If you’re selling digital services and products to customers in [Name], then you might be liable for Russia’s Value-added Tax (VAT). This guide covers two very important parts of the system:
- Registering for the tax, and then
- Filing tax returns on time.
We’ve scoured the Federal Tax Service of Russia’s website to provide you with all the necessary information about VAT for international businesses in one place.
How to register for VAT in Russia
Russia offers online VAT registration in English (and Russian, of course). This takes place in the online portal, VAT Office for Online Service Providers. This portal is also where you’ll file and pay your tax returns. More on that later!
Note: If you want to be really sure that you must register, feel free to take the Federal Tax Service’s online test. It’s a few questions to determine your liability and takes less than 3 minutes!
1. The first step is to fill out an application. You will answer questions about your business, the services you provide, and necessary contact information. At a few points, you’ll need to translate your answers into Russian, in addition to providing the answer in the Latin alphabet.
Before you get started, make sure you have this info handy:
- Tax ID number from your home country
- All business other details like phone, email, address, URL, etc.
2. Submit the form and wait to hear from the Russian tax authorities! They will contact you by email within 30 days with information about logging into your new Online Personal Account in the tax portal.
3. Your business will receive a tax ID referred to as INN (or ИНН in Russian). This ten-digit code is a unique identifier they’ll use to identify you in the system, and which you’ll need to put on invoices, etc.
How to file VAT returns in Russia
You must report your taxes in the local currency, Russian rubles. The Federal Tax Service doesn’t offer any explicit guidance on how to convert foreign currencies, so we recommend referring to the Bank of Russia’s official exchange rates. You can even choose a specific day!
When to file and pay
You must file a VAT return every quarter. The deadline for declarations and payments is the 25th of the month following the end of a reporting quarter.
- 25 April, for first quarter ending 31 March
- 25 July, for second quarter ending 30 June
- 25 October, for third quarter ending 30 September
- 25 January, for fourth quarter ending 31 December
Note: You must still file every quarter even if you made no sales in Russia! This is typically called a “Nil declaration” and it follows the exact same process as a normal return. (Just a little less data entry 😉)
How to file
Before you get started, you should collect all the information about your taxable sales in [Name] during the previous quarter. The tax website suggests having these pieces ready:
- total sales and income
- total purchases and expenses
You can file online in your personal account. You can log in here.
How to pay
When it comes to payment, you’ll pay in Russian rubles via bank transfer. All the details and instructions you need are listed in the online VAT office.
Payment details and instructions are also provided right inside the portal. You can log into your Online Personal Account, then go to the section “My tax” and click on “Payment details.”
What to do in between registering and filing?
Well, you must comply with all the rules for Russian VAT! That means charging 20% VAT on all B2C sales in the country, among other things.
For further reading that will help you stay compliant and successful as a remote seller, check out our Russia VAT Guide for Businesses.