Interview on "Benefits for the IT Sector" with Trinity Events Group

Interview on "Benefits for the IT Sector" with Trinity Events Group

Partial mobilization, the departure of foreign players, disruptions to the purchase of software and "iron" - not a complete list of the problems faced by employees of IT departments of Russian companies in 2022. Against this background, the IT sector has received an unprecedented number of support measures. Who has the right to count on them? And how do these measures work? Nikita Zharov, head of Tax Compliance for Trinity Events Group, explains.

- Nikita, this year we see special attention to the IT-industry. What do you think are the main reasons and what tasks does the government set for the sector?

The state has been paying increased attention to the development of the IT-industry for a number of years. For example, a set of support measures, called "tax maneuver", applies in the country since 2021. At the same time, in 2022, we see a significant increase in the attention given by the state authorities to the development of the IT-industry. The main reasons for this approach can be identified as the desire of the state to retain specialists in Russia, as well as to provide conditions for the creation of domestic IT solutions.

The presidential decree, which concerns IT support measures, mentions a number of measures. Firstly, it is the reduction of administrative burden. What does it imply? How long will companies be exempt from scrutiny and oversight?

As a general rule, the tax authorities may not conduct field tax audits in respect of IT-companies until 2025. An exception may be made only for field audits, agreed by the head (his deputy) of the Federal Tax Service in the Russian Federation or the Federal Tax Service of Russia. It is important for businesses to remember that the tax authorities have the right to conduct other control measures, for example, within the framework of pre-inspection analysis. In addition, if an IT-company is included in the perimeter of a group of companies, the tax authority will be able to check the transactions of the IT-company with other companies of such a group. Therefore, we cannot say that there is a complete ban on any control measures in relation to IТ-businesses. This means that businesses should still be careful with the accounting and documentation of transactions.

- Zeroing the rate of income tax for IT-business. How will the measure work? Why it may be relevant now?

The general economic situation has a direct impact on the effectiveness of the benefits. For example, "zeroing" the profit tax rate will not have the desired effect if the company has no profit. From this point of view, the introduction of additional VAT benefits potentially represents an additional tool to support the IT sector. At the same time, it cannot be denied that the reduced rate of profit tax, as well as expanding the range of companies that can take advantage of benefits are significant steps towards the IT-industry.

- What other additional measures are provided for employees of IT-companies?

The set of support measures for the IT sector can be divided into two large groups: tax benefits and non-tax benefits. The preferences for employees of IT companies belong to the non-tax group of benefits. IT specialists are also entitled to other support measures, the main ones being mortgages, deferrals, and simplified hiring procedures for individuals.

- How long will the preferential conditions remain with this sphere? Does the industry need any additional support measures, in your opinion?

Some of the available benefits explicitly include a deadline for their application, for example, the moratorium on field tax audits will end in 2025. At the same time, a characteristic feature of the set of benefits provided to the IT sector is that they are designed for a long-term effect and encourage businesses to develop IT technologies. For example, starting from 2023, taxpayers will be able to apply an increasing depreciation coefficient for certain categories of software. The IT sector received an unprecedented number of support measures in 2022. Therefore, the most important thing seems to be that all interested participants will be able to take advantage of these benefits. Without any administrative difficulties. In other words, it is important to ensure the conditions for the use of such benefits. The purpose of any benefits is to ensure the development of a certain sector of the economy, to create additional impulses and points of growth.