Tactics of conduct during a field tax audit

In their activities, companies often use rough optimization of tax liabilities. It is often possible to face the overestimation of tax expenditures on income tax, the use of one-day firms as suppliers, distortion of information on the average number of employees, and the use of “paper VAT”.

These decisions carry a certain risk, but what can you do if the tax code grants tax breaks only to a certain group of people, for example, exporters of goods, works and services?!

Returning to the topic of business tax audits, it is necessary to note the main aspects of conducting field tax audits.

Tax authorities will not just put you in the on-site audit plan, there are certain selection criteria that the pre-audit analysis department deals with. All fears during an on-site audit boil down to the fact that facts of rough optimization of tax obligations may be revealed and that the tax authority will additionally charge millions of taxes, as well as fines and penalties. 

On-site inspection can be triggered by the following:

  • regular involvement of one-day firms. 
  • the presence of "gaps" (VAT discrepancies). If the amount of the gap (tax) is more than 5 million rubles. At the same time, property is on the balance sheet of the company; 
  • AIS Tax - 3 (internal program of tax authorities) assigned a medium and high level of risk to the audited organization and its main counterparties. At the same time, the company has property on its balance sheet.
  • minimal tax burden with high turnover on bank accounts. The tax burden in this case is estimated on average for the industry, taking into account the organization's internal affairs agencies;
  • affiliation between counterparties in the transaction;
  • the organization has existed for more than three years;

If the field tax audit has already started:

  • submit the documentation on the deadline specified in the tax request, so you will protect yourself from additional requests;
  • provide a minimum of information and documents;
  • do not provide access to employees' computers;
  • do not quarrel with the inspector and the inspection leadership.

Perhaps it is worth changing the legal address and checkpoint, then additional charges for on-site inspection in your organization will not give the inspection indicators, the inspector will not be interested in messing with you.

During a field tax audit, two tax control measures are the main ones:

  1. Requesting documents.
  2. Interrogation of a witness, giving explanations.

What documents should be submitted for on-site verification?

Contracts, agreements, invoices, invoice cards, acts of work, i.e. primary documentation.

The tax authority will definitely ask for explanations of the following kind: “how they searched for the counterparty, how the negotiations were conducted, what e-mail they used, etc.”. In response to this request, it is not worth giving explanations, since any information will be used against you and will form the evidence base.

If the check takes place on your territory, you must provide access to primary documents, but at the same time it is important not to disclose information about e-mail, not to give access to databases and other information about your organization.

If there is an opportunity and desire, you can provide the inspector with a workplace with a "clean" computer, but without access to information systems, access can only be to the accounting department for the checked period and primary documentation in electronic form.

During interrogations, employees and other witnesses should behave with restraint and provide a minimum of information. The entire team must be assembled and explained that any employee can be summoned for interrogation, and a conversation should be held before going to the tax office.

Use 51 article of the Constitution (not to testify against yourself) to questions such as: "how did you find this counterparty", "what did the director look like, describe", "what the office looked like, who issued the pass", "do you have a white salary" and others similar.

If you ask questions about the volume of shipment, margins, the cost of goods, you need to answer that all information is provided in response to the request and is contained in the submitted documents.

The interrogation protocol should contain minimal information, any information in the interrogation protocol will also form the basis of the tax audit act. It is on your testimony that the structure of the act and the decision of the tax audit will be built.

So, to summarize:

  • when conducting an on-site inspection against you, we recommend that you provide a minimum of information; 
  • use 51 articles of the Constitution;
  • prepare employees, contractors for the upcoming interrogations.

The less information the verifiers have about you, the easier it will be to dispute the verification materials and parry the “strong” arguments of the verifiers.

Competently and effectively accompany the field audit and fend off the claims of the tax authority, will help you to specialists of the Law Company "A4» ( https://a4lawfirm.ru ) in partnership with the Legal Agency team DOVOD ( https://getdovod.ru ).


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