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Individuals May Be Able To Decrease Taxes On Property

Russia’s Ministry of Finance has withdrawn its letter which allowed tax authorities to levy taxes on property.

One of the most unpleasant occurrences of the year was the increase to the property that occurred when the  the Ministry of Finance issued a letter that proposed calculating tax using a new method (Letter #03-05-04-01/19 from April 21, 2008.) The letter stipulated that, for example, if one possesses a 50% ownership stake of an apartment that costs 700,000 rubles, then the tax authorities would collect the tax based upon the full cost of the entire apartment.

The method is disputable and some of the more courageous and legally well-versed have taken the matter to court. Valentina Podberezkina is one such example – after examining the Russian Tax Portal’s Internet message board and studying its reference materials, she was able to maintain her right to pay property taxes according to the previous rate.

Now the Ministry of Finance seems to be backpedaling. On November 28, 2009, Law #283-FZ was passed which stipulates that personal property is to be taxed independently of jointly-owned property. This regulation extends to the legislation that came into effect January 1, 2009; therefore, it was necessary for the Ministry canceled their letter regarding calculating taxes for common and jointly-owned property.

Now, anyone who has paid the raised property tax rate may petition the court and recover the amount they unduly paid.

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