Russia adds tax fraud to Criminal Code

Russian authorities have developed a bill introducing the tax fraud concept into the Criminal Code. The new legislation stipulates uniform punishment for various tax crimes now mentioned in four different articles.

The bill was developed by Russia’s Investigative Committee, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Federal Tax Service and the Ministry of the Interior.

According to Deputy Chair of the Investigative Committee Yelena Leonenko, one of the current Criminal Code articles makes obtaining illegal VAT refund a criminal offense.

Major tax evasion by firms and companies is punishable with up to six years in prison under Article 199 of the Criminal Code. However, article 159 calls for up to 10 years in prison for major tax fraud. This sounds confusing, because different articles require different punishments for virtually the same actions.

The new bill is expected to streamline the system. There is no information yet as to when this legislation may be passed.

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