Yulia Pavlova, the chief tax consultant of the Tax Compliance legal coompany, has prepared an up-to-date material with details of a competent check of contracting parties. The expert told how to avoid dubious counterparties and protect yourself against unwanted checks.

Doubtful contracting parties can become the grounds for claims filed by the tax authorities. The practice of conducting field tax audits under Art. 54.1 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation demonstrates the addition of VAT and income tax in full. This happens in cases where it is impossible to prove the reality of the performed service (delivery of goods), or there is intent in obtaining tax benefits in the process of forming a transaction. To avoid such consequences, it is worthwhile, when checking counterparties, to use the criteria by which the Federal Tax Service of Russia evaluates tax risks.

Registration data of legal entities

It is worth checking the registration data of legal entities on an extract from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, which can be obtained through the online service if you know the name and details of the organization. The absence of information about the contracting party in the register entails the nullity of all transactions concluded with it and the recognition of all relevant expenses as unjustified.

It is worth focusing on where the counterparty is actually located, if its address is not a mass registration address.

To check this, you can use a register of mass registration addresses.

Business reputation

The business reputation of the contracting party can be assessed based on the use of information resources (organization website, media). It is worth paying attention to the company's website availability and its relevance. Search the media for messages and reviews about the counterparty and check in what context the company is mentioned.

Tax reporting

It is definitely worth checking the fulfillment of tax obligations and the submission of reports on the basis of publicly available information resources. There are registries of organizations that do not pay taxes. For example, the FTS compiles a register of organizations with nominee members. The presence of the counterparty in these registers most likely indicates a violation of tax legislation and the absence of real activity.

Federal Bailiff Service of Russia

An obligatory stage of checking a contracting party is monitoring information about it in the database of the FBS of Russia and files of court cases. In the first case, the availability of information indicates that the company is conducting real activities. But it is necessary to check, how many unfulfilled obligations the counterparty has and what these obligations are. The presence of debt in the FBS database of Russia does not yet indicate the counterparty's bad faith, but if there are a lot of debts, then it is highly likely that it is a dubious company.

Accounting records

The organization's accounting records can be checked using the appropriate Rosstat data reporting system. First of all, see if the contracting party has a legal obligation to provide reports to Rosstat. If there is such an obligation, but the company does not fulfill it, this indicates a violation of the requirements of the law, with a high degree of probability - about non-payment of taxes and fees and about the absence of real activity. In addition, the financial analysis of the statements will allow you to analyze the size of the counterparty's assets and its activities.

Evaluation of the counterparty according to the specified criteria will reduce the risk of entering into a transaction with dubious companies.

Of course, it is worthwhile to understand that it is necessary to evaluate contracting parties on the basis of the totality of these data, and it is better not to neglect some certain points. The results of such a check must be saved, it is even better to make separate dossiers on contractors and update them periodically. This will be evidence of due diligence in the event of a claim from the tax authorities.