MOSCOW (Reuters) - Some of Russia's super-rich have given up residency to escape a 2014 law requiring them to disclose offshore assets, wealthy businessmen told Reuters, a practice that could keep billions of dollars hidden from Moscow's tax authorities. […]
No official data has been made public on how many people have given up Russian residency to escape the law, or the overall size of the assets they have shielded from Russian tax jurisdiction through the practice.
But Russian law firm Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev and Partners said it had conducted a survey of around 300 wealthy Russians and found as many as 40 percent of those with offshore companies had given up residency in Russia. Another 9 percent transferred the assets to relatives who are not tax residents.
The law, popularly known in Russia as "de-offshorizatsia", requires all Russian taxpayers to declare their interest in offshore companies they control, on which they can then become liable to paying tax in Russia. It is similar to the standard practice in most western countries, but represented a change for Russia, where previously taxpayers could hold interests in companies abroad without declaring them. […]
By Polina Devitt
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