Photo: Anton vergun / TASS
Russian operators have notified their customers that the data on their debt transferred to the tax, and now consumers will have to pay them income tax. Such debtors can apply now and traditional limitations for the tax defaulters, including denial of travel abroad
“PJSC “Rostelecom” informs that from March 1, 2016 in connection with the change of the Federal legislation “received, but not paid for telecommunication services after the period of limitation (three years) recognised by the receipt of economic benefits by the user” and the operator is obliged to provide information about unpaid communications services to the tax authorities, said in the statement. In accordance with article 41 of the Tax code, with the resulting economic benefits to individuals required to pay income tax (at a rate of 13%), warns customers Rostelecom.
A similar message was previously received by the customers of “VimpelCom” (provides Telecom services under the brand “Beeline”), according to the website operator. “According to the tax legislation, the write-off of bad debt (debts for received works, services and goods delivered) a natural person is his income subject to personal income tax, confirmed RBC in the press service of “MegaFon”. — Now we will arrange the process of informing individuals about debt cancellation”.
As explained RBC representative of “Rostelecom” Valery Kostarev, until March 1, the company sent to the IRS information about written-off during the past year the debts for communication services, recognized hopeless. To such debts “Rostelecom” consider those that have not been paid within the last three years. According to the Tax code forgiveness of debt is equivalent to obtaining a material gain, which is subject to taxation. “In accordance with changes in legislation in 2016, “Rostelecom” as the tax agent obliged to inform the tax office about the fact of cancellation of such debt, says Kostarev. Thus, the subscribers are indebted to the company in 2013 and not repaid the debt since then, are now required to pay income tax”.
How to know the size of its debt
Effective from 1 January 2016 amendments to the Tax code for the first time recorded the rate at which the debtor has the income arises and the obligation to pay taxes from it since writing off its outstanding bad debts from the balance of the organization-creditor. Recovery of 13% will apply to all businesses that write off bad debts, including banks and utilities companies, said RBC head of the group of companies “Tax shield” Vladislav Bryzgalin. “Write-off debt payment for all, who is associated “with forgiveness of debt at the expiration of the Statute of limitations” is the norm, universal, General”, — said the interlocutor of RBC.
Kostarev does not name the exact number of subscribers, indebted to the company in 2013 and not repaid the debt, as that is what was her total amount. “We are talking about thousands of subscribers. As a rule, the amount owed is small, up to 1 thousand rubles., because operators generally fail to provide services when the subscribers do not pay. We understand that for many people this can be a problem, so I informed subscribers,” said Kostarev. In 2016, written-off accounts receivable of JSC “Rostelecom” amounted to 1.2 billion roubles, is spoken in the company report under IFRS. This figure includes debts not only individuals but also legal entities and payments made as a result of fraud. According to the report of MegaFon, accounts receivable of the operator (including the debts of both individuals and legal entities for telecommunication services, trade accounts receivable and calculations with suppliers) to the end of 2016 amounted to 2,778 billion. VimpelCom has not yet published the annual results under IFRS.
As written off bad debts
In the process of writing off debts “Rostelecom” refers to the provision of subparagraph 5 of paragraph 1 of article 223 of the Tax code of Russia, in which the date of actual receipt of income are the cancellation in the prescribed manner of bad debt from the balance of the organization. Bad debts (debts, unreal to recovery) are debts on which has expired the prescribed period of limitation, and which in accordance with the civil legislation the obligation is stopped from-for impossibility of its execution (by an act of public authority or liquidation of the organization). Recognized as bad debts that cannot be collected which confirmed the decision of the judicial police officer-executor about the termination of the enforcement proceedings.
As explained by the head of tax resolution practice of AKG “MEF-Audit” Alexander Ovesnov the need for individuals to pay income tax if the debt was written off at the expiration of the Statute of limitations is not an innovation. However, before the company could report these debts to the tax office, he suggested. According to him, the tax usually writes the letter at the place of residence, which informs about economic gains and the need to pay the amount of the tax. In case of late payment of tax penalty is charged. To recover tax payments on can apply to the service of the Executive officers. If the amount of the debt exceeds 10 thousand rubles, bailiffs can take the decision to limit departure of the debtor abroad. “To happen to a user of mobile communication it bad debt for the operator should be about 80 thousand rubles, for the communication service of a rarity, — said Ovesnov. — However, when the amount of the tax will make sense to spend the effort to recover”. He believes that with a small amount of debt, tax is unlikely to try to recover, for example, if the cost of sending notices would exceed the amount of the debt.
According to the head of tax practice of BMS Law Firm David Kapianidze, the practice of transferring debts will face a number of obstacles because of the economic benefits of the debtor is necessary to prove. “The fact that the mobile operator recorded a current account to a number, and the passport he was on such and such a person, is not direct evidence, — said the interlocutor of RBC. — We have one-day firms also recorded on passports of people who do not know about. In addition, administration of this tax can be expensive. After operators reported in the tax on debtors, tax authorities and everyone needs to be preadministrative, set a specific individuals (match name)”. According to his version, this mechanism in the future may spread to the banking sector, in the sphere of Parking.