Russian tax havens welcome oligarchs

Russian tax havens welcome oligarchs

The new laws are designed to attract companies registered abroad and affected by sanctions.

The State Duma adopted in the third reading a package of seven laws on the creation and regulation of special administrative regions (SAR) in the Kaliningrad region and Primorsky region (the islands of Octyabrsky and Russky), Rosbalt reported.

The laws are aimed at attracting companies registered abroad and affected by sanctions. The SARs are supposed to become an alternative to foreign tax havens, which is expected to provide an over $1-billion’s worth of investments.

The new rules introduce an “international company mode” that allows moving a group of companies to the Russian jurisdiction from abroad while fully preserving its activity. The State Duma said that the companies would not be able to count on tax benefits de facto. As it follows from the documentation, companies with tax treatment in other jurisdictions can keep it the same in Russia.

The documents determine that any legal entity with the status of an international company that has signed a contract with the management company on the pursuit of activities and is listed in the unified register of tax haven participants can become a SAR member. Only foreign legal entities will be able to register in the tax havens, while even banks and non-credit financial organizations will not be able to become SAR members.

When creating and registering an international company, its continuity will be ensured. Such companies, including international groups of companies, will be recognized as Russian tax residents and be taxed. A number of rules also imply that a legal entity may be redomiciled with a change of jurisdiction (location).

One of the laws prescribes the tax on profits that international companies will have to pay. A company will enjoy a zero rate if it received income as dividends and on certain conditions. A company will have a 5% rate if its income came in the form of dividends on shares of international groups of companies that are public companies on the day of dividend payment.

There will be a special currency regime for international companies. According to one of the laws adopted, such companies will be recognized as non-residents and will enjoy a number of preferences in currency transactions.

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