Russian Federation

Corporate - Withholding taxes

Under the general provisions of the RTC, income earned by an FLE and not attributed to a PE in Russia is subject to WHT in Russia (to be withheld at source). WHT rates are as follows:

  • 15% on dividends and income from participation in Russian enterprises with foreign investments.
  • 10% on freight income.
  • 20% on certain other income from Russian sources, including royalties and interest.
  • 20% of revenue or 20% of the margin on capital gains (from the sale of immovable property in Russia or non-listed shares in Russian subsidiaries where the immovable property in Russia accounts for more than 50% of assets).

Taxation of margins (rather than gross income received from the types of sales listed above) may be applied only if expenses are properly documented.

Income of foreign organisations (not performing activities in Russia through a PE) from the sale of certain listed securities of Russian entities (and their derivatives) is not regarded as income derived from sources in Russia subject to WHT.

The list of exempt income (not subject to WHT) also includes: (i) interest payments on Russian government securities; (ii) interest payments on tradable bonds, issued in accordance with the laws of foreign countries; and (iii) payments made by Russian companies to finance coupons on Eurobonds issued by special purpose vehicles (SPVs) incorporated outside of Russia.

Tax should be withheld by the tax agent and paid to the Russian budget. WHT rates may be reduced under a relevant DTT, provisions of which may be applied based on confirmation of tax residency, which is to be provided by a foreign company to the Russian tax agent prior to the payment date (no advance permission from the Russian tax authorities is required) and also as long as general conditions are fulfilled (proof of beneficial ownership, etc.).

The Russian tax authorities recognise the terms of treaties concluded by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) until they are renegotiated by the Russian government. Furthermore, the list of effective tax treaties is continuously updated.

Russia has ratified amendments to DTTs with Cyprus and Luxembourg, amendments to DTT with Malta are expected to be ratified. The main points are increasing tax rates for dividends and interest. Maximum rate will be 15 % both for dividends and interest, but there are some exemptions (5 % and 0 % rates will be applied in some cases). Tax rate for royalties will remain at 0 % (5% with Malta). The amendments to the DTT with Cyprus apply from 1 January 2021.  The Amendments to DTT with Malta and Luxembourg will likely apply from 2022 (ratification process has not been completed). Ratification process of protocol with Malta is also not completed; Application of new rates under the DTT with Malta in 2021 has to be clarified by the Ministry of Finance. In addition, Russia has announced about denunciation of DTT with the Netherlands (but in 2021 the DTT would still remain in force). Other DTTs with transit jurisdictions historically used for investments into Russia may also be revised.

Russia has ratified MLI. Russia has chosen 71 DTTs, including DTT with Austria, China, Cyprus, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Singapore and the UK. When assessing the MLI’s applicability, it is necessary to consider whether the other party to the DTT has signed the Convention.

On 30 April 2020, Russia notified OECD that it had completed its national procedures for implementing the Multilateral Convention (MLI) for 27 double tax treaties, on 26 November 2020 Russia notified about completing national procedures with 7 more jurisdictions. So MLI may become effective as early as 1 January 2021 for 27 DTTs applying to all taxes and for 7 DDTs applying only to WHT. MLI will be applied to these 7 DDT to all taxes since 1 January 2022.

Russia expressed the intention to adhere to the strictest possible approach and impose the maximum limitations on providing tax benefits.  However, the final approach depends on what choice the other party to a particular DTT makes.

Simplified Limitation of Benefits was the option selected by Russia, but most other countries selected Principle Purpose Test (PPT), thus, in most cases, Simplified Limitations of Benefits will not apply. Instead PPT will be applied in most cases; a treaty's benefits shall not be granted if obtaining that benefit was one of the principal purposes of any arrangement or transaction that resulted directly or indirectly in that benefit.

Dividends: WHT reduced tax rate is applicable only if the period of holding the shares or interests of the company paying the dividends is equal to or exceeds 365 days (the existing participation criteria will remain in place).

Capital gains from transfer of shares or interests of entities deriving their value principally from real estate: These gains may be taxed at the jurisdiction of the real estate location if at any time during the 365 days preceding the transfer these shares or comparable interests derived more than 50% of their value from such real estate.

