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Russian finance minister says government ready to soften foreign currency rules

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Staff Writer | March 14, 2019
Anton Siluanov
Russia   Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

The government is ready to amend currency regulations to ease punishment for resident companies for an untimely return of foreign currency revenue to Russia, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday at a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

“We will ease regulations for participants of foreign economic activity, reduce the fines, and sanctions for some violations of the currency regulation,” he said.

“We have egregiously punitive sanctions now. We see that clearly.

“That is why we’ve agreed that we are ready to reduce the sanctions for an untimely transfer of foreign currency revenue and to prolong the period, during which no administrative punishment will be imposed on a resident company if it fails to fulfill liabilities to transfer foreign currency revenue to its accounts.”

The ministry and the central bank are also ready to abolish repatriation of foreign currency revenue in rubles starting from 2020, and to increase the share of non-repatriated ruble revenue gradually for mineral extraction companies until 2024, he said.

He also called for businesses to transfer their assets to the Russian jurisdiction.

“Look, we have a zero tax on dividends and on income from the sales of securities…The source tax on dividends distributed in favor of foreign entities is 5%, where else can you find that? Only in some offshore companies…And you clearly see the attitude toward offshore-registered companies, especially to Russian companies.

“Come to us, we’ve created two jurisdictions just for you,” he said.

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