In the first decade of March, the third stage of the amnesty of offshore capital returned to Russia was completed. But, according to the estimates of the relevant departments of the Russian Federation and foreign sources for the entire period of the amnesty, starting in July 2015, no more than $ 16 billion returned to the country. Moreover, only last year the outflow from the Russian Federation to offshore (at least 40 countries and colonial territories) ) reached at least $ 30 billion, which is 15% more than in 2018. And for 2017-2019. this figure is at least 95 billion.
Moreover, according to our data, the total accumulation of Russian business in offshore companies currently exceeds $ 2.3 trillion, and according to the US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and the Boston Consulting Group, $ 3 trillion.
As a percentage of Russia's GDP, offshore capital of Russian businessmen reaches about half of it, second only to the UAE (73-75%), Venezuela (at least 60%), Saudi Arabia (55-57%). It is characteristic that these countries, like Russia, are also among the largest oil exporters.
It is far from accidental that the Russian government and ministries complain about problems with financing the industrial economy and the social sphere, and the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation quarterly records underfunding of national, infrastructure, and most other projects. The main reasons for this situation, most Russian and foreign experts call continuing legal loopholes for withdrawing capital and avoiding Russian taxation, domestic and transnational corruption chains, the ruble's predisposition to exchange rate collapses, and the high dependence of Russian business on Western financial markets. On top of that, it’s also the lack of a progressive taxation scale.
“Shadow” operations on the export from the Russian Federation of various raw materials and on the importation of sanctioned food into the country also contribute.
According to a number of data (2018-2019), up to a third of the total volume of Russian raw materials exports is associated with offshore schemes. And the share of offshore funds in the importation into our country of unsanctioned agricultural raw materials and finished food exceeds 70%.
According to the calculations of the Doctor of Economics, Professor Vasily Simchera, foreign offshore funds and Western corporations de facto and / or de jure now own at least 65% of all large Russian property, including: in power engineering – at least 90%, non-ferrous metallurgy – up to 75%, ferrous metallurgy – over 60%, railway engineering – at least 70%, in the chemical industry – up to 50%, in retail chains operating in the Russian Federation – up to 80%.
The largest agricultural producers in the Russian Federation are also located in offshore jurisdictions. Say, “Miratorg”, “Prodimeks”, “RusAgro” – in the Republic of Cyprus. The total share of offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Belize (Caribbean) reaches almost 100% in the ownership of the Ostankino meat processing plant. In turn, Cherkizovo meat processing holding owns a 31.9% share of the largest US bank JPMorgan Chase Bank and 25% of the Cyprus MB Capital Europe Ltd.
Mikhail Abramov, president of the Modernization Expert Analytical Center, explains that “offshore registration significantly reduces, and even eliminates taxation, and, more importantly, allows you to hide the true owner.” Moreover, the same registration, the expert adds, “completely excludes the prosecution / confiscation of capital. In addition, unlike most other countries, taxes are still not on a progressive scale (that is, they are calculated depending on real incomes), but flat. ” Because “our” businessmen in offshore successfully hide not only profit, but also assets. “
According to the estimates of V. Simchera, M. Abramov and many other experts, if you close all offshore zones and nationalize their capital in a regime of, so to speak, forced restitution, the revenues of the Russian state budget will be at least four times the average annual for 2017-2019.
But the aforementioned factors that permanently contribute to offshore schemes can hardly be eliminated by purely prescriptive decisions to deoffshorize the economy. It is obvious that the readjustment of the financial and economic system of the country as a whole, including its tax policy, is increasingly in demand. With an emphasis, first of all, on competent state regulation of the economy and foreign trade. At least so that the annual Russian GDP is not half, if not three times, less offshore savings.
Igor ALEKSEEV. Century.ru.