Eliminating double taxation: Russia selected tax deduction method, as it is now (the same as set out in most of the DTTs with Russia).

Concept of 'beneficial ownership'

The concept of the actual owner of income (i.e. the 'beneficial owner') was introduced into Russian tax legislation by the so-called 'Deoffshorisation' Law. It determines the ability to apply lower tax rates under a DTT.

There is no clear test on beneficial ownership in the Russian tax legislation to be applied by tax agents, which means that Russian tax agents can not be entirely comfortable applying reduced tax rates on income paid abroad. In making any payments, they need to consider the risk of additional tax and penalties to be paid at their own expense.

According to the law, a tax agent has to request confirmation that a foreign entity is a beneficial owner of income. If the actual beneficial owner is known, the tax agent may apply the 'look through' approach (to use a treaty with the country where this beneficial owner resides). If the beneficial owner is located in Russia or a non-treaty country, the income paid is taxed under the RTC rules (note that a zero tax rate on dividends applies under special criteria).

Treaty rates

The list below indicates the WHT rates mentioned in treaties. Russia has launched revision of the withholding income tax rates on dividends and interest in a number of treaties with the aim to increase them up to 15%.

Recipient WHT (%) Construction site duration before creation of PE (months)
Dividends Interest (1) Royalties
Non-treaty 15 20 20  
Treaty:        
Albania/Russia 10 10 10 12
Algeria/Russia 5 (2)/15 0/15 15 6 months and an aggregated period of more than 3 months in any 12-month period for furnishing services
Argentina/Russia 10 (2)/15 0/15 15 6
Armenia/Russia 5 (2)/10 0/10 0 12
Australia/Russia 5 (3)/15 10 10 12
Austria/Russia 5 (4)/15 0 0 12
Azerbaijan/Russia 10 0/10 10 12
Belarus/Russia 15 0/10 10 No special provisions in the relevant DTT; local tax legislation provisions should apply
Belgium/Russia 10 0/10 0 12
Botswana/Russia 5 (2)/10 0/10 10 6
Brazil/Russia 10 (5)/15 0/15 15 9
Bulgaria/Russia 15 0/15 15 12
Canada/Russia 10 (6)/15 0/10 0 (7)/10 12
Chile/Russia 5 (2)/10 15 5 (8)/10 6
China/Russia 5 (9)/10 0 6 18
Croatia/Russia 5 (10)/10 10 10 12
Cuba/Russia 5 (11)/15 0/10 0 (12)/5 12
Cyprus/Russia 5 (13)/15 0(14)/5(15)/15 0 12
Czech Republic/Russia 10 0 10 12 months and an aggregated period of more than 6 months in any 12-month period for furnishing services
Denmark/Russia 10 0 0 12 months and an aggregated period of more than 365 days in any 18-month period for a drilling rig
Ecuador/Russia 5 (16)/ 10 0/ 10 10 (17)/ 15 10
Egypt/Russia 10 0/15 15 6 months and an aggregated period of more than 6 months in any 12-month period for furnishing services
Finland/Russia 5 (18)/12 0 0 12 months and an 18-month period for particular types of construction work
France/Russia 5 (19)/10 (20)/15 0 0 12
Germany/Russia 5 (21)/15 0 0 12
Greece/Russia 5 (13)/10 7 7 9
Hong Kong/Russia 0 (22)/5 (23)/10 0 3 12
Hungary/Russia 10 0 0 12
Iceland/Russia 5 (24)/15 0 0 12
India/Russia 10 0/10 10 12 (may be extended on agreement with the competent authorities)
