issues pertaining to the taxation of additional leaves granted to the citizens subject to radiation during the liquidation of the consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant incident with the single social tax.

The financing of the expenditures related to the granting of additional leaves should be carried not at the expense of the employer, but the subsidies and grants allocated from the Compensatory Fund in amounts set forth by the law on the federal budget for the respective year.

Therefore, the amounts allocated for the payment for additional leaves granted to the citizens subject to radiation during the liquidation of the consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant incident from the federal budget could not be defined as payments made by the employer in accordance with labor contracts and, therefore, should not be subjected to the single social tax.

21. Letter of the Federal Tax Service No. MM-6-21/97 of February 9, 2005, explains the issues pertaining to the administration of payments for the negative impact on the environment and payments for the utilization of the forestry fund by the tax authorities in 2005.

The letter explains that in accordance with federal laws No. 173 FZ and 174 FZ of December 23, 2004, the said payments previously administered by the tax authorities are transferred to the new administrators, i.e.:

The payment for the negative impact on the environment (budget classification code 498 1 01000 01 0000 120) should be administered by the Federal service for ecological, technological, and nuclear supervision (Rostekhnadzor);

The payments for the utilization of the forestry fund as concerns the minimum rates of payment for not logged lumber (budget classification code 053 1 12 04010 01 0000 120) should be administered by the Federal agency of forestry (Rosleskhoz).

Administrators should monitor the correctness of the calculation, fullness, and promptness of payments, as well as charge and register the payments, exact the payments and take decisions about the return (offset) of the amounts excessively paid (exacted) payments to the budget, as well as respective finds and penalties.

Since January 1, 2005, the respective payers should transfer the said payments directly to the authorities administering the said payments (including the payments due in the past periods and adjusted payments).

As concerns the payments for utilization of water objects budget classification code 052 1 12 01 0000 120) these payments should be administered by the Federal agency for water resources (Rosvodoresursy). This payment is defined by the new RF Water Code as an agreement based payment, therefore it is not related to the tax regulated by federal law No. 71 FZ of May 6, 1998, On the payment for utilization of water objects. 22. Letter of the Federal Tax Service No. 21-5-05/4 of February 9, 2005, presents letter of the RF Finance Ministry No. 03-06-04-02/1 of January 19, 2005 as concerns the issue of defining of floating docks, floating cranes, floating workshops, and other such objects as objects of taxation with the transport tax at the respective rates.

As it follows from article 3 of the Code of the internal water transport of the Russian Federation, any self propelled and not self propelled floating construction used for shipping, including the river sea vessels, ferries, dredges, floating cranes and other technical constructions of this type are defined as vessels. At the same time, the said article of the code defines shipping as an activity using vessels not only for transport of passengers and freight, but also other purposes. The vessel is subject to the mandatory state registration. Accordingly, the definition of floating docks, floating cranes, floating workshops, and other such objects as objects of taxation with the transport tax at the rates introduced for other water and air transport vessels without motors.

23. Letter of the RF Finance Ministry No. 03-04-08/21 of February 10, 2005, explains that prior to the approval of the new forms of tax declarations with respect to VAT and excise taxes there should be submitted the old forms of these declarations. Due to the fact that the agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on the principles of collection of excise taxes in the course of import and export of goods, execution of works and rendering of services of September 15, 2004, and a number of amendments to the RF Tax Code have entered into force, the letter explains the issues pertaining to the reflection of operations relating to the movement of goods between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus in tax documents.

24. Letter of the Federal Tax Service No. 21-2-05/9 of February 10, 2005, presents letter of the Ministry of Natural Resources No. BS-58-42/39 of January 12, 2005 as concerns the issue of application of the mineral extraction tax rates.

In accordance with paragraph 1, item 1 of article 342 of the RF Tax Code and in accordance with the Regulations approved by the RF Government resolution No. 921 of December 29, 2001, the Ministry of Natural Resources annually approves the adjusted rates of loss of mineral resources in the course of extraction thereof as approved by the Federal service for ecological, technological, and nuclear supervision (Rostekhnadzor) for the companies extracting mineral resources.

The letter explains that the rates of loss should be applied not since the date of their official approval, but proceeding from the period they are in force, i.e. from January 1 till December 31 of the current year.

