The FTS of Russia will get expanded access to bank secrecy: what it means for clients of Russian banks

March 15, 2021
FTS will get expanded access to bank secrecy in March 2021
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The Federal Tax Service (FTS) will be able to request personal data and information on the accounts of clients of Russian banks at any time. Previously data was provided only during a tax audit. The changes will come into force on March 17, 2021.

The FTS request must be motivated, i.e. it must have serious grounds. This requirement is stated in the Federal Law № 6-ФЗ from 17.02.2021.

If the request concerns a legal entity, the basis is a tax audit, a court decision on the collection of taxes or the suspension of transactions and transfers on the account.

The inspectorate only gains access to the data of individuals by agreement with the head of a higher tax authority. It is allowed to make inquiries during a tax audit in accordance with clause 1 of Article 93.1 of the Tax Code of the RF.

If the bank receives a reasoned request from the FTS, it must provide within three days:

  • a copy of the client’s passport;

  • a copy of the power of attorney to dispose of the money;

  • a copy of the account opening agreement and the application to close the account;

  • cards with the client’s specimen signature and seal impression;

  • information on the beneficiary owners, representatives of the client and beneficiaries;

  • data on certain bank transactions for the specified period.

Expanding the FTS access to bank secrecy will allow to track undeclared income and cases of tax evasion by tax residents.

Financial control over physical persons strengthens

Let’s look at examples. If you transfer ₽5,000 to a friend, the bank or tax office will not check this transaction. But if you transfer more than 3 million rubles, the bank is obliged to check the source of the money and what it was spent for. The same applies to transfers over ₽ 100,000 via mobile and postal operators: Rosfinmonitoring has the right to request data on the source of income.

The FTS also receives data on the opening and closing of electronic wallets. The innovation applies to all individuals who use electronic payment systems: YUMANI, WebMoney, PayPal and QIWI Wallet.

How to become a tax resident of another country

A citizen of Russia gets the opportunity to become a tax resident of another country if he lives in its territory for more than 183 days. But to legally stay in another country for more than six months, you need a residence permit or second citizenship. The fastest way to get one is to take part in a state investment program.

6 countries in Europe and 5 Caribbean countries offer residence permits or citizenship by investment in the economy. Investment options range from buying real estate to set up a business in the country. Programs also differ in the amount of investment required and the conditions of participation – see which program might be right for you.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for European and Caribbean residency and citizenship programs by investment. If you want to change your tax residency, seek advice from investment program experts.

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