Indonesia/Russia 15 0/15 15 3
Iran/Russia 5 (11)/10 0/7.5 5 12
Ireland/Russia 10 0 0 12
Israel/Russia 10 0/10 10 12
Italy/Russia 5 (25)/10 10 0 12
Japan/Russia (24) 5 (27)/10/15 (28) 0/10 (29) 0 12
Kazakhstan/Russia 10 0/10 10 12
North Korea/Russia 10 0 0 12 months and an aggregated period of more than 6 months in any 12-month period for furnishing services
South Korea/Russia 5 (30)/10 0 5 12 (may be extended up to 24 months upon agreement with the competent authorities)
Kuwait/Russia 0 (22)/5 0 10 6 months and an aggregated period of more than 3 months in any 12-month period for furnishing services
Kyrgyzstan/Russia 10 0/10 10 12
Latvia/Russia 5 (31)/10 0/5 (32)/10 5 9 
Lebanon/Russia 10 0/5 5 12
Lithuania/Russia 5 (24)/10 0/10 5 (8)/10 9
Luxembourg/Russia 5 (33)/15 0 0 12
Macedonia/Russia 10 10 10 12
Malaysia/USSR 15 0/15 10 (34)/15 (35) 12 months and more than a 6-month period for installation or assembly projects
Mali/Russia 10 (36)/15 0/15 0 No special provisions in the relevant DTT; local tax legislation provisions should apply
Malta/Russia (53) 5 (13)/15 5 (15)/15 5 12
Mexico/Russia 10 0/10 10 6
Moldova/Russia 10 0 10 12
Mongolia/Russia 10 0/10 rates in accordance with local legislation 24
Montenegro/Russia 5 (24)/15 10 10 18
Morocco/Russia 5 (36)/10 0/10 10 8
Namibia/Russia 5 (37)/10 0/10 5 9 months and more than a 6-month period for furnishing services and installation projects
Netherlands/Russia 5 (38)/15 0 0 12
New Zealand/Russia 15 10 10 12
Norway/Russia 10 0/10 0 12
Philippines/Russia 15 0/15 15 183 days and an aggregate period of more than 183 days in any 12-month period for furnishing services
Poland/Russia 10 0/10 10 12 (may be extended up to 24 months upon agreement with the competent authorities)
Portugal/Russia 10 (39)/15 0/10 10 12
Qatar/Russia 5 0/5 0 6
Romania/Russia 15 0/15 10 12
Saudi Arabia/Russia 0 (22)/5 0/5 10 6 months and an aggregated period of more than 6 months in any 12-month period for furnishing services
Serbia/Russia 5 (24)/15 10 10 18
Singapore/Russia 0 (22)/5 (40)/10 0 5 12
Slovakia/Russia 10 0 10 12
Slovenia/Russia 10 10 10 12
South Africa/Russia 10 (41)/15 0/10 0 12
Spain/Russia 5 (42)/10 (43) /15 0/5 5 12
Sri Lanka/Russia 10 (11)/15 0/10 10 6 months and an aggregated period of more than 183 days in any 12-month period for furnishing services
Sweden/Russia 5 (44)/15 0 0 12
Switzerland/Russia 0 (22)/5 (45)/15 0 0 12
Syria/Russia 15 0/10 4.5 (46) /13.5 (47)/18 (48) 6
Tajikistan/Russia 5 (2)/10 0/10 0 24 (may be extended on agreement with the competent authorities)
Thailand/Russia 15 0/10 15 6 months and an aggregated period of more than 3 months in any 12-month period for furnishing services
Turkey/Russia 10 0/10 10 18
Turkmenistan/Russia 10 5 5 12
Ukraine/Russia 5 (49)/15 0/10 10 12
United Kingdom/Russia 10 0 0 12
United States/Russia 5 (6)/10 0 0 18
Uzbekistan/Russia 10 0/10 0 12
Venezuela/Russia 10 (4)/15 0/5 (50)/10 10 (51)/15 9
Vietnam/Russia 10 (52)/15 10 15 6 months and more than a 12-month period for furnishing services

Information is provided for reference purposes. Please review the relevant DTT for full information.

Notes:

