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as shown by the results of the analysis of budgets in the first half year 2006, the share of expenditures on the upkeep of the bodies of local self government at the level of settlements amounts to more than 30%, while at the level of raions it is lower more than four fold, and amounts to 7%; in some settlements, where the situation was analyzed during regional studies, to more than 80%;

the estimated numbers of residents of a settlement per one staff member of a local administration demonstrate a rather distinct inverse dependence on the number of residents in a settlement; in other words, the less residents there are in a settlement, the higher is the relative number of staff in the local administra tion;

Section Monetary and budgetary spheres in some settlements, which existed prior to the onset of municipal reform, re sulting from the reformed division of powers and the implementation of other provisions of Law No. 131 FZ, the share of administrative costs has become much higher; thus, for example, in Khomutinskii rural settlement in Cheliabinsk Oblast it has more than doubled.

Thirdly, the growth potential of administrative costs, associated with the im plementation of municipal reform, have not yet been exhausted in either those re gions where the evolutional approach to municipal reform has been chosen, or in those where its full scale implementation has been declared. The increased admin istrative costs will be determined by several factors:

the inevitable growth in the number of the administrative staff of settlements in many regions, and, accordingly, the associated growing costs of their upkeep (at present, the growth in the number of administrative staff is being restricted by administrative measures, thus preventing them from any real decision making in respect to issues of local importance);

the necessity to provide the local administrations with additional technical re sources: computers, office equipment, service motor transport;

the acute need for better qualification of the personnel.

Thus, any full scale reform of local self government will entail additional budget expenditures, and, as estimated, the costs will be comparable to those as sociated with the insufficient scale of administrative activity at the level of a settle ment. Thus, the issue of the need to optimize such costs through a rational division of issues of local importance between municipal raions and settlements, as well as the organization of adequate cooperation between municipalities, will become of utmost importance. At the same time, it has become obvious that this growth in administrative costs is largely inevitable in view of the specific model of municipal reform that has been selected, and the attempts to restrict it by administrative measures, which are being made by regions, may result only in disorganization of the smooth operation of the bodies of local self government of settlements.

RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks Annex 1. An Overview of Legislation in the Field of Tax Regulation and Civil Legislation Adopted in The year 2006 proved to be no exception for lawmakers in the sphere of tax legislations reforming. A whole package of laws was adopted, which introduced some significant changes to the RF Tax Code (TC) and touched upon not only the general norms stipulated in Part I, but also upon nearly all the existing taxes the value added tax (VAT), the profits tax, the single social tax (SST), excises, the tax on the extraction of mineral resources (TEMR), the single agricultural tax, as well as levies for the right of use of objects of fauna and for the right of use of objects of aquatic biological resources.

Below we are going to discuss the most important changes that occurred in the tax sphere, and also in the spheres of civil and labor legislation.

The main changes introduced in Part I of the RF Tax Code The main changes concerning the improvement of tax administration are in troduced by Federal Law of 27 July 2006, No 137 FZ, On making changes to Part One and Part Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation and in some legislative acts of the Russian Federation in connection with the implementation of measures designed to improve tax administration, to come into force from 1 January (with the exception of a number of norms). The changes introduced in Part I of the RF TC are aimed at improving tax control, putting in order the procedures for tax audits and circulation of documentation in the tax sphere, providing better condi tions for the independent and honest execution, by taxpayers, of their responsibili ties in respect to lawful payment of the established taxes and levies, and expansion of guarantees for the observance of the rights and lawful interests of taxpayers.

In accordance with this Law, the majority of provisions stipulated in Part I of the RF TC are to be amended: the procedure for the payment of taxes is changed;

the procedure for the recovery of taxes, fines and penalties is changed; changes are made to the procedure for the request for documentation; considerable altera tions are made to the procedure for the conduct of in house tax audits; the proce dure for the conduct of on site tax audits, including repeated on site tax audits, is changed; the rule of mandatory pre judicial appeal against decisions to a superior tax agency is established; tax agencies are granted powers to impose a ban on the alienation of property by a taxpayer; taxpayers are granted the right, in the pres ence of a bank guarantee, to suspend the actions relating to the recovery of a tax, a penalty or a fine; and a number of other amendments are also introduced.

A new wording is adopted for Article 6.1, which regulates the procedure for determining the timelines established by legislation on taxes and levies. State bod ies of executive authority and the executive bodies of local self government, or other agencies, officials and organizations, empowered by them and receiving from taxpayers (or payers of levies) monies in the established procedure for the payment of taxes (or levies) and their transfer (remittance) to budgets, as well as The overview has been prepared with the aid of the legal system KonsultantPlus.

Annexs the agencies of state off budget funds, are excluded from the list of participants of tax legal relations.

By the changes introduced in Item 2 of Article 11, the notions of personal ac count, account of the Federal Treasury, and accounting policy for purposes of taxation are determined. It is established that the rules envisaged in Part I of the RF Tax Code for banks are to be extended to the RF Central Bank.

The Law has broadened the rights of taxpayers: by the changes introduced in Article 21, the right of taxpayers to participate in the process of considering the materials of a tax audit or other acts issued by tax agencies in instances envisaged by the Code is established.

A new wording is introduced for Article 23 Duties of taxpayers (or payers of levies). It is determined that individual entrepreneurs, notaries with a private prac tice, and advocates who have established advocates offices are obliged at the place of their residence to submit, at the request of a tax agency, the ledger for re cording incomes and expenditures and economic operations, as well as accounting reports. Notaries and advocates are also obliged to notify, in writing, the tax agency located at the place of their residence of the opening (or closing) of accounts in tended for the execution of their professional activity by them.

