The footwear giant Ralf Ringer has found itself in a tax trap: tax authorities are demanding an additional payment of 1.37 billion rubles

In September, Ralf Ringer will once again try to challenge the decision of the Russian Federal Tax Service on the surcharge of taxes and penalties amounting to 1.37 billion rubles in the Moscow Arbitration Court.
Tax authorities accuse the company of allegedly not receiving a portion of the materials paid for the production of footwear from its sole supplier "Promsnabpostavka" in 2014-2016. This conclusion is made by tax authorities based on the fact that some of the counterparts of "Promsnabpostavka" in turn purchased materials from suppliers who did not fully pay VAT. Thus, in the opinion of the tax authorities, Ralf Ringer unlawfully included the cost of the undelivered materials as expenses and credited the VAT paid when purchasing these materials.

Lawyer Valeria Doskovskikh of UPPERCASE LEGAL notes that the practice of additional VAT charges has become more common in recent years due to the use of VAT automated control system. However, companies are still more often subject to additional charges due to illegal fragmentation (as in the case of another footwear company Zenden, see "Tax authorities probe franchises", "Ekspert" No. 19 for 2023).

Valeria confirms that according to the statistics of the Judicial Department at the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation for the year 2022, luck in challenging VAT reassessments has turned away from taxpayers.
"Comparing the practice of the years 2020-2022, the following trend can be identified: successful challenge of reassessments in 2022 has decreased by almost half compared to 2020. There are very few appeals with cassation complaints against the actions of the tax authorities, indicating the resolution of many disputes in the first or appellate instances," says the lawyer.
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