Pensions, payments, taxes : The main legislative and administrative innovations that come into force in Russia in the last month of winter are associated with the indexation of all kinds of payments to their recipients. First of all, this applies to pensioners, veterans and the disabled, as well as families with children and young parents. Which is not surprising: only in mid-January, Rosstat determined the exact amount of last year’s inflation, and it is from this figure that, as a rule, all indexations are based. However, many novelties are planned for February in other areas: they will affect bank debtors, sick leave workers, and recipients of covid certificates. Details for “MK” were revealed by experts.
Indexation of pensions
From February 1, the Russians were promised to index pensions by 8.6%. The increase in payment to non-working pensioners will be about 1.4 thousand rubles, and the average old-age insurance pension will be 18,984 rubles, the Federation Council calculated. In addition, citizens who are on a well-deserved rest will receive an increased surcharge for January: in the first month of the year, their pensions were increased by only 5.9%.
Also, payments to veterans and the disabled, as well as to people who have lost their ability to work due to injuries at work, will be indexed by 8.4%.
Mikhail Belyaev, financial analyst, candidate of economic sciences, comments:
“The decision of the authorities to index pensions in line with real inflation in 2021 can only be assessed positively. The result will exceed the expectations that people were aiming for in the fall of 2021. Then it was about indexing to the level of projected inflation of about 5.9%. In this regard, it cannot be said that the authorities were late with indexation. Decisions of this kind are made on the basis of official data. In the fall, it was clear that inflation would rise, but no one could say by how much. Right now, the inflation rate has amounted to 8.4% in 2021, according to Rosstat. It was decided to index pensions by 8.6% – with a small gap, as the president put it. Of course, we can say that indexation is not carried out at the level of “domestic” inflation, which is much higher than the official one.
Payments for children
From February 1, 2022, maternity capital will be indexed in accordance with actual, not projected, inflation. For the first child, the size of the mother’s capital will be 524.5 thousand rubles, and for the second – 693.1 thousand rubles, if the family did not receive payments for the first child. Otherwise, 168.6 thousand will be paid extra for the second child.
From February 2022, child benefits will be indexed by 8.4%. Thus, the one-time payment at the birth of a child, regardless of the employment of parents and their income level, taking into account the February indexation, will increase from 18,886 to 20,472 rubles.
The minimum monthly allowance for child care up to one and a half years will also be indexed from February. The amount will increase to 7677 rubles, regardless of which child is on the account. The maximum amount of such benefit will be 31,282 rubles. Previously, these amounts were 7,083 rubles and 29,600 rubles, respectively.
In addition, payments for the first and second children up to three years will change. Now, when they are appointed, the subsistence minimum per child in the region, appointed for the year of application, will be taken into account. At the same time, not everyone can apply for these funds, but only families whose income does not exceed two living wages.
Families can also count on a monthly payment for children from three to seven years old, if the average income per person is less than the subsistence level. The amount of the payment will be 50.75 or 100% of the regional subsistence level per child.
Natalya Milchakova, Deputy Head of the Alpari IAC, comments:
“Indexation of maternity capital in accordance with actual rather than projected inflation is the right decision. However, this is not so much a great progress as the correction of the admitted distortions. It is rather strange that maternity capital has so far been indexed by forecast inflation, and not by actual inflation – after all, its recipients previously bore the risks that the authorities’ forecasts would not come true, and inflation would be more significant than previously thought. Starting February 1, 2022, mother capital will be indexed by 8.4%, that is, at the level of official inflation according to Rosstat. Thus, for example, the amount of maternity capital for the first child from February 1, taking into account indexation for actual inflation, will be 524.5 thousand rubles, an increase of 40.6 thousand rubles. This is a very good increase, and it’s great, that the state corrects some shortcomings in this project. However, if you treat the innovation not emotionally, but with a cool head, you can pay attention to the fact that the ruble this year, for various reasons, may continue to depreciate. Therefore, it is likely that by the end of the year the amount of maternity capital in terms of dollars or euros may be less than it was before indexation.
Tax on bank deposits
From February 1, 2022, the Federal Tax Service will be able to receive data on the income of depositors. So the department will monitor the payment of personal income tax on bank deposits. However, the tax will have to be paid only on deposits above 1 million rubles or on income exceeding 42.5 thousand rubles, which was received in the form of interest from a bank deposit. At the same time, it is not the deposit itself that is taxed, but the interest received from it. The new tax will take effect on February 1, 2022, and payments must be made by December 1. According to the Federal Tax Service, those who have profit from various bank deposits will have to pay. To do this, banks will have to transfer information on their depositors to the tax office.
Anton Kalinin, head of the consulting department at BCS World of Investments, comments:
“The innovation has a number of advantages. The interaction is organized directly between tax agents and the tax authority and does not require the involvement of the taxpayer. The tax authority collects all the necessary information from all tax agents. Deposit income is included in the Basic Tax Base and is a source for social tax deductions and IIA (individual investment account) deductions. But innovation also has its downsides. First, the very fact of taxation of income on deposits. Secondly, tax on income on deposits is paid before December 1, based on a notification from the tax authority, while the tax return is submitted before April 30, which may make it difficult to receive a tax deduction.”
