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13 September 2022, 15:39

Russian government okays draft agreement with Belarus on VAT, excise duty payment principles

MOSCOW, 13 September (BelTA) – The Russian government has approved a draft Belarusian-Russian agreement on general principles of collecting indirect taxes – the value-added tax (VAT) and excise duties. Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin has signed the executive order to approve the document, BelTA learned from the government's website.

The Russian Finance Ministry has been instructed to negotiate with Belarus and sign the document on behalf of Russia.

The key goal of the document is to harmonize Belarusian and Russian taxation laws and advance cooperation in taxation. Belarus and Russia are supposed to bring their tax legislation concerning VAT and excise duties into compliance with the agreement by 1 January 2023. For instance, rates of excise duties on the minimal list of goods and services the agreement specifies cannot be below the rates specified by the agreement's addendum. Apart from that, the agreement stipulates common lists of operations, which are exempted from VAT or subject to lower VAT rates.

The document also provides for creating an integrated system for the administration of indirect taxes. The system will store information about operation of Belarusian and Russian VAT payers, which are registered with the taxation authorities as of 1 January 2023. The information is needed for end-to-end analysis of VAT data.

The agreement also provides for setting up a supranational tax committee that will oversee the observance of the agreement by the sides.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksei Overchuk noted: “The agreement will contribute to the harmonization of tax administration in Russia and Belarus. In turn, it will simplify business operation in the Union State of Belarus and Russia. The document envisages expanding cooperation in taxation. It will allow removing tax barriers in mutual trade, will ensure the integrity of the fiscal base of Belarus and Russia. It will allow forming common information space for mutual assistance in fighting indirect tax evasion, including in transboundary trade.”

The work proceeds as part of the efforts to realize the 28 Union State programs, which were adopted by an ordinance of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Belarus and Russia on 4 November 2021.

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