Russia (RU)

Jurisdiction Overview

IDQuestionAnswer
157 *Does the domestic administration have sufficient powers to obtain and provide banking information on request? Yes, but some problems.
 Data Date: 2013

Notes

 
"Russian authorities did not have access powers to obtain bank information with respect to bank accounts of private individuals until the end of 2012. During the review period this has been the case in around 20 requests. In the vast majority of these cases this type of bank information was not obtained. Furthermore, there remains uncertainty whether the Russian Competent Authority is allowed to obtain and exchange transactional information regarding a private individuals' accounts prior to the entry into force of the 2012 amendment or, in case of a request regarding a private individuals' accounts that was made before 1 July 2014, where there was no provision in the EOI agreement equivalent to article 26(5) of the Model Tax Convention" (GF 2014: 101).
 
Moreover, the Global Forum added: "A similar ambiguity was found regarding the question of whether information in respect of a private individual’s bank account can be obtained if it relates to a period prior to the entry into force of the amendments of article 86. The international standard requires such information to be available and obtainable in some cases. While Russian officials from the Ministry of Finance confirm that such a request is permitted and state that information can also be obtained that relates to a period prior to the entry into force of this legislation, officials in the FTS are (again) less certain about this view, and basically question whether the amendments to article 86 of the Tax Code which took effect on 1 January 2013 and 1 July 2014 will enable them to obtain information regarding private individual bank accounts that relate to a period prior to the entry into force of the Article 86 revisions. Their view is that this will be difficult to justify where the law is not specific as to the requirement to provide this type of information" (ibid.: 92).
 
In conclusion, it is not clear if access to information on private individuals will be available in case it refers to information related to a time before 2013 or 2014. Moreover, it appears that this comprehensive access to banking information will only be available for domestic purposes. Russian authorities suggest that this will not be a problem, because they could use this information for an EOI request (apparently, by not disclosing the purpose of the request of information to the information holder). The Global Forum wrote: "However, FTS officials also point out that, once they have access to bank information for domestic purposes the issue will cease to have any practical significance, since they would no longer need to validate the specific access power" (ibid.: 92). However, it is not certain that a taxpayer or information holder would not be able to refuse to provide information when it is clear that it is not for domestic purposes.

Sources

GF 2014: 92, 101