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The new version of article 227 of the RF Budget Code stipulates that cash payments of budgetary expenditures should be carried out as the debiting of funds from the single budget account in the amount of the confirmed cash liability in favor of the respective indi viduals and legal entities. Therefore, cash payments presupposes that a number of func tions should be carried out in advance, including the function of confirmation of the cash liability, i.e. the verification that the payment documents presented by the budget recipi ents correspond to the approved estimates of revenues and liabilities and the limits of budget liabilities. At the same time, the law does not directly determine the agency respon sible for the confirmation of cash liabilities as concerns the expenditures of regional and local budgets. In the case the confirmation of cash liabilities is transferred to the jurisdic tion of the Federal Treasury, the subjects of the Russian Federation and municipal entities will lose the real control over the execution of their budgets, since exactly the Federal Treasury will decide what expenditures answer the law on the budget, budget estimates, and the limits of budgetary liabilities.

In the case it is planned that the confirmation of cash liabilities should remain with the financial agencies of RF subjects and municipal entities, the Federal Treasury will have to effect payments approved by the regional (local) financial agency. In this case, the Federal Treasury will fully duplicate the functions performed by the Bank of Russia, which does not have administrative powers with respect to budgetary funds and effecting payments exclu sively on clients instructions. In this case, the cash servicing of the execution of regional and local budgets by the Federal Treasury is reduced to execution of payment operations through two banks in stead of one.

The only effect of this measure will be the prolongation of the time of payments by minimum one working day (on the condition that the staff performs its functions with maximum efficiency, the system of flow of documents is ideal, and technical capacities are adequate), since there is introduced yet another stage of processing of payments. Longer time taken to effect payments will further negatively affect the final recipient of the pay ment and the payment discipline in the country. As a result, due to the additional process ing of payment documents by the Federal Treasury at the end of the financial year there may be observed accumulation of large balances of budgetary funds.

Federal law No. 95 FZ On the amendments to Sections 1 and of the Budget Code of the Russian Federation and invalidation of certain legislative acts (provisions of legislative acts) of the Russian Federation on taxes and fees The major group of amendments introduced by federal law No. 95 FZ of July 29, 2004, On the amendments to Sections 1 and 2 of the Budget Code of the Russian Federa tion and invalidation of certain legislative acts (provisions of legislative acts) of the Russian Federation on taxes and fees concerns the new structure of assignment of own tax reve nues to each level of authorities. As it has been noted above, these amendments related to the changes introduced by law No. 120 FZ to the RF Budget Code and in fact reproduce the structure of assignment of tax revenues to different budgets in the framework of tax legislation.

The new version of article 12 of the RF Tax Code stipulates that federal taxes should be defined as all taxes and fees stipulated in the RF Tax Code and mandatory payable RUSSIAN ECONOMY in trends and outlooks anywhere in the territory of the Russian Federation. Regional taxes should be defined as the taxes stipulated in the RF Tax Code and respectively by the laws of RF subjects con cerning taxes and are mandatory payable in the territories of respective RF subjects. Ac cordingly, local taxes are defined as the taxes stipulated in the RF Tax Code and normative legal acts of representative bodies of municipal entities and mandatory payable in the terri tories of respective municipal entities. Special tax regimes may envisage special proce dures of determination of taxation elements, as well as waivers of the obligation to pay cer tain taxes and fees stipulated in the RF Tax Code.

As compared with article 12 of the previous version of the RF Tax Code, the new ver sion of the article more clearly defines the powers vested with the regional and local au thorities with respect to the introduction of taxes and fees. First, the article establishes that federal, regional, and local taxes and fees should be abolished or introduced only by the RF Tax Code (items 5 and 6 of article 12). Second, regional and local authorities were de prived of the right to determine the forms of reporting with respect to regional and respec tively local taxes. All elements of taxation with the exception of tax rates (within the limits set forth by the Code), the procedures and terms of payment of taxes, as well as the grounds and procedures of application of tax privileges (as concerns respectively regional and local taxes) (item 3, article 56) should be directly determined in the RF Tax Code.

The RF law No. 2118 1 of December 27, 1991, On the principles of the tax system of the Russian Federation was invalidated on January 1, 2005 (i.e. on the date of enactment of the bulk of amendments made to the RF Tax Code by law No. 95 FZ), while the exhaus tive list of taxes was fixed in the new version of articles 1215 of the RF Tax Code. In com parison with the list of taxes and fees stipulated by articles 1921 of law No. 2118 1, the new version of articles 1215 of the RF Tax Code abolished a number of taxes and fees.

The Code introduced 15 taxes and fees at all three tiers of authorities. In particular, in ac cordance with the new version of article 13 of the RF Tax Code, the federal taxes and fees include:

value added tax;

excises;

income tax on individuals;

single social tax;

profit tax on organizations;

mineral extraction tax;

gift or inheritance tax;

water tax;

fees for the use of fauna resources and for the use of water biological resources;

stamp tax.

According to article 14 of the RF Tax Code, regional taxes and fees include:

tax on property of organizations;

tax on gambling;

transport tax.

Local taxes (article 15 of the RF Tax Code) include:

land tax;

property tax on individuals.

Therefore, there were abolished two taxes on operations with securities (a federal tax) and on advertisement (a local tax), as well as the fee for the use of terms Russia or Russian Federation and the charge for licenses permitting to produce alcohol products.

At the same time, representative bodies of municipal districts or town okrugs (as well as Section 2.

Monetary and budgetary spheres legislative bodies of the federal cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg) have the right to in clude such a type of activities as outdoor advertising in the composition of the types of ac tivities subject to the tax on imputed income.

