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Banks hold on to zeroing. The cancellation of VAT privileges for software did not please financiers

Source Kommersant

Yuriy Ivanov, Head of Tax practice

A meeting is scheduled for June 29 at the head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Maksut Shadayev, on the tax maneuver in support of the IT industry. In particular, the cancellation of VAT privileges on the sale of exclusive rights to software and rights to use software under license from 2021 will be discussed. Already in 2021 this should bring to the budget 42.5 billion rubles. Licensed software can rise in price by an average of 16.67%.

According to market participants, the main burden from the abolition of benefits will fall primarily on banks, which will provide about half of payments to the budget.

At the same time, banking products are not subject to VAT, that is, we are talking about direct costs. In Russia, VAT is calculated by the seller if the buyer is not entitled to a deduction.

“The abolition of VAT exemptions will lead to a significant increase in the cost of software for the bank, and this is a tangible expense item. It will be more difficult for banks to develop IT at the pace that was planned, VTB emphasizes. “Cancellation of benefits is premature, and it will really have a negative impact on the banking sector."

According to Sergei Rusanov, a member of the board of Otkritie Bank, “it’s strange that IT initiatives, which should be aimed at motivating the development of technologies, underestimate this motivation for a large share of consumers, thereby narrowing the market.” “We consider the initiative critical for banks if we consider it in conjunction with the initiative to switch banks to use Russian software according to the presidential decree,” adds Maria Shevchenko, deputy general director of the QIWI group.

As Tinkoff Bank explained, the cancellation of benefits without taking into account market realities, for example, the fact that banks have already become IT companies in many respects, but cannot claim IT benefits, can lead to significant business losses. It will be about reducing software purchases by banks, delaying industry automation, and therefore reducing the revenue of IT companies, concludes Alexander Pogudin, member of the Board of Directors of Payment Center RNCO.

“Bank software costs are among the highest in the Russian economy,” confirms Yuri Ivanov, head of Vegas Lex tax practice projects. “We don’t think that this will lead to bank failure, but may affect the cost of services." BGP Litigation Senior Associate Denis Savin believes that as a result, credit institutions may simply start buying less modern software, which will slow down the development of IT in the banking sector.

The Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Communications did not respond to Kommersant’s requests. Kommersant’s source does not exclude that the issue of preserving privileges for banks can be raised at the meeting on June 29. Alexei Voylukov, vice president of the Association of Banks of Russia (ADB), says the organization is ready to provide market participants with a “platform for dialogue with regulators” on this issue.

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