The head of the Federal Tax Service announced signs of schemes in the beer and tobacco industries | November 21, 2023

“We have questions about tobacco and its various derivatives, such as electronic cigarettes etc. We work, among other things, with data streams on the supply of tobacco raw materials and understand perfectly well how much of the raw material should be used to make a product. When we see the raw materials on the one hand and the output of officially manufactured products on the other hand or compare player to player, any such distortions immediately attract attention,” he said.

Answering the question whether there are signs of the use of illegal schemes in the beer market, Egorov said: “Yes, this is there too.” According to the head of the Federal Tax Service, there are several models for the emergence of such schemes.

“Increased taxation (excise taxes are exactly that case) creates incentives to invest in the scheme,” noted Daniil Egorov. — Any scheme requires costs, and what you cannot afford to spend on a scheme within the normal tax system is still profitable to spend, for example, in the excise system. In this sense, there are more motives and the appetite for risk is much higher.”

Identifying such a scheme is not the most difficult thing, says the head of the Federal Tax Service. “But it’s a game of cat and mouse. We know the scheme, the question is how long it will work,” he said.

As RBC previously wrote, in the fall of 2023 the Federal Tax Service and FSB identified two schemes for introducing ethyl alcohol, medicinal and food grade, into illegal circulation without excise duty using technical companies. And in 2022, tax officials uncovered a shadow platform for tax evasion in the restaurant industry – using counterfeit cash registers and shadow acquiring.

If we talk about public catering, then schemes that are used through public relations are the most vulnerable, Egorov pointed out. “If a company issues checks and starts creating some kind of schemes, they, of course, will be easily detected. Unfortunately, not everyone understands this,” he noted.

Egorov said that one of the similar tax evasion schemes that has emerged recently is the mechanism of “renting” cash registers: the Federal Tax Service has uncovered two such cases. “There was one at the end of last year, billions passed through it. And one case was uncovered this year: more than 900 cash desks with a turnover of 60 billion rubles,” he said.

The head of the Federal Tax Service described the essence of the scheme as follows: “The cash register is there and checks are punched, but it has a very conditional relationship to a specific enterprise. Such cash desks operate through “operators”. And as soon as we receive data about the operator, that’s it – all users are immediately exposed.”

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