Russian Currency Control Legislation

28 March 2016

In accordance with the Federal Law “On Currency Regulation and Currency Control” all Russian citizens who are considered residents for currency control purposes (the "currency control residents") are obliged to file annual cash flow reports on their foreign bank accounts with the Russian tax authorities. New changes affect all Russian citizens who live abroad permanently but travel back to Russia at least once a year. 

Since 1 January 2015 Russian citizens are required not only to notify the local tax authorities of the details of their accounts opened with the banks located outside Russia, but also submit information on all transactions on foreign accounts over the year. In other words, if you live abroad and use foreign accounts, the report must reflect all daily expenses, including purchases in stores and payment for utility services. For the first time such reports should have been submitted by 30 January 2016 and reflect the information for 2015. All documents must be translated into Russian and notarized.

Only those Russians who live abroad permanently and don't visit Russia are not considered currency control residents and thus are exempt from this reporting obligation. Those who hold a long-term resident visa or have a second citizenship and cross the Russian borders at least once a year are considered currency control residents.

Russian citizens who fail to adhere to the procedure and timeline will face penalties. Penalties range from RUB 2,000 to RUB 20,000 and will apply from 1 January 2016.

Amendments to the Law as of 28 November 2015 specify what funds may be credited to the accounts of individuals in the banks located on the territories of the OECD or FATF member states.

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