Minimum for debtors
In February, amendments to the Federal Law “On Enforcement Proceedings” will come into force. In accordance with the new text of the document, bailiffs will be required to leave on the debtor’s account an amount equal to the regional subsistence level. To do this, the interested person will need to apply to the bailiff service with a statement and confirm the presence of a permanent income and its size. And if the debtor has a dependent, he can ask for the preservation of an amount in excess of the minimum wage.
Ivan Samoylenko, Managing Partner at B&C Agency, commented:
“The living wage for debtors is a good initiative that allows people who find themselves in a difficult life situation to quickly cope with it, while providing themselves with the necessary food and services. Russians become debtors for various reasons, and by no means only for malicious intent. Most often, this is the result of a difficult life situation for people who, as a result, spend most of their income on paying off debts. But citizens also need funds for their own needs. The new law, which leaves an inviolable minimum wage or pension, will reduce the likelihood that citizens will begin to go into the gray sector and hide part of their income. And the fact that such an opportunity is declarative in nature indicates the possibility of a choice for a person: to pay a large amount monthly or keep part of the money for himself.
Excises on alcohol
In February, the excise rate on alcoholic beverages will increase by 5%. Alcohol producers will automatically raise prices by at least the same amount. So from the second month of 2022, Russians will have to pay more for alcohol. Some even talked about a 15% increase in prices due to higher wheat prices.
Svetlana Samoilova, head of the Finliberty school of independent financial consultants, comments:
“Excises on alcohol in the country are increasing every year, as a result, the minimum cost of 1 liter of vodka, cognac and other drinks is growing. Prices are increasing (on average by 10%) for the entire range of alcoholic products. But in addition to excise taxes, the cost of these products is also influenced by the prices of raw materials – wheat, grapes, various flavorings, as well as the prices of containers and pallets for transportation, the cost of logistics and fuel. Considering that the price of packaging has increased in the country by at least 20%, transportation by 10–15%, and fuel has risen in price by 6–8%, we can say that alcohol prices can grow more significantly than 10% during the year.” .
End of paper sick days
Since February 1, sick leave in paper form has finally become a thing of the past. In the era of computer technology, there is no need to bother with paper documentation; sheets can be drawn up in electronic form. Doctors will be able to draw up sick leave certificates, certify them with an electronic signature and send them to the information system of the Social Insurance Fund.
In February, the Russians will finally say goodbye to paper sick leave. Doctors will automatically transfer the document to the Social Insurance Fund, and he – to the employer.
Ivan Samoilenko comments:
“The fact that sick leave can be obtained electronically is a definite plus. Firstly, citizens do not need to move around the city a lot, picking up and receiving documents, this reduces the risk of coronavirus for everyone – the employer, employee and departmental specialists. Secondly, the burden on employees of organizations involved in issuing sick leave is reduced. Thirdly, the transfer procedure will be faster and more transparent.”
Medical taps and covid certificates
New rules for issuing COVID-certificates will come into effect from February. Digital certificates will be available to people who received a positive PCR test, but did not seek medical help. In addition, such a document will be available to persons who have antibodies to coronavirus infection in their blood. Those who fell ill while abroad or were vaccinated with a foreign vaccine will also receive digital certificates.
They also automate the control of medical outlets at the federal level. All regions will send data on contraindications of Russians to vaccination against coronavirus to a single portal of public services, and a certificate will be generated there within three days. Old-style certificates will be updated automatically.
The new form of certificate of medical exemption includes the English version of the document, it will require data from the passport. Russians with such a certificate will also receive a QR code, which will indicate the reason for the medical withdrawal and the organization that issued it.
Ivan Samoilenko comments:
“The innovation has practically no disadvantages, with the exception of the possibility of any failures during data transfer between departments, but such an event has a low probability: after the start of the country’s digitalization, public services are constantly improving and modernizing. Automation and control of medical outlets at the federal level will also improve the quality of services provided. Russians will receive more information electronically and will stop wasting time translating documents required for traveling abroad.”
The law on the protection of citizens when buying real estate comes into force. It will oblige the authorities and local governments to transfer to Rosreestr data on the recognition of the house as emergency, subject to demolition or reconstruction. From there, these data will be sent to the EGRN. When buying an apartment, a person will be able to request an extract from this register and find out if the house is emergency and if it is going to be demolished.
The procedure for administrations and the rules for paying income on shares of Mutual Investment Funds (UIFs) will change. Now they can be established by a regulation of the Bank of Russia. In addition, the management company of the fund, when redeeming shares of an exchange-traded mutual fund, is obliged to ensure the transfer of the allocated property no later than one business day from the date of redemption.
The amount of monetary penalties for the production and circulation of non-labeled tobacco and alcohol products is increasing. In addition, administrative liability is introduced for its transportation with such violations. For legal entities, the amount of fines will increase to 500 thousand rubles.