Valentina Koryazina

Head of the St Petersburg Office of the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation.

Valentina Koryazina
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Ms Koryazina was born in the Stavropol Region. She graduated from the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics with a degree in finance in 1980.

Valentina Koryazina began working at St Petersburg tax bodies in 1990. She was appointed the Deputy Head of the City Department of the Service 16 years later. Ms Koryazina was appointed the Head of the Trans-Regional Tax Office for Dealing with Major Taxpayers of the Service №10 in July 2008. She was appointed the Head of the St Petersburg Office of the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation in 2009. She received several awards, including the 2nd class Order For Merit to the Fatherland.

Valentina Koryazina is known as the most influential woman in St Petersburg. However, public opinion is split: some think she protects national interests, others say the only thing she cares about is her own well-being. Indeed, some of her initiatives seem shady.

She decided to introduce a “risk zone” for companies that do not meet requirements of the Service in 2012. Those in the “risk zone” were virtually unable to reimburse the VAT. It is worth mentioning Ms Koryazina compiled the list in her sole discretion. Entrepreneurs tried going to court, but the public servant made them understand that legal fees are expensive very fast. She made it clear there is another, “less difficult”, way around, too. That is how she became the St Petersburg informal yet universally recognized The Queen of VAT.

Instructing banks on closing accounts of companies not located at their legal addressed is another example of her questionable actions. There is no doubt Ms Koryazina was after fly-by-night companies, but banks were not happy with such drastic measures; there was the threat of clients suing them. Law abiding companies could suffer, too.

Vitaly, Valentina Koryazina’s son, was arrested in 2014; police found amphetamines in his car’s glove compartment. Court could have sentenced him to many years in prison. However, it was his mother’s opponents who were to blame, “as it later turned out”. They set him up and planted drugs in his car. It was Yana Gurskaya, Ms Koryazina’s colleague, who allegedly did it due to desire to take her superior’s office. Moreover, entrepreneurs who were refused VAT reimbursement allegedly helped her.