  1. In most cases, a 0% tax rate applies to interest payments to the governments of contracting states and to payments guaranteed by the government.
  2. If the beneficial owner of the dividends directly holds at least 25% of the capital of the company paying the dividends.
  3. If the following conditions are met:
    • Dividends are paid to a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 10% of the capital of the company paying the dividends.
    • The resident of the other contracting state has invested a minimum of 700,000 Australian dollars (AUD), or an equivalent amount in Russian rubles, in the capital of that company.
    • If the dividends are paid by a company that is resident in Russia, the dividends are exempt from Australian tax.
  4. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 10% of the capital of the company paying the dividends and the participation exceeds USD 100,000 or an equivalent amount in any other currency.
  5. If the beneficial owner holds directly at least 20% of the total capital of the company paying the dividends.
  6. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company that owns at least 10% of the voting stock (or in the case of Russia, if there is no voting stock, at least 10% of the statutory capital) of the company paying the dividends.
  7. 0% WHT is applied to the following types of Royalties:
    • Royalties for the production or reproduction of any literary, dramatic, musical, or other artistic work (but not including royalties for motion picture films or works on film or videotape or other means of reproduction for use in connection with television broadcasting).
    • Royalties for the use of, or the right to use, computer software.
    • Royalties paid to an unrelated party for the use of, or the right to use, any patent or any information concerning industrial, commercial, or scientific experience.
  8. For the use of any industrial, commercial, or scientific equipment.
  9. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 25% of the capital of the company paying the dividends and this holding amounts to at least EUR 80,000 or its equivalent in any other currency.
  10. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company that directly holds at least 25% of the capital of the company paying the dividends (this share should be at least USD 100,000 or its equivalent in another currency).
  11. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (excluding partnerships) that directly holds at least 25% of the capital of the company paying the dividends.
  12. Royalties paid for copyrights and other similar remuneration for the production of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work.
  13. For dividends received by a public company whose shares are listed on a registered stock exchange, provided that at least 15% of the shares bearing voting rights in such company are publicly floated and that such company directly owned at least 15% in the dividend-paying company’s equity over a 365-day period; for pension funds and insurance companies, the government and its political units, local authorities and central banks. Only the beneficial owners of the income are eligible for the 5% rate.
  14. On interest paid to banks, insurance companies, pension funds, the government and its political units, local authorities and central banks; for yields on government and corporate bonds, and Eurobonds.
  15. For interest income received by a public company whose shares are listed on a registered stock exchange, provided that at least 15% shares bearing voting rights in such company are in public float and that such company directly owns at least 15% in the interest-paying company’s equity over the period of 365 days.
  16. If the beneficial owner is a company that owns directly at least 25 percent of the voting stock of the company paying the dividends.
  17. Royalties for the use of, or the right to use industrial, commercial or scientific equipment.
  18. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 30% of the capital of the company paying the dividends, and the foreign capital invested exceeds USD 100,000 or its equivalent in the national currencies of the contracting states at the moment when the dividends become due and payable.
  19. If the following conditions are met:
    1. Where the beneficial owner of the dividends has invested in the company paying the dividends, irrespective of the form or the nature of such investments, a total value of at least 500,000 French francs (FF) or the equivalent in another currency; as the value of each investment is appreciated as of the date it is made;
    2. Where that beneficial owner is a company that is liable to tax on profits under the general tax laws of the contracting state of which it is a resident and which is exempt from such tax in respect of such dividends.
  20. If only one of the conditions of 15 (a) or 15 (b) are met.
  21. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company that directly holds at least 10% of the basic or common stock of the company paying the dividends and such capital share amounts to at least EUR 80,000 or the equivalent value in rubles.
  22. The 0% rate applies to income paid to governmental agencies or governmental financial institutions (to pension funds in case of Switzerland as well).
  23. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 15% of the capital of the company paying the dividends.
  24. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 25% of the capital of the company paying the dividends and the foreign capital invested exceeds USD 100,000 or its equivalent in the national currency of the contracting state.
  25. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company that directly holds at least 10% of the capital of the company paying the dividends (this share should be at least USD 100,000 or its equivalent in another currency).
  26. The new treaty replaces old treaty of 1986. It is applicable starting from 2019.
  27. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company which has owned directly at least 15% of the voting power of the company paying the dividends for the period of 365 days ending on the date on which entitlement to the dividends is determined.
