Employees of the Federal Tax Service have become more active in St. Petersburg. They find owners of investment apartments and, under threat of penalties for concealing income from rental housing, demand that they submit declarations of rental income.
The Federal Tax Service confirmed the mass mailing of such letters and said that they intend to intensify efforts and pressure on homeowners to whitewash the rental market, RBC reports.
According to the agency, apartment owners receive registered letters from the Federal Tax Service with a request to appear at the tax inspectorate of their area to “give explanations” on the use of their apartments, since “the inspectorate has information that the premises are rented out.” Also, the tax authorities require no later than May 2, 2023 to file tax returns not only for the last 2022, but also for 2021 and 2020.
“The problem of whitewashing the rental market is very relevant and the tax authorities are actively dealing with this issue. To be honest, many people still rent apartments without declaring their income,” admits Vladimir Polezhaev, Deputy Head of the St. Petersburg Department of the Federal Tax Service of Russia. He could not say how many letters the tax inspectorate sent out to residents of the city this year.
According to him, in order to identify landlords, the tax authorities are actively working with management companies, with law enforcement agencies and signals from neighbors. Additional personal income tax may be charged at a rate of 13-15% and VAT at a rate of 20% if the tax authority manages to prove the entrepreneurial nature of the activity without registration. However, if the owner leases only one apartment, especially if it was previously used for his own personal needs, there are no signs of entrepreneurial activity here, in this case only personal income tax should be charged.
Tax officials can analyze the cash flow on the taxpayer’s account (regular receipt of the same amount from the same sender), interrogate witnesses (tenant, neighbors, realtors), analyze the database of advertisements.
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