The government has submitted to the State Duma amendments to the Tax Code (TC), which oblige companies to pay payments for environmental damage from net profits. The business can now charge these costs as costs.
“This amendment is aimed at fulfilling the president’s instructions; payments transferred to the budget in order to compensate for damage are not recognized as expenses,” Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Sazanov explained at a meeting of the Duma Budget Committee (quoted by Interfax). According to Art. 270 of the Tax Code, when determining the base for income tax, expenses in the form of penalties, fines and other sanctions transferred to the budget are not taken into account. In the amendments, it is proposed to clarify that when determining the base for income tax, the costs of payments for damages transferred to the budget are also not taken into account.
How businesses were fined for the environment
Earlier, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that expenses on compensation for environmental damage should not be financed by companies as operating costs, because this reduces profits and, accordingly, reduces taxes to the regional budgets. As a result, it turns out that residents pay for the elimination of damage, he said. Mikhail Mishustin noted that such conclusions were made after the accident at the thermal power plant in Norilsk, where the damage will be eliminated at the expense of the perpetrators.
“It is necessary that the damage is paid from the net profit of the companies. Only then will their owners and top officials bear responsibility, ”said Mr. Mishustin, speaking with a report to the State Duma on May 12.
The accident at the Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company took place in May 2020. When the tank with diesel fuel was depressurized, 6 thousand tons of diesel fuel got into the ground, 15 thousand tons – into the Daldykan and Ambarnaya rivers. In early March 2021, Norilsk Nickel paid a fine of 146.2 billion rubles for the spill.