The authorities decided to “ensure equal conditions of business for companies in the Russian Federation using the Internet.” The bottom line is that Russian online stores pay 18% VAT on every purchase, and foreign traders do not pay it in Russia. Because of this, some Russian online stores even registered abroad and began to send goods from abroad, evading payment of VAT in Russia.
President Vladimir Putin instructed several agencies to develop changes in legislation to restore justice, replenish the budget and protect domestic trade. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) was appointed responsible for the execution of the order, the Izvestia writes
The FAS discussed the instructions of the president. Following the meeting, it was decided that the most acceptable option is to introduce a value-added tax (VAT) on all parcels imported into the country. Foreign traders have the right to register with the FTS and pay the tax themselves. If for some reason they do not do this, the buyers themselves will pay VAT.
The initiative to impose a tax on foreign stores was made by the Association of E-commerce Companies (ACIT), which represents the interests of Russian online stores. Back in August 2016, she prepared a package of amendments to the Tax Code
The head of AKIT, Alexei Fyodorov, explained that in this way Russia is adopting the European experience. In the European Union, it was decided to introduce such a procedure for paying VAT from 2020. Now in Europe, the limit of duty-free import is € 22 per package, and in Russia - up to € 1,000 and 31 kg per month.
Moreover, the Russian customs will open parcels
to assess their value in order to establish a VAT. Thus, the payment of services for the opening and evaluation of the goods will be added
to the amount of VAT. In order not to create difficulties for customers, some foreign online stores will be forced to register with the Federal Tax Service and pay taxes in Russia, I'm sure Fedorov. In this case, the parcel will not open and inspect.
Vladimir Rozhankovsky, a leading analyst at the Horizon management company, believes
that “white” online stores that register with the Federal Tax Service will simultaneously transfer the costs to customers. That is, the goods in such stores simply rise in price by the same 18%. The analyst says that the problem of charging VAT from online stores is acute all over the world.
The introduction of fair trade rules - including VAT collection instead of the seller from the buyer himself - should bring about 100 billion rubles annually to the RF budget.
According to statistics from the National Association of Distance Trade (NADT), the total turnover of cross-border e-commerce in Russia in 2016 amounted to $ 3 billion. The head of NADT, in a comment to Izvestia, expressed the opinion that the double taxation of foreign online stores is not quite a good decision, because that they will have to pay VAT twice: at home and in Russia. As an alternative, he proposed the organization of so-called B2B2C warehouses in Russia, where the seller company will centrally deliver the goods, and the state will take tax on all products.
But apparently, the decision on the collection of VAT on each parcel is almost an issue. Alexey Fedorov said that the main dispute is now between the customs and the tax service about which one of them will collect money.