The government will discuss the introduction of a "digital tax" on foreign IT companies

The government will discuss the introduction of a "digital tax" on foreign IT companies


In order to support the domestic IT industry, the authorities propose to impose a new tax on foreign companies in this sector which use data from Russian users and carry out advertising activities in the Russian Federation.

The new tax is provided by the second package of measures to support the industry, its code name is "Digital tax". Its payers should be companies that use the data of Russians and forming advertising policy in Russia. <...> Funds from the new tax are promised to be used to support the domestic IT-sector.

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Such taxes are levied not on foreign companies, but on Russian citizens, notes the founder of Talkbank Mikhail Popov. They are also paid by businesses that place advertising, say, with the help of such services.

As for assistance to the domestic IT-sector, the wording is also quite vague, and in this sense is reminiscent of the situation with the Russian Authors Society, when the fees from various media are collected, but the help goes to individual performers, said Mikhail Popov. Approximately the same situation may occur with the discussed tax. Another thing is if this money really goes to the funds that provide grants for development of ICT companies, with a transparent policy of receiving it, clear logic, and openness to all participants in the IT-industry.

Perhaps in this case, it will really have a favorable impact on the market, Mikhail Popov suggests. For example, the Skolkovo grants or the FRII fund. They really support the Russian IT-industry, stimulate the creation of new innovative companies and their development. The companies that are associated with them achieve outstanding results.

But so far, Mikhail Popov concludes, one cannot exclude that the new tax will be a protectionist measure in favor of a limited circle of IT-companies.

Most likely, adds Mikhail Begunov, managing partner of Tax Compliance, in the future you will also find certain criteria on the flow and manner of use of personal data. The introduction of the proposed tax will allow to partially compensate the budget of the country, taking into account the previously provided substantial benefits for IT-companies as a result of tax maneuvers in this industry.

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Mikhail Begunov

Major specialisations

Pharmaceuticals, FMCG, Information technology, Manufacturing companies

Member of the Chamber of Tax Consultants, Lawyer at the Moscow Chamber of Advocates

Biography