The Ministry of Finance of Russia will return to the topic of raising taxes on those who invest little

AT The Ministry of Finance of Russia did not abandon the idea to raise taxes on companies that invest little in the economy, follows from the draft “Guidelines for Tax, Budgetary and Customs Tariff Policy for 2023-2025” (RTVI has the document).

Topical issues of taxation for the future mention “the issue of establishing increased taxation of corporate income tax for taxpayers with a low share of their own profits directed to capital investments,” the document states.

  • The Ministry of Finance predicts a 19.4% decline in investment in 2022 and slow growth in 2023. A return to pre-crisis levels is unlikely due to technological constraints and the curtailment of large, export-oriented projects, the document notes.

RTVI sent a request to the Ministry of Finance.

Dividends or investments

“Enterprises have profit, as it was, and remains. Many now also make good money on this situation, ”- spoke Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) on June 16. In February 2022 the Minister pointed outthat the idea of ​​a “dividend tax” has not been forgotten. At the end of 2021, the Ministry of Finance worked through the opportunity to raise income tax from the standard 20% to 25-30% for those companies that paid more dividends in five years than they invested.

  • The balanced profit of Russian enterprises grew by 31.8% in the first quarter of 2022 to 7.1 trillion rubles, follows from Rosstat data. In 2021, the indicator increased by 2.6 times to 29.649 trillion rubles.

“We need to weigh how much we do not limit the real business in their strategy. Business does not always have a strategy to only increase investment – it depends on many circumstances, ”commented the idea of ​​raising taxes, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin during a discussion of the document at a meeting of the State Duma Budget Committee on June 20.

Companies have 26 trillion rubles on their deposits

Companies have accumulated more than 43 trillion rubles in their accounts. (about 30% of GDP), of which on deposits – more than 26 trillion rubles. “Since the beginning of the year, when companies have to invest, funds on company deposits have grown by almost 20%,” — pointed out Head of the Budget Committee of the State Duma Andrey Makarov.

“Business is ready to take risks at the expense of the state and is not ready to take risks at its own expense,” the deputy says. In recent years, he says, companies have been less than enthusiastic about calls to invest their own money, preferring to receive government subsidies or borrowed money.

  • However, the start of 2022 marked the biggest surge in fixed investment since 2012, up 12.8% in the first quarter.

This is a seasonal surge at the beginning of the year, the most revealing data will be the results of the year, Georgy Ostapkovich, director of the HSE Center for Business Research, commented on these data to RTVI.

“We see that business does not abandon investment projects – everything will be brought to an end,” emphasized Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov. – While it is more profitable to keep money on deposits. As soon as the risks decrease, the business will invest more actively.”

“Companies are afraid – the uncertainty is too high,” Ostapkovich believes. There is no comfortable entrepreneurial climate – guarantees that the rules will not change during the game. Therefore, private business actively invests only in fast-liquid projects. Unlike state-owned companies, it risks property, Ostapkovich stressed.

Head of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina
Kirill Zykov / Moscow Agency

Investments will not be with high inflation, emphasized Head of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina: “No matter how low the key rate is, with high inflation there will be no long money.” 10 June Central Bank lowered a key rate of up to 9.5% – the level before the tightening of sanctions. Inflation at the end of the year will be 14.0-17.0%, the regulator predicts.

How they wanted to withdraw excess profits

In 2018, Andrey Belousov, being an aide to the president, proposed to withdraw over 500 billion rubles. windfall business profits and direct them to the implementation of the May presidential decrees. Putin put the resolution “Agree” on the letter, informed RBC. It was about super profits of metallurgists, producers of fertilizers and gas chemistry. After business objections, the Belousov plan was transformed into an investment promotion program – agreements on the protection and promotion of capital investments (SZPK).

At the end of 2021, the Ministry of Finance worked through “dividend tax”. Then the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) opposed the “fines” for excessive payments to shareholders and in return proposed 20% universal tax deduction on the investment amount.

So far, the government has limited itself to withdrawing excess profits from metallurgists, who, in the words of Belousov “stuffed” the budget for state construction and the state defense order for about 100 billion rubles. Since 2022, metallurgists have been paying an excise tax on liquid steel and an increased mineral extraction tax (MET). But after the EU banned the import of metal products from Russia in March 2022, for help business, previous decisions can be partially canceled.

How businesses will be encouraged for investment

To restart the investment cycle, the government is counting on Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements (IPPAs). The main thing that they give is a “grandfather’s clause” – a guarantee of the immutability of the conditions for the implementation of the investment project.

The stabilization clause and the possibility of compensating part of the costs of the investment project and infrastructure are especially in demand among companies, says Nina Gulis, partner of the tax and legal consulting department at Kept (former Russian division of KPMG).

  • The first SZPKs were signed in December 2020. But as before, 36 agreements were concluded for a total investment of 1.28 trillion rubles. Another 74 applications with a total investment of 1.6 trillion rubles are under consideration at the Ministry of Economic Development, a representative of the ministry told RTVI.

New SZPKs have not been concluded for more than a year – since April 2021 – due to the delay in the launch of the State Information System (GIS) “Capital Investments”, through which all agreements had to pass. The system was developed by the ANO Investment Promotion Agency (AID), created to support the SZPK. Former employees of the agency complained to the president and prime minister about non-payment of salaries, wrote “Vedomosti”. Andrey Ivanov, curator of attracting trillion investments in February left post of First Deputy Minister of Economic Development. Since June, the GIS “Capital Investments” has begun work, but now the legislation on SZPK is being rapidly finalized.

“There will be no investment boom in the near future,” Ostapkovich is sure. — The economy runs on stocks. The business took a grandmaster’s pause to figure it out. In September-October, it will become clear whether companies will be able to rebuild supply chains and reorient themselves to other markets.”

Companies refuse to pay dividends

The sanctions affected 80% of the assets of the Russian banking sector. The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank recommended that banks refrain from paying dividends for 2021. Among metallurgists, MMK, Severstal, NLMK refused to pay. The exceptions in the sector were Norilsk Nickel and Phosagro.

Among retailers, Magnit, Detsky Mir, X5 Group (Pyaterochka, Perekrestok, Karusel), Rusagro and M.Video will not pay dividends.

Against this background, Gazprom may pay the owners of shares record dividend in total – 1.2 trillion rubles. and yield – 19% per share). Rosneft will allocate 50% of its net profit for dividends. The exception was LUKOIL, which promised to return to the issue of payment before the end of the year.

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