The accounting period in Russia is the calendar year. Different periods are not permitted. The taxable base is calculated on an accrual basis (only small-scale taxpayers are allowed to use a cash basis).
Taxable income is to be calculated following the rules and principles established in the RTC. Taxpayers must maintain tax accounting registers. Statutory accounts may be used for computing tax items for which accounting methods are the same. In practice, most taxpayers use statutory accounts as a basis and apply adjustments so as to arrive at their taxable income.
Inventory can be valued using one of the following methods: first in first out (FIFO), average cost, and individual unit cost.
Capital gains are subject to the same 20% CIT rate and are added to ordinary income in order to arrive at the taxable income.
There are two tax baskets for taxpayers performing operations with securities and derivatives: (i) general and (ii) results from operations with non-listed securities and non-listed derivatives. A loss on the second basket cannot be offset with profits on the first basket (however, the opposite offset is possible). It is worth noting that prices charged in transactions with securities and derivatives should be compared with the market price only if a transaction is controlled under transfer pricing rules.
Gains from the sale of fixed assets and other property are equal to the difference between the sale price and their net book value for tax purposes. Losses resulting from the sale of fixed assets should be deducted in equal monthly instalments during the period, defined as the difference between their normative useful life and the actual time of use.
A significant exemption is available for capital gains from the sale or other disposal (including redemption) of shares in Russian entities (interests in Russian entities’ charter capital). One of the following conditions must be met in order to apply the 0% tax rate:
- The shares have been non-listed securities over the entire period of the taxpayer’s ownership.
- The shares are listed securities, and the company issuing shares has been active in the high-tech/innovation sector of the economy over the entire period of the taxpayer’s ownership.
- As of the date of acquisition by the taxpayer, the shares qualified as non-listed securities and, as of the date of their sale by this taxpayer or of another disposal (including redemption) by this taxpayer, they are listed securities in the high-tech/innovative sector of the economy.
- Real estate in Russia accounts for less than 50% (directly or indirectly) of the total assets of the company issuing shares.
The benefit is available provided that shares have been continuously held by a taxpayer for more than five years for bullets 1 and 4 and more than one year for bullets 2 and 3.
Dividends earned by Russian legal entities from Russian legal entities or FLEs are taxed in Russia at a 13% flat rate.
Participation exemption rules are applicable to the following situation:
- the owner (recipient of dividends) owns at least 50% of the capital of the payer of dividends or owns depository receipts entitling it to receive at least 50% of the total amount of dividends paid out, and
- the shares or depository receipts have been owned for at least 365 calendar days on the date the dividends are declared.
Dividends from companies domiciled in law tax offshore zones are not eligible for this tax exemption. The Ministry of Finance maintains a list of offshore zones.
Tax on dividends from abroad withheld in the source country may be credited against Russian tax.
The standard 15% tax rate is applicable to dividends paid by Russian legal entities to FLEs. The tax should be withheld by the Russian legal entity paying dividends. The tax may be reduced based on a relevant DTT, usually to 10% or 5% (see the Withholding taxes section for more details).
Interest income is taxed on an accrual basis. A standard tax rate of 20% is applied to interest income, except for interest on government and municipal securities, which are taxed at 0%, 9%, or 15%, depending on the type of security.
The WHT rate on interest income paid abroad equals 20% and may be reduced (typically to zero) under relevant DTT.
The level of interest income recognised for tax purposes may be subject to control (see Interest expense in the Deductions section for more details).
There is no separate tax on royalty income. A standard CIT rate of 20% applies.
Exchange gains and losses
Foreign exchange gains and losses are recognised for tax purposes on an accrual basis only.
Russian legal entities pay tax on their worldwide income. Credit relief is available for foreign taxes paid up to the amount of the Russian tax liability that would have been due on the same amount under Russian rules.
Current tax legislation does not contain provisions that allow tax deferral with respect to foreign income.