The instances when tax agencies may bring suits to courts of general jurisdic tion or arbitrage courts are defined mote precisely. Tax agencies have lost the right to create tax posts. Tax agencies are now obliged to be guided by written explana tions of the RF Ministry of Finance concerning the issues of applying RF legislation on taxes and levies. It is established that the RF Ministry of Finance, financial agen cies of RF subjects and municipal formations issue written explanations within the limits of their competence within two months from the day of submitting an appro priate request. This period can be extended by decision of the head of an appropri ate financial agency, but no longer than by one month.

By the changes introduced into Article 45 Performance of the duty with re gard to the payment of a tax or a levy it is established that the taxes due as a re demption of arrears accumulated for a period of more than three months by or ganizations which are dependent (affiliated) societies (enterprises), as well as by organization for which a personal account has been opened, must be recovered in a judicial proceeding. The instances are determined when the duty of paying a tax is not recognized as having been fulfilled, in particular in an event of a recall by a taxpayer or a return by a bank (or an agency of the RF Treasury) of a non executed order, or insufficiency of funds on an account, or an incorrect entry of the number of the RF Treasurys account and the name of a recipient bank in the payment documents.

A new wording is adopted for the norms establishing the procedure for recov ering a tax or a levy, or penalties and fines, from the monies kept at the accounts of a taxpayer (or a payer of levies) an organization, an individual entrepreneur or a tax agent an organization or an individual entrepreneur at banks, as well as the norms establishing the procedure for recovering a tax, a levy, or penalties and fines at the expense of the property of a taxpayer (or a payer of levies) a physical per RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks son who is not an individual entrepreneur. Thus, earlier it was established that a pe tition to sue for the recovery of a tax at the expense of a taxpayers property a physical person who is not an individual entrepreneur, may be submitted to a court of general jurisdiction by a tax agency (or a customs agency) within six months af ter the expiry of the period for the execution of a demand for the payment of a tax.

In the new wording it is stated that the period for submitting a petition, if lapsed for a justifiable reason, may be reinstated by a court of justice.

Certain changes have been introduced in the procedure for granting a defer ral (or an installment system) with regard to the payment of taxes and levies (Chap ter 9 of the RF TC). In particular, the condition concerning the limits for their grant ing within the limits established by the laws of the RF, the laws of the RF subjects on the corresponding budgets and the legal acts of the representative bodies of mu nicipal formations is excluded. The maximum period for granting a deferral (or in stallment payment) is extended from six months to one year. In this connection, a deferral or installment payment of federal taxes in the part transferable to the fed eral budget for a period of more than one year but no more than three years may be granted by decision of the RF Government. The institution of tax credit is abolished.

Now only the methods for changing the timeline for the payment of a tax will be a deferral, an installment plan or an investment tax credit, which is quite logical, be cause tax credit represents a certain replica of a tax deferral. Besides, the period is shortened during which a related person must submit a copy of an application for the granting of a deferral or an installment plan for the payment of a tax to the tax agency at the place of registration, now it is five days.

A new wording is introduced for the norms concerning the timelines for send ing a demand for the payment of a tax or a levy; the consequences of a change of the duty with regard to the payment of a tax or a levy; the suspension of bank ac count operations of organizations and individual entrepreneurs; carry forward or refund of excessive amounts of a tax, a levy, a penalty or a fine; tax declarations and changes thereof; and the provisions on tax control.

The norms concerning the registration of organizations and physical persons are changed. Thus, when operations are carried out in the Russian Federation through a solitary subdivision, the application concerning the registration of an or ganization at the location of its solitary subdivision is to be submitted within one month after the creation of the separate subdivision.

A physical person whose place of residence for purposes of taxation is deter mined by location has the right to apply to the tax agency at his or her location for a registration with tax agencies. In accordance with the changes introduced to Article 84 of Part I of the RF TC, a tax agency is obliged to register a physical person on the basis of an application within five days from the receipt of the said application by the tax agency, and within the same period to issue to him or her a certificate of registration at a tax agency.

The range of responsibilities of the Chambers of Advocates of subjects of the Russian Federation, of the agencies (or institutions) empowered to conclude notar ial actions, of private notaries, of the bodies and organizations effectuating the ac Annexs creditation of affiliations and representative offices of foreign juridical persons, as well as of banks, to submit to a tax agency the information needed for the execution of tax control.

The norms establishing the timelines and the procedure for conducting tax audits are changed, which will be discussed later.

The changes in the procedure for appealing against the decisions of tax agencies are associated with the establishment of the rule of mandatory pre judicial appeals against such decisions to a superior tax agency. From the year 2008 onward an organization will not be able to file a petition to a court of justice before undergoing the stage of a pre judicial appeal against a tax inspectorates decision to a superior agency.

The RF Tax Code is augmented by Article 101.2 Procedure for appealing against the decision of a tax agency concerning the bringing to responsibility for the commission of a tax violation or the decision concerning a refusal to bring to responsibility for the commission of a tax violation. Such decisions of a tax agency may be appealed against first to a superior tax agency, and only after that to be petitioned to a court. In this connection, an appellation procedure is introduced for appealing to a superior tax agency against a decision of a tax agency that has not entered into force.

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