Owners who rent out their homes may be required to register on a special aggregator platform. Thus, it is planned to facilitate market control. This issue is being considered by the Ministry of Construction and Housing and Utilities. It is assumed that due to the legalization of the real estate rental market, the budget can receive up to 200 billion rubles. While the issue of creating a special platform is still under discussion, the persecution of gray landlords is intensifying right now. Life understood how tax authorities look for defaulters and how to reduce payments.
How FTS employees find out that an apartment is being rented illegally
- Most often, the Federal Tax Service learns that an apartment is being rented out illegally from tenants who were somehow offended or infringed upon by the owners, - said Polina Gusyatnikova, senior managing partner of the PG Partners law firm. - Neighbors, district police officers and any other "well-wishers" can also report.
According to the lawyer, unlucky owners often reveal themselves. For example, in her practice there was a case when a landlord decided to collect a debt from a tenant in court.
- He provided the court with a contract and receipts for money. Then it turned out that he did not pay taxes and rented the apartment illegally, - said Polina Gusyatnikova. - As a result, together with the court's decision to recover the unpaid amount from the debtor, the lessor received an invitation to the tax office to clarify the circumstances of receiving the money.
The tax service has long worked out mechanisms to track gray owners. They use, for example, data from Rosreestr and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where you can find information on the availability of property and citizens living in an apartment.
However, as a rule, the tax authorities do not analyze this information independently.
- This is a very time consuming process. Having found such an owner, you still need to prove that he received income from renting out the apartment.
In many cases, the tax office cannot do anything because the tenants claim to be relatives or friends of the landlord and do not pay him anything. Some even present a contract for free use.
Therefore, in the overwhelming majority of cases it becomes known about the facts of violation of the law by landlords from "kind" people, - explained Polina Gusyatnikova.
According to Vladlena Varshavskaya, Senior Partner, Head of Tax and Administrative Practice at Varshavsky and Partners Law Firm, the tax authority has information about all real estate of an individual. So finding an owner, if necessary, is not difficult.
Rented apartments will be pulled from the shadows again
- It will be enough to clarify in the passport service (department of resettlement and registration of citizens) where the citizen is registered and resides. Accordingly, other real estate can be used for commercial purposes, - explained Vladlena Varshavskaya. - Based on the practice of recent years, there is no presumption of tax innocence in Russia and, thus, an individual will have to provide the FTS with evidence of non-use of this property for commercial purposes.
What threatens apartment owners who do not pay taxes
According to lawyers, there is no responsibility for the illegal renting of an apartment in Russian law. However, there is responsibility for failure to submit a tax return on income, if any, and for non-payment of tax. It can be criminal or administrative. Criminal liability occurs if the amount of unpaid tax for the financial year exceeds 600 thousand rubles (Article 198 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). In this case, in addition to the obligation to pay tax, the debtor will face a fine in the amount of 100 to 300 thousand rubles or a fine in the amount of his salary for one to two years, or forced labor, or imprisonment for up to one year.
If the amount does not exceed 600 thousand rubles, then the debtor will be fined. It is 20% of the tax amount unpaid to the budget. If it is proved that the debtor did not pay deliberately, then in the amount of 40%.
How can you legally reduce tax payments?
- It is possible to legally reduce income tax by opening an individual entrepreneur and renting out housing as an individual entrepreneur. When switching to a simplified taxation system under the item “Income”, you can pay 6% of income tax, and not 13%, as an ordinary individual pays, ”explains Polina Gusyatnikova. - You can also officially become self-employed and pay tax at a rate of 4%, but your income should not exceed 2.4 million rubles per year.