The government was offered to block websites of foreign online stores for non-payment of VAT

Conversations about putting Russian and foreign online stores on an equal footing in Russia have been going on for a long time , from 2016, or even earlier. The fact is that Russian stores pay 18% VAT on each sale. But foreign online stores do not pay anything. Some representatives of domestic business and Russian officials believe that the conditions for doing business should be made equal for all. How? To force foreign companies to pay VAT if a citizen of Russia makes a purchase in a foreign online store.

In the summer on Geektimes some moments concerning this project were covered . Thus, President Vladimir Putin instructed the relevant authorities to develop changes in legislation that would allow charging VAT on foreign companies. The FAS decided that the best way to fulfill the presidential order is to introduce a value-added tax (VAT) on all parcels imported into the country. In addition, representatives of foreign businesses should be able to register with the FTS and pay all taxes on their own. Now, while the project is still under discussion, the Association of Internet Trading Companies (ACIT) has made another proposal, Kommersant reports .

Namely - to block the sites of foreign online stores that do not agree to follow the letter of Russian law. According to ACIT, foreign companies should be obliged to register in Russia, with the payment of tax under a simplified scheme. The tax rate in this case will be 15.25% of the final value of the goods. Responsible for compliance with the law should be the FTS. The punishment algorithm is simple. If the company does not register and does not pay, it is sued, and the site of the perpetrator is blocked. In the case of a subsequent payment of VAT, the lock is removed.

Experts AKIT claim that only in the first half of 2017, the e-commerce market in Russia amounted to 498 billion rubles. The volume of trade with foreign companies (meaning online shopping) grew by 34% compared with the beginning of 2016, which amounts to 178 billion rubles. At the same time, about 90% of orders from foreign online stores are purchases on AliExpress.

“This will significantly reduce the range of goods supplied to our country. If we talk about eBay, the foreign seller simply puts a tick that does not deliver the goods to Russia. The choice of purchasing from abroad is influenced by the cost of delivery and the period of its expectation: the absence of these factors from Russian stores is their competitive advantage, which is constantly ignored, ”Ilya Kretov, CEO of eBay in Russia and in the emerging markets of Europe, told Kommersant.

AKIT Executive Director Artem Sokolov claims that the proposal is already being implemented by the association - in any case, the documents necessary for submitting the bill are ready. All documentation is now being discussed in the government, where competent experts are preparing an opinion. The proposal, according to Sokolov, fully complies with the spirit of the presidential decree No. 203 of May 9, 2017, which approved the strategy for the development of the information society in the Russian Federation for 2017–2030.

According to the president of the National Association of Distance Trade Alexander Ivanov, registration of payers with the FTS will be de facto impossible: “For example, Alibaba has 3.6 million sellers, eBay has more than 1.5 million, these are only two of the largest marketplaces, there are others. The FTS will not physically be able to provide such registration, ”he is convinced. At the same time, Russian e-commerce occupies a share of about 0.7% of the world, Ivanov reminds. “Only the companies for which Russia is the defining market will be able to break the system for 0.7%. But in the world nothing is known about at least one such company, ”he said. Also, Alexander Ivanov rejects the option of charging VAT on foreign parcels. Ivanov says that operations of this kind are unprofitable in all countries without exception, since the operating and administrative expenses in this case exceed the collected amounts, and quite significantly.

One of the possible consequences of a bill on the collection of VAT on foreign companies is the need to open parcels at Russian customs to assess their value. So in the case of opening the parcel to the VAT will be added also payment for services for opening and evaluating the goods.

The Ministry of Economics told Kommersant that the documents with the ACIT proposals have already been received, and the ministry’s position is currently being worked out. Similar work is underway in the Ministry of Finance, where they also "heard about such proposals."


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