The Federal Tax Service has received almost unlimited access to bank secrets of Russians. Amendments to the Tax Code came into force on 17 March according to which credit organizations must, within three days, at the request of the tax authorities, provide them with a virtually complete package of information about their clients: from a copy of the passport and signature samples to information about the beneficial owners of accounts.
The consent of the head of a higher tax authority or an authorized representative of a federal executive body is sufficient for such a request. Previously, the Federal Tax Service could request information from banks on transactions of individuals only as part of tax audits.
The lawyer of the Tax Compliance Company Andrey Solomyanyy explained how the tax authorities will use this data: "Earlier the tax authority had limited powers. They could receive a passport, a power of attorney for the disposal of funds, a copy of the application for opening a bank account, a copy of the signature of the person who opened the bank account. These data could only be obtained by the tax authorities as part of their audits. Accordingly, this measure was aimed at identifying specific beneficiaries, or persons who are nominal, actual directors of companies, but disposed of funds."
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