The Treasury will look after its subsidies – Newspaper Kommersant No. 227 (7189) dated 12/14/2021

The Federal Treasury plans to launch a new digital control mechanism for the funds issued within the framework of export state support, the head of the department, Roman Artyukhin, said yesterday at the Federation Council. The mechanism is conceived as an analogue of tax monitoring – the system of soft control approved by the Federal Tax Service in exchange for the openness of corporate accounting departments, the government intends to adapt to ensure the “seamless” distribution of budget money. So, by providing the treasury with access to their accounting data, bona fide companies will be able to obtain a certificate of budgetary trust, which will simplify the receipt of subsidies, and the FC will be able to form a “motivated opinion” about their future transactions, preventing possible violations “on the fly”. The mechanism on which FC is working together with the Russian Export Center (REC) will be tested on exporters already in 2022; in the future, other recipients of state support will be able to join the monitoring.

The Treasury, together with REC, is working out a new mechanism for monitoring the issuance and use of budget funds received by businesses within the framework of state support. We are talking about a form of budget monitoring that allows you to confirm the good faith of companies without actually checking – the current design of the Budget Code does not provide such an opportunity. The need for new tools is associated with the development of digital business assistance systems and the transfer of state support completely to electronic form, the participants in the discussion on supporting exporters at a round table in the Federation Council concluded. As an example, the head of FC Roman Artyukhin yesterday named the program of anti-crisis support for the affected business “FOT 2.0”, in which all documents were generated in electronic form.

But even in this case, according to the official, control risks remain – “the controller will come and recognize the use of funds as inappropriate,” or “the machine will make a mistake,” he said. Vasily Osmakov, the first deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, also pointed out the risks of incorrectly calculating the size of the subsidy by the “machine”.

As a result, the Federal Treasury, on behalf of First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, together with REC, will have to “tighten the control environment to the required level of digitalization,” said Roman Artyukhin. Note that in recent years, the system of state support for industry (namely, it accounts for a significant amount of export support) has undergone significant changes – instead of a sectoral approach that provides for the distribution of funds through multiple channels of departments, the government concentrated support at one point, requiring companies to fulfill counter obligations. According to Vasily Osmakov, the coverage of companies with state support measures increased by 1.5-2 times. Thus, companies received more than RUB 1.2 trillion through REC. export credits (by 2024 the figure should rise to 2 trillion rubles), of which 800 billion rubles. within the framework of corporate programs to improve competitiveness (subsidizing loans in exchange for export obligations). In addition, the government intends to continue to increase the volume of aid to exporters (see Kommersant on December 11). Probably, the amount of budget funds consolidated for this has become the reason for additional attention of the financial control bodies.

According to the scheme, the new control mechanism in the structure of the Federal Treasury will become an analogue of tax monitoring – its participants, we recall, voluntarily open remote access to their accounting systems for the Federal Tax Service in exchange for reducing the administrative burden and tax risks. The Federal Tax Service gets the opportunity to remotely control and reduces the amount of required documents. When disclosed to the Treasury, the company will be recognized as a “reliable and responsible recipient of budgetary funds” – this is a step-by-step confirmation of trust with participation in FC monitoring, as well as confirmation of the legality, effectiveness and targeted use of funds. Based on the monitoring results, its participants will be able to receive a certificate of budgetary confidence, which will free them from field inspections in terms of foreign economic transactions, ensure prompt interaction with the treasury and minimize the risks of violations. FC, in turn, will issue to the monitoring participants a “motivated opinion” – for example, about the possibility of claims against only transactions planned by companies.

The White House de facto intends to scale up the system of control over the receipt of fees and the distribution of budget money. Technically, the construction of “financial and budgetary monitoring” FC will begin with the certification of information systems of companies for the reliability of data and their availability at control points, which are now being checked by controllers, and corporate systems will be checked for the presence of “invisible processes” and loopholes to bypass requirements. It is expected that the mechanism will be worked out together with REC in 2022 at exporters, and then it can be extended to other recipients of state support with a sufficient level of “digital maturity”.

As explained to Kommersant in the Treasury, a new method of control – financial and budgetary controlling – is provided for by the departmental project of the Ministry of Finance “Electronic SMART control” and should become an alternative to classical checks. “The new control method will be built on the basis of remote access to the information systems of the controlled object and its accounting and budgetary reporting, thus, one of the conditions for the implementation of financial and budgetary controlling is a high” digital maturity “of control objects,” the department explains, specific the companies on which the system will be tested have not yet been named.

Diana Galieva

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