Taxes are the main revenue part of the budget of any state. This is compulsory, mandatory and gratuitous payments, so it is understandable the desire of the recipient of income or the owner of their property to reduce. Of course, aspiring businessmen are also interested in how to reduce LLC taxes or how IPs pay fewer taxes. Such an opportunity really exists, and, for this, it is not necessary to violate the law.
The right to apply tax incentives and choose the most beneficial tax option is enshrined in the Tax Code and is confirmed by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. Reducing the tax burden by legal methods is called tax optimization and is radically different from tax schemes.
What is a tax scheme
Scheme tax authorities call methods of financial and economic activities with high tax risk. Unfair optimizers, offering various methods of reducing the tax burden, share these ways in this way:
- white schemes allowed by law;
- grey schemes, which use defects or inaccurate interpretation of the law;
- black schemes, the purpose of which is tax evasion with a clear violation of the law.
In fact, legal ways to reduce tax payments by the scheme are not at all. These are the methods of tax optimization permitted by law, we will discuss them later. All other schemes, allegedly reducing the tax burden in some magical way, are well known to the tax authorities. Such methods are called tax evasion and are punished accordingly, right up to serious criminal liability.
One of the most popular schemes with high tax risk is the cashing of LLC’s money for the personal purposes of the participants. The reason for its relevance is that, in terms of taxation, there is a fundamental difference between IP and LLC. An individual entrepreneur can freely and at any time withdraw from the business legally earned funds. However, this ease with the use of money is a kind of risk payment, because if so, the IP is responsible for its obligations with all its assets.
LLC – this is a legal entity, but it is created by its individuals interested in earning income. The difficulty lies in the fact that a member of an LLC can not simply take money from the cash department of his organization or withdraw them from a settlement account. Even if the participant is the only one who manages his company, the money of the LLC does not belong to him. He can get a part of the profit in the form of dividends, and do it right not more often than once a quarter and under certain conditions. In addition, having received dividends, the owner of the business must still pay tax on them – at a rate of 13%. It becomes clear why the illegal cash withdrawal scheme is so popular among company owners – after all, you want to get income from the business quickly, at the required level and without paying additional taxes.
For the illegal withdrawal of money from the organization, the owner needs an intermediary. They may be a one-day company or an individual entrepreneur (sometimes for this the participant of an LLC is registered as an individual entrepreneur). An intermediary is contracted for the provision of services or payment for goods, payment is transferred, fictitious documents are issued that confirm that the services were rendered and the goods arrived. Further money, minus commission to the intermediary (about 5%), is returned to the owner, but already as an individual. This scheme is not only well understood by the tax authorities but also carries a high risk that the intermediary will hide with the money, and the “visionary” owner will remain with nothing.
In addition to options for explicit tax evasion (in this case, a tax on dividends), illegal tax schemes offer a variety of ways to understate revenues and overstate the taxpayer’s expenses. We recommend you not to trust such proposals, all the more so, try to independently assess the risks of ways of white and black tax optimization.
Legal ways to save on taxes
1.Choose the most suitable tax system for you. This is the basis of tax optimization. Special tax regimes allow organizations and IPs to pay a very small part of their income to the budget. Taxpayers who choose USN Revenues or UTII have the right to reduce the calculated tax by half, due to the payment of insurance premiums for employees. Individual entrepreneurs on USN and SPE can two years after registration work within the framework of tax holidays, the tax for them will be zero.
2. Check the integrity of your counterparties. This is especially important if you have to keep track of expenses within the framework of your taxation system (OCHO, STS Income Minus Expenditure, ESA). If your counterparty is found unfair, then the transaction costs will not be accepted by the tax inspectorate, accordingly, you will have to pay more taxes, even if the business transaction was real and economically justified.
3. Observe the requirements for the conclusion of contracts. In addition, there are conditions for each type of transactions, without which the contract will be recognized as unfinished, there are requirements to the requisites and the form of the document. Be sure to verify the authority of the person who signs the contract, without this the transaction will not have legal consequences.
4. Maintain and retain primary documents that confirm the fact of the economic transaction. Without primary documents, transaction costs will not be taken into account, the tax base will be larger, and the tax will be higher.
5. Develop the right accounting policy. In accounting and tax accounting there are many nuances of recognizing income and expenses, depreciation, creation of reserves, accounting of fixed assets, etc. Depending on the specifics of your business, accounting policy will help legitimate methods to reduce the tax base and payments to the budget.
6. Study the risk criteria for conducting on-site inspections and try to reduce them. Scheduled field inspections in most cases result in additional taxes and fines. These risks are easier to prevent than to cope with their consequences.
7. Observe the deadlines for submitting reports, declarations, and payment of taxes. Although this method does not directly save taxes, it avoids accrual of fines, arrears, fines and problems related to the blocking of a settlement account.
8.Reach tax optimization only for professionals with extensive experience and excellent reputation! This is perhaps the most important way to save on taxes. Remember, you are the risks for illegal tax schemes, and not your questionable advisers.