Russian authorities decided to inspect concert activity subject to compliance with Russian tax law

Despite the economic situation in Russia some Russian and foreign artists make money on concerts in Russia. Do they mention the revenues from their concert activity in Russia in their tax returns? Some of them yes and pay taxes through the legal entities; some of them – mostly Russians – prefer to receive cash. It is simple for them and let them save sometimes “a lot of money” on “transaction costs” (lawyers, bookkeepers etc.).

One singer, known in Russia, Laima Vaikule, once said she wouldn’t perform in Crimea due to imposed sanctions. The Laima’a words entailed a public resonance in certain part of Russian-speaking media society and, what is most interesting, initiated inspection in relation to her business activity in Russia, namely concerts. Social council in Main Moscow Department of Ministry of internal affairs initiated inspection in relation to “concert activity” of foreign singers in Russia, “including the legality of Laima’s concerts” in Russia.

The chief of the working group on economic crimes said he has initiated inspection. But according to his words the inspection will “cover” not only foreign artists, but also Russian artists. The chief explained already second year in a row he has the strong interest in taxation of artists, performing in corporate events and private parties. He said for such artists it is intended to establish a special taxation regime and in a case of violation of such regime the person would be fined.

“What’s the difference: singer, taxi driver or builder? There was a problem with legalization of citizens from Middle East for employment purposes. Currently any of them can buy a working patent – the right to legally reside and work in Russia. The corruptive element has been totally eliminated. I apologise, but what’s the difference between Laima and Tajik (citizen of Tajikistan) from legal point of view and status of foreign citizen? The law provisions are mandatory for all,” – said the chief.

He also said the foreign artists very often enter the Russia with travel visa and perform in corporate events and private parties. But for commercial performances it is necessary to have usual working visa, and for non-commercial performances it is necessary to have usual humanitarian visa. The travel visa is not the right choice anyway; it is violation of administrative law – illegal working activity in Russia. What the fines for illegal working activity? Up to seven thousands Roubles in Moscow and Saint Petersburg and deportation.