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Russia Ratifies International Agreement on Financial Information Exchange

Russia has signed an international agreement on the exchange of financial information, state news agency TASS reported Thursday.

The head of Russia's Federal Taxation Service (FNS) Mikhail Mishustin said that Russia will join the global system of data exchange between tax authorities in different countries in 2018.

“This will allow us to receive information on financial accounts of taxpayers from more than 80 jurisdictions, including offshores … the agreement means that there will be fewer possibilities for tax evasion,” he said. According to RBC, offshores in Panama and British Virgin Islands have also agreed to join the global system.

The agreement, along with the convention on mutual administrative assistance on taxation cases — ratified by Russia in November 2014 — creates the international legal basis for automated data exchange format, approved by G20 countries, according to the FNS, TASS reported.

Russia is the 81st country to join the agreement. Once it comes into force in 2018, Russia will be able to access information on the foreign accounts of Russian taxpayers from foreign taxation agencies.

Currently this exchange, according to TASS, is done by request only.

In April, Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that automated tax data exchange means that it will be more difficult — and eventually impossible — to hide taxable revenues from Russian taxation agencies in other countries.

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