The new version of article 18 of the RF Tax Code introduces such special tax regimes as:

system of taxation of agricultural producers (single agricultural tax);

simplified taxation system;

system of taxation in the form of the single tax on imputed income for certain types of activities;

system of taxation applied in the course of implementation of production sharing agreements.

The following group of amendments introduced to the RF Tax Code by law No. 95 FZ is of the legal and technical nature and was made in connection to the administrative re form underway in the Russian Federation. Decree of the RF President No. 314 of March 9, 2004, transformed the RF Tax Ministry in the Federal Tax Service. The functions of the RF Tax Ministry concerning the approval of normative legal acts in the respective sphere, in terpretation of the legislation of the Russian Federation on taxes and fees were transferred to the RF Finance Ministry. At the same time, the newly created within the RF Finance Min istry Federal Tax Service is the federal executive body empowered to control and supervise the sphere of taxes and fees.

The following group of amendments introduced to the RF Tax Code by law No. 95 FZ concerns a more precise definition of the procedures governing the granting of deferrals and installment plans with respect to the payment of taxes and investment tax credits.

First, in accordance with the changes introduced in article 66 of the RF Tax Code, the stipulation envisaging that financial agencies of RF subjects should take decisions with re spect to the extension of investment tax credits as concerns the tax on the profits (pro ceeds) of organizations due to the budget of the RF subject were excluded from the RF Tax Code.

According to article 63 of the RF Tax Code, there are the following agencies vested with the powers to take decisions concerning changes in the terms of payment of taxes and fees: the Federal Tax Service as concerns federal taxes and fees; territorial tax inspec tions acting on approval of regional (local) financial agencies as concerns regional and local taxes and fees. At the same time, in accordance with item 6 of article 64 of the RF Tax Code (as not amended by law No. 95 FZ) decisions concerning the granting of deferrals and installment plans with respect to the payment of taxes should be taken by an author ized agency within one month since the receipt of the application of the interested per son. Thus, this stipulation did not take into account the necessity to coordinate the deci sion with the regional (local) financial agencies (in the case it concerns the deferrals or installment plans for taxes due to different budgets). Law 95 FZ has corrected this flaw.

It is important to note the amendment made to article 60 of the RF Tax Code. This ar ticle sets forth the obligations of banks with respect to the execution of orders for transfer of taxes and fees and decisions concerning collection of taxes and fees. In accordance with this article, banks should execute the orders given by clients of tax agents as con cerns the transfer of tax payments to the respective budgets (extra budgetary funds), as well as decisions taken by tax agencies with respect to collection of taxes at the expense of the funds of the taxpayer or the tax agent in the order of priority set forth by the civil law.

Banks should execute orders for transfers of tax payments or execution of decisions about collection of taxes within one business day following the day of receipt of such order or de cision if the RF Tax Code does not stipulate otherwise.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY in trends and outlooks The amendment stipulates that the branches of the banks without own correspond ing accounts should have additional time (5 business days) for transfer of payment docu ments received from citizens. The date of submission of the payment order to the bank by the taxpayer has been retained as the actual date of payment of the tax. At the same time, it should be taken into account that the taxes paid by taxpayers on the last day before the deadline will be received by the respective budget not earlier than in one week.

The last group of amendments introduced to the first section of the RF Tax Code is as follows: the term taxes was inserted in the articles previously referring to customs duties and payments. Therefore, it has been set forth that the customs should turn to the RF Tax Code as concerns all tax related issues.

The substantive changes in the second section of the RF Tax Code introduced by law No. 95 FZ primarily concern the tax on imputed income. There should be noted three key changes concerning this tax.

First, since January 1, 2006, the single tax on imputed income will be regulated not by regional authorities, but by the municipal level of government (also in the cities of Mos cow and St. Petersburg). In accordance with item 3 of the new version of article 346.26 of the RF tax Code, the normative legal acts issued by representative bodies of municipal dis tricts (town okrugs) and the laws adopted by the federal cities of Moscow and St. Peters burg should determine the following:

the procedure of introduction of the single tax on imputed income in the territory of re spective municipal district, town okrug, federal cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg;

the types of entrepreneurial activities subject to the single tax as listed by the RF Tax Code;

values of K2 coefficient (the adjustment coefficient of base profitability, which takes into account the specifics of businesses, including the assortment of goods (works, services), seasonal factor, duration of operation, amount of proceeds, specifics of the location of the business, dimensions of the information field of light and electronic dis plays, dimensions of the information field of printed outdoor advertisements, and other specifics).

Second, since January 1, 2005, the table of base profitability presented by article 346.29 of the RF Tax Code has been changed practically all indicators were increased twofold.

Third, as it has been noted above, since January 1, 2005, outdoor advertising should be included in the composition of the types of activities subject to the tax on imputed in come (item 2 of article 346.26 of the RF Tax Code). The respective physical indicators are set forth in article 346.29: dimensions of the information field of outdoor printed adver tisements and dimensions of the information field of light and electronic outdoor displays.

Both indicators are rated in square meters. The respective base profitability is set at Rub.

3000 and Rub. 4000 respectively.

The last group of amendments introduced to the second section of the RF Tax Code by law No. 95 FZ concerns the changes in the rates of the tax on the profit of organizations due to the budgets of RF subjects. In accordance with the new version of article 284 of the RF Tax Code, the amount of the tax calculated at the 6.5 per cent rate is due to the federal budget (previously the respective rate was set at 5 per cent), while the amount of the tax calculated at the 17.5 per cent rate is due to the budgets of RF subjects (previously the re spective rate was set at 17 per cent). Prior to the changes introduced by law No. 95 FZ, per cent of the tax on profit has been transferred to local budgets. The changes discussed Section 2.

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