Tax audit in Russia

Tax audit is the main form of tax control, which is a set of measures carried out by the State Tax Authorities to monitor compliance with current legislation on taxes and fees.

During the tax audit, the Tax Authorities monitor the correctness of calculation, timeliness and completeness of tax payments to the budget. They compare the data of payments specified in tax reports with the real financial and economic activities.

Thus, during the tax audit, the data obtained as a result of tax control is compared with the data of tax returns and calculations that taxpayer organizations and individual entrepreneurs have submitted to the Tax Authorities.

Depending on the place where they are conducted, tax audits are divided into desk and field audits.

A desk audit is a check of tax reports and other documents submitted by a taxpayer as the basis for calculating and paying taxes, as well as a check of other documents available to the Tax Authorities on the taxpayer’s activities.

The purpose of the desk audit is:

  • control of the taxpayers' compliance with legislative and other regulatory legal acts on taxes and fees;
  • detection and prevention of tax violations;
  • collection of unpaid or not fully paid taxes and related penalties;
  • initiation if there are grounds for imposing tax sanctions;
  • preparing the necessary information to ensure the rational selection of taxpayers for conducting field tax audits.

When conducting a desk audit, the following is monitored:

  • structure and terms of submitted documents;
  • correctness of the documents;
  • correctness of tax calculations;
  • availability of documents confirming tax benefits;
  • correct calculation of the tax base.

The field tax audit is defined as a set of actions:

  • verification of primary accounting and other accounting documents of the taxpayer, accounting registers, accounting reports and tax reports, business and other agreements, acts on the fulfillment of obligations, internal orders, protocols, and any other documents;
  • on inspection of various items, used by the taxpayer to extract income or related to the maintenance of objects of production, warehouse, retail, and others;
  • on conducting an inventory of property owned by the taxpayer;
  • other actions of Tax Authorities carried out at the location of the taxpayer (the place of its activity, the location of the object of taxation) and in other places outside the location of the Tax Authorities.

Purpose of the field tax audit:

  • monitoring compliance with the legislation on taxes and fees and the correctness of calculation, completeness and timeliness of tax payments to the budget;
  • collection of arrears on taxes and penalties;
  • bringing the violators to justice for committing tax offenses;
  • prevention of tax violations.
However, these goals are achieved by specific means of field inspections.

For example, the seizure of documents and items can only be carried out during the field tax audit.

The field tax audit uses the originals of primary documents, so this check is more extensive than the desk audit.

As a rule, documents are checked for 3 years preceding the year when the decision to conduct the audit was made.

The duration of the field audit should not exceed 2 months.

This period may be extended only if there are circumstances that require further inspection.

These include:

  • information about violations that require additional inspection;
  • failure to submit the documents;
  • other reasons.

In fact, the Tax Authorities usually detect such types of violations:

  • understating the amount of revenue;
  • overstatement of expenditure;
  • errors and violations in primary documentation.

After any tax audit, you receive a certificate of completion. After the specified date, tax officials are not allowed to stay in your office and request additional documents.

In two months, you will receive a detailed report indicating all violations and how they can be eliminated. If there are no violations, you still receive a notification from the Tax Service, but only with a description of all the inspectors' actions.

Within 5 days after receipt, the act must be signed by the head of the company. If some points seemed to you illegal, then you have only one month to appeal.