Windfall tax for major companies to be introduced in Russia

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Monitoring of the Federal Legislation dated 9.12.2003

Federal Law No. 163-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to Some of the Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on Taxes and Fees

The debts in insurance contributions to the state social non-budgetary funds available with organisations as of January 1, 2001, accrued penalties and fines are recognised as desperate and are written off according to the procedure specified by the Government of the Russian Federation.
Increases from Rbl 2,000 to Rbl 5,000 the amount of payments (contributions) exempted from the income tax from natural persons under voluntary pension insurance contacts concluded by employers for their employees.
Abandons from January 1, 2004 additional exemptions from the profit tax for individual categories of taxpayers implementing investment projects under investment contracts introduced by the subjects of the Russian Federation and representative bodies of local government as of July 1, 2001.
Specifies the duty of the tax agents to pay the value added tax simultaneously with the payment (transfer) of the monetary resources to foreign entities not registered in the tax bodies when they sell works (services) on the territory of the Russian Federation.
Profit tax does not apply to resources obtained in 2003 to build the Russian Fund of Technological Development, as well as other industry sectoral and intersectoral funds of financing of scientific research and design works formed under the auspices of the federal bodies of executive power.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004 with exceptions.

Federal Law No. 160-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendment to Article 3 of the Federal Law on the Entry into Force of the Land Code of the Russian Federation

Extends till January 1, 2006 the time limits for obligatory re-registration of the right of permanent (unlimited) use for the land plots as property or leasing for legal entities.

Federal Law No. 159-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to the Law of the Russian Federation on the Customs Tariff and the Federal Law on the Amendments to Part 2 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation and Individual Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation

Omits the provision stating that for commodities of oil, the limiting rates of export customs duties are fixed in the amount not greater than 90% of the limiting rate of export customs duties for crude oil. Thus, the Government of the Russian Federation gets an opportunity to operatively change the rates of export customs duties for oil products and regulate the volumes of export of these products taking into account the seasonal fluctuations of the demand and internal market supply.
The Federal Law is entered into force one month after the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 158-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to Articles 24, 158 and 160 of the Budget Code of the Russian Federation

Refines the notion of the main administrator of the budget resources. Specifies that the most significant budget-supported institutions of science, education, culture, public health and mass media may distribute the resources of the federal budget among subordinate administrators and recipients of the budget resources. The list of such main administrators is endorsed by the federal law on the federal budget for the subsequent fiscal year.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2005.

Federal Law No. 157-FZ of December 6, 2003 on the Ratification of the Agreement on the Legal Status of Officials and Employees of the Bodies of the Commonwealth of Independent States

Ratifies the Agreement signed in Moscow on April 25, 2003. According to the Agreement, the officials and employees of the bodies of the Commonwealth endorsed by the member-states have the status of international servants. When executing official functions, the officials and employees of the bodies of the Commonwealth may not request or get directions from the bodies of power or officials of the parties, as well as from authorities of the states, other than participants of the present Agreement.

Federal Law No. 156-FZ of December 6, 2003 on the Ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Australia on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Evasion of the Income Taxes

Ratifies the Agreement signed in Canberra on September 7, 2000. The Agreement applies to the profit tax from organisations and the income tax from natural persons in Russia and in Australia - to the income tax and the rent tax on resources of offshore projects pertaining to surveys and development of oil resources collected in compliance with the federal legislation of Australia.

