Lawyer Alexey Gatin: Elena Blinovskaya is expected to have a demonstrative flogging and a real term
Blogger Elena Blinovskaya
Photo: Ivan MAKEEV
BIG PUBLICITY – TO A BIG TIME
Prospects of the famous blogger, baroness of the infogypsy business Elena Blinovskaya joyless. Recall that she accused of tax evasion almost a billion rubles and money laundering, acquired by criminal means.
On April 27, Blinovskaya was detained in the Smolensk region while trying to escape from Russia to Belarus, and from there to go even further.
“Tax evasion is a fairly common article against entrepreneurs, and courts most often sentence them to suspended sentences,” lawyer Aleksey Gatin, managing partner of the Law and Taxes law firm, told kp.ru. – But in the case of Blinovskaya, I think it will be different: she will face a demonstrative flogging and a real term. The story has received too much publicity, and the situation may follow the same scenario as the story with Mikhail Efremov. His case was well known, actively covered in the media, and the man received a fairly significant punishment.
YOU CAN SAVE ON FINES
Criminal cases on tax evasion were initiated against two more top infobloggers – Alexandra Mitroshina and Valeria Chekalina.
But it turns out that they have a chance to avoid persecution.
– For those who committed such a crime for the first time, the law provides for exemption from criminal liability if the person voluntarily pays the debt, fines and penalties, – explained Gatin.
Another option to alleviate the fate is to reduce the incriminated amount.
– Can carry out tax reconstruction, – the lawyer continues. – When the tax authority calculates the amount of debt, it recalculates what the tax would be not according to the simplified system, which the entrepreneur illegally used, but according to the general system. But the general system implies that all costs must be taken into account. For example, bloggers bought cars, video cameras, rented video studios, helicopters, organized tours to shoot videos and promote their business. All this must be taken into account. And the taxable base is not just income, but the difference between income and expenses. So you can fight and reduce the amount.
According to the lawyer, there are chances.
– In the restaurant business, for example, with this method of recalculation, we were able to reduce the base for calculating the tax by half, – said Gatin. – And it happened that nothing worked out, because people did not have expenditure documents to confirm their expenses. So it all depends on how neatly they kept the books.
HOW TO AVOID PUNISHMENT
This method will not only save money, but also avoid punishment.
– With the help of tax reconstruction, you can move from the category of “especially large size” to just “large size”, – the lawyer continued. – This is very important, because every crime has a statute of limitations. For evasion on a large scale, this is two years. And if the charges relate to 2019-21, as the Investigative Committee writes, then I think the lawyers will try to use this opportunity. Although in the situation with Blinovskaya, it seems to me that it will not be easy, the amount is too large.
HOW THE CRIMINAL SCHEME WORKS
Bloggers often do business as individual entrepreneurs (IEs) under a simplified system. She has two types. Income minus expenses, and you pay a tax of 15% on the difference, or you pay 6%, but on all proceeds. Usually choose the second method. But simplified taxation has its limitations – in those years for which Blinovskaya is held accountable, it was 150 million rubles. in year.
– When an entrepreneur reaches this amount, he redistributes the proceeds to a trusted person, – Alexey Gatin explains to the mechanic. – To stay simplistic. This scheme is called business fragmentation. When it is clear