Russia updates

Corporate & Commercial

How to conduct shareholders' agreements in Russia
  • Russia
  • 01 October 2018

Since 2009 Russian law has contained express provisions on shareholders' agreements. Further provisions of the Civil Code came into effect in 2014. The law sets out what shareholders' agreements can and cannot require shareholders to do and whether they can be enforceable against third parties, as well as whether they must be publicly disclosed or registered.


Corporate Finance/M&A

New crowdfunding platform regulations
Gorodissky & Partners
  • Russia
  • 16 October 2019

The president recently signed Federal Law 259-FZ of 2 August 2019 on Raising Investments via Investment Platforms and on Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation. The law, which is set to take effect from 1 January 2020, reflects the growing trend in Russia of increased regulation of digital economy issues.


Corporate Tax

Contributed by Gorodissky & Partners
Russia revises double tax avoidance agreements with numerous countries
  • Russia
  • 18 September 2020

In 2020 Russia launched an intensive process of revising its bilateral tax agreements with numerous jurisdictions. According to the Cyprus minister of finance and the Russian Ministry of Finance, significant amendments to the double tax avoidance agreement between Russia and Cyprus were agreed in August 2020. The most important amendment is the increase in the tax rate levied on the payment of dividends and borrowed money.

New tax relief for IT industry
  • Russia
  • 17 July 2020

President Vladimir Putin recently announced the next set of measures to amend tax legislation to help the Russian economy overcome the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the new tax changes relate to companies in the IT industry, for which a so-called 'tax manoeuvre' has been proposed in order to significantly reduce the corporate income tax rate for such companies from 20% to 3%.

Tax measures to support businesses during СOVID-19 pandemic
  • Russia
  • 01 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to combat it will have a significant impact on both the global and Russian economies. The government has taken a number of measures to stop the spread of the virus, such as suspending the activities of most Russian businesses, including service providers, from 27 March until 30 April 2020. As such, the government has also had to adopt a comprehensive support programme for affected businesses.

Calculating share of Russian immovable property for corporate income tax purposes
  • Russia
  • 21 February 2020

At the end of 2019, the Federal Tax Service issued clarifications on calculating the share of Russian immovable property in the indirect sale of such property for corporate income tax purposes. The clarifications are especially relevant as the Russian tax authorities' powers have grown following the signing and ratification of a number of international agreements on the exchange of tax information in recent years.

Main changes to company taxation in 2020
  • Russia
  • 13 December 2019

Over the past year, Parliament has adopted several laws amending the Tax Code regarding the taxation of legal entities. This article examines the most significant tax innovations expected in the corporate sector in 2020 which concern corporate income tax, transport and land taxes and changes in tax administration rules.


International Trade

Experimental system launched to trace imported products
Gorodissky & Partners
  • Russia
  • 27 September 2019

In May 2019 an interstate agreement was concluded within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, under which it was agreed to introduce a system to enable certain categories of imported goods to be traced. Now, Russia has launched an experimental version of such system, which will remain in place until 31 December 2019. Among other things, the system is expected to lead to a reduction in the level of record falsification in the market and better control the payment of taxes.

New law entitles Russian exporters of services to deduct VAT
Gorodissky & Partners
  • Russia
  • 10 May 2019

The Duma provides certain incentives to encourage businesses to operate in Russia. For example, it recently passed a law which permits Russian exporters and Russian subsidiaries of foreign companies that provide services to foreign clients and other companies within such client's groups to deduct the full amount of value added tax for these services. The new law, which was drafted in response to the digital economy, will increase competition in the outbound services market.


Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media

Contributed by Gorodissky & Partners
New tax relief for IT industry
  • Russia
  • 17 July 2020

President Vladimir Putin recently announced the next set of measures to amend tax legislation to help the Russian economy overcome the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the new tax changes relate to companies in the IT industry, for which a so-called 'tax manoeuvre' has been proposed in order to significantly reduce the corporate income tax rate for such companies from 20% to 3%.

New rules and procedures for blocking mobile apps distributing pirated content
  • Russia
  • 10 July 2020

Recent amendments to the Information Law aim to tackle the issue of mobile apps and e-platforms that distribute pirated content which infringes copyright and related rights. This article examines upcoming amendments and highlights the new enforcement possibilities that will be available to rights holders in Russia. The changes will also be relevant for businesses that own and operate mobile apps, which should consider the associated risks if their mobile apps contain pirated content.

Draft Big Data law provides clues of what to expect
  • Russia
  • 08 May 2020

Although the term 'Big Data' is now common, no Russian legal provision deals expressly with the processing of such data. Various legislative initiatives have attempted to introduce a specific legal framework in this regard, including a recent draft law which aims to create a specific legal regime for Big Data processing. Although the draft law received negative feedback from the government, it is useful to consider the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media's approach when shaping it.

Regulator clarifies key aspects of trademark use in keywords
  • Russia
  • 13 December 2019

Keywords play an important role in e-marketing. After typing a specific product name, company name or brand in a search engine, potential customers and users may view specific offers and data, including ads. Further, the list of offers may represent certain keywords selected by an advertiser. Unsurprisingly, the selection and reproduction of designations as keywords can trigger various trademark use concerns that inevitably lead to enforcement issues.

Federal Anti-monopoly Service clarifies role of online messenger systems in advertising
  • Russia
  • 12 July 2019

Advertisers are increasingly using online messenger systems to promote businesses, as well as their goods and services. In this context, the Federal Anti-monopoly Service recently issued an official letter clarifying, among other things, the application of the Federal Law on Advertising to messenger systems such as Viber and WhatsApp. The letter is notable as it reveals the regulator's approach to advertising campaigns disseminated via various instant messaging services.