Federal Law No. 155-FZ of December 6, 2003 on the Budget of the Federal Fund of Obligatory Medical Insurance for the Year 2004

Endorses the budget of the Federal Fund of Obligatory Medical Insurance for the year 2004 with incomes amounting to Rbl 6,406.2 million and expenses amounting to Rbl 6,391.2 million.
Specifies the normalised insurance reserve of financial resources of the Fund for the year 2004 in the amount of Rbl 400 million. The mentioned resources are reserved for the cases of critical situations of financing of the programs of obligatory medical insurance and are not free financial resources.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of December 8, 2003 on the Case of Constitutionality of the Provisions of Articles 125, 219, 227, 229, 236, 237, 239, 246, 254, 271, 378, 405 and 408, As Well As Chapters 35 and 39 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation Pursuant to the Requests of the Courts of General Jurisdiction and Appeals of Citizens

The applicants challenged a number of provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation defining the consequences of revocation of the accusation or change of the accusation by the state prosecutor in the first instance court and regulating the content of decisions taken by the judges of the first, cassation and enforcement instances when they reveal violation of the law in the course of the preliminary investigation.
The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation recognised as not complying with the Constitution of the Russian Federation Part 4 of Article 237 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation. The general jurisdiction court, while processing the case, may return it to the prosecutor at the request of a party or at the own initiative to eliminate the encumbrances if there were significant pre-trial violations of the law of criminal procedures that cannot be removed in the court proceedings and if the return of the case to the prosecutor is not a rework of incomplete preliminary investigation. In this case, elimination of the available violations implies implementation of the necessary investigation and other procedural actions. The revealed meaning is obligatory to all and excludes any other interpretation in judicial practice. Therefore, Part 1 of Article 237 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation is recognised as not contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federa tion.
Also unconstitutional is recognised Part 9 of Article 246 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation. If the state prosecutor revokes the accusation in the course of preliminary hearings, the court must decide to dismiss the criminal case. A full or partial revocation of the accusation by the state prosecutor in the course of court proceedings, as well as its mitigation, predetermines an appropriate decision taken by the court. In this case, the prosecutor must provide the motives of the revocation of the accusation to the court, citing the reasons envisaged in the law. Proceeding form the revealed meaning, the provisions of Parts 7 and 8 of Article 246 and Item 2 of Article 254 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation are recognised as not contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
Provision of Part 7 of Article 236 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation preventing from appealing against the court decision taken as a result of the preliminary hearings to suspend the case proceedings has no legal force from the moment of adoption and may not apply as containing a regulation recognised as unconstitutional.
Where it pertains to the constitutionality of the rest of the examined articles, proceedings were stopped, with the criminal cases of applicants to be resolved taking into account the adopted Decision.
The Decision is entered into force immediately after annunciation.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 735 of December 5, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Regulation on the Licensing of Activities of Non-State Pension Funds in Pension Support and Pension Insurance

Defines the procedure of licensing of activities in non-state pension support of the fund participants in compliance with the contracts of non-state pension support, activities of an insurant in obligatory pension insurance and in professional pension insurance. The licensing body is the Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation.
Lists the licensing requirements and terms, in particular, the need to have property with the fund with the monetary value of at least Rbl 3 million, at least Rbl 30 million from January 1, 2005 and at least Rbl 50 million from July 1, 2009. In this case, the total contributions of the fund founders in monetary resources must be at least Rbl 3 million, at least Rbl 30 million from January 1, 2005.
The license for activities of a non-state pension fund in pension support and pension insurance not limited in time.

Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 1347-U of December 1, 2003 on the Adjustment of Individual Acts of the Bank of Russia

Pursuant to the entry into force from December 20, 2003 of the Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 105-I of August 25, 2003 on the procedure of checking of credit organisations (their branches) by authorised representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, brings in compliance with it a number of acts of the Bank of Russia regulating the procedure of checking of credit organisations.
The Direction is entered into force 10 days after the day of its official publication in the Herald of the Bank of Russia.

Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 1324-U of August 25, 2003 on the Invalidation of the Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 34 of February 19, 1996 on the Procedure of Checking of Credit Organisations and Their Branches by Authorised Representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)

From December 20, 2003, invalidates the Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 34 of February 19, 1996 on the procedure of checking of credit organisations and their branches by authorised representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia). Beginning with the same date, enters into force the homonymous Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 105-I of August 25, 2003.
The Direction is entered into force 10 days after the day of its official publication in the Herald of the Bank of Russia.

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