25. Letter of the Federal Tax Service No. KB-6-26/107 of February 10, 2005, presents letter of the RF Finance Ministry No. 03-08-06 / Finland of January 19, 2005, issued for the instruction and the use in the course of operations relating to the monitoring of the correctness of calculation and payment of taxes on the part of Finnish organizations and individuals having businesses in the Russian Federation.

The letter concerns the issues pertaining to the implementation of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Finland on double taxation of May 4, 1996.

26. Letter of the Federal Tax Service No. GV-6-05/118 of February 11, 2005, taking into account letter of the RF Finance Ministry No. 03-05-02-03/6 of February 1, 2005, explains the certain issues pertaining to the application of article 24 of the RF Tax Code with respect to the rates of the single social tax, including those used for the calculation of the amount of the tax due to the federal budget.

A) The mechanism of calculation of the tax due to the federal budget (charging of the tax) defined in paragraph 2 of item 2 of article 243 of the Tax Code remained without change. The gross amount of the tax due to the federal budget should be lessened by the amount of the insurance contributions for the mandatory pension insurance charged over the same period and calculated proceeding from the tariffs of insurance contributions set forth by Federal law No. 167 FZ of December 15, 2001, On Mandatory Pension Insurance in the Russian Federation. The total amount of insurance contributions charged at the maximal rate of 14 per cent (10.3 per cent) may be excluded from the charged amount of the tax due to the federal budget at the maximal rate of 20 per cent (15.8 per cent).

B) The SST related advance payments should be made on the monthly basis in the whole current tax period. The deadline for the advance payment of the mandatory pension insurance contributions is the 15th of each month following the month, when the advance payment was charged.

Calculation and making of both SST related advance payments and insurance contributions should proceed form the actual tax base formed since the beginning of the tax (calculation) period up to the last month at the set rates and tariffs, what permits to see such payments as a part of the tax and insurance contributions due to be paid during the tax (calculation) period and ensuring regular (monthly) inflow of funds.

Therefore, the tax authorities should charge penalties for the amounts of advance payments relating to the single social tax and insurance contributions, not duly paid, since the 16th of each month following the month, for which the advance payment was calculated.

L. Anisimova Review of the economic laws for February In February the following changes had been introduced in the current legislation: as established by the law, since March 1, 2005 the size of the base part of an old-age labor pension became Rb 900 per month. The Government set a procedure of carrying out the state expertise of mineral reserves, geological, economic and ecological information on the subsoil sites for which the right to use is granted;

the Letter of the Ministry of Taxation of the RF On Taxation of Compensatory Payments for Reimbursement of Expenses Concerned with Business Trips recognized by the Supreme Arbitration Court as ceased to be in force.

I. FEDERAL LAWS of the Russian Federation 1. ON INTRODUCING CHANGES TO THE FEDERAL LAW ON LABOR PENSIONS IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION CONCERNED WITH SETTING SIZE OF THE BASE PARTS OF LABOR PENSIONS AND A PROCEDURE OF INDEXATION OF THE BASE AND INSURANCE PARTS OF LABOR PENSIONS IN 2005 of 14.02.2005, No. 3-FZ The law comes into force since March 1, 2005.

The law establishes since March 1, 2005 the size of the base part of an old-age labor pension Rb 900 per month. At the same time, the size of base parts of other types of old-age labor pensions (oldage pension, disablement pension, and survivor's pension) is increased. It is specified that since August 1, 2005 indexation of the base and insurance parts of labor pensions, as well as additional increase of the size of insurance part of labor pension will be carried out proceeding from indexation coefficients (increase) determined by the RF Government.

Also, it has been established that Article 7 of the Federal law of 28.12.2004 No. 184-FZ On the Budget of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation for 2005 (that approved the expenditures of the budget of Pension Fund of the RF for pension coverage for 2005) and points 6 and 7 of Article 17 of the Federal law of 17.12.2001 No. 173-FZ On labor Pensions in the Russian Federation (setting a procedure of indexation of the size of the base and insurance parts of labor pension) will be enforced since March 1 to December 31, 2005 in a part, that does not contradict to this Federal law.

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