  28. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article, dividends derived by a resident of a Contracting State from shares of a company or comparable interests, such as interests in a partnership, trust or investment fund, may be taxed in the other Contracting State according to the laws of that other Contracting State if, at any time during the 365 days preceding the payment of the dividends, these shares of comparable interests derived at least 50 per cent of their value directly or indirectly from immovable property referred to in Article 6 of this Convention and situated in that other Contracting State. The tax so charged shall not exceed 15 per cent of the gross amount of the dividends.
  29. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article, interest arising in a Contracting State that is determined by reference to receipts, sales, income, profits or other cash flow of the debtor or a related person, to any change in the value of any property of the debtor or a related person or to any dividend, partnership distribution or similar payment made by the debtor or a related person, or any other interest similar to such interest arising in a Contracting State, may be taxed in that Contracting State according to the laws of that Contracting State, but if the beneficial owner of the interest is a resident of the other Contracting State, the tax so charged shall not exceed 10 per cent of the gross amount of the interest.
  30. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 30% of the capital of the company paying the dividends and invests not less than USD 100,000 or the equivalent in local currencies to the company paying the dividends.
  31. If the beneficial owner is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 25% of the capital of a company paying dividends and the capital invested exceeds USD 75,000.
  32. Applicable to interbank loans only.
  33. Any patent, trademark, design or model, plan, secret formula or process, or any copyright of scientific work, or for the use of, or the right to use, industrial, commercial, or scientific equipment, or for information concerning industrial, commercial, or scientific experience.
  34. Cinematograph films or tapes for radio or television broadcasting, any copyright of literary or artistic work.
  35. If the invested amount equals or exceeds FF 1 million.
  36. If the beneficial owner of the dividends has invested in the capital of the company paying dividends of more than USD 500,000.
  37. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 25% of the share capital of the company paying the dividends and has directly invested in the equity share capital of that company not less than the equivalent of USD 100,000.
  38. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 25% of the capital of the company paying the dividends and has invested in it at least 75,000 European Currency Units (ECU) or its equivalent in the national currencies of the contracting states.
  39. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company that, for an uninterrupted period of two years prior to the payment of the dividends, directly owned at least 25% of the capital of the company paying the dividends.
  40. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company that directly holds at least 15% of the capital of the company paying the dividends.
  41. If residents of the other contracting state hold at least 30% of the capital of the company paying the dividends and have directly invested in the equity share capital (authorised fund) of that company an amount of not less than USD 100,000 or its equivalent in the currency of the first state.
  42. If the following conditions are met:
    1. The beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that has invested at least ECU 100,000 or its equivalent in any other currency in the capital of the company paying the dividends.
    2. Those dividends are exempt from tax in the other contracting state.
  43. If only one of the conditions of 42 (a) or 42 (b) are met.
  44. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 10% of the share capital of the company paying the dividends (except for investment fund paying the dividends) and such capital share amounts to at least EUR 80,000 or the equivalent value in any other currency at the moment of actual distribution of dividends.
  45. If the beneficial owner of the dividends is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 20% of the capital of the company paying the dividends and the foreign capital invested exceeds 200,000 Swiss francs (CHF) or its equivalent in any other currency at the moment when the dividends become due.
  46. Cinematography films, programmes, and recordings for radio or television broadcasting.
  47. Any copyright of literary, artistic, or scientific work.
  48. Any patent, trademark, design or model, plan, secret formula or process, any computer software programme, or for information concerning industrial, commercial, or scientific experience.
  49. If a resident of the other contracting state has invested in its joint-stock capital (registered fund) at least USD 50,000 or its equivalent in the national currencies of the contracting states.
  50. In the case of banks.
  51. In the case of fees for technical assistance.
  52. If the residents of the other contracting state have directly invested in the equity share capital of that company not less than USD 10 million.
  53. New tax rates are presented in the table. Timing of application of the rates needs to be clarified by the Russian Ministry of Finance.

Since 1 January 2021, the MLI will be entered into force for 34 Russian DTTs as follows:

Application to all taxes Application only for WHT
1. Australia 1. Cyprus
2. Austria 2. Czech Republic
3. Belgium 3. Indonesia
4. Canada 4. Kazakhstan
5. Denmark 5. Korea
6. Finland 6. Portugal
7. France 7. Saudi Arabia
8. Iceland  
9. India  
10. Ireland  
11. Israel  
12. Latvia  
13. Lithuania  
14. Luxembourg
15. Malta
16. Netherlands
17. New Zealand
18. Norway
19. Poland
20. Qatar
21. Serbia
22. Singapore
23. Slovak Republic
24. Slovenia
25. Ukraine
26. United Arab Emirates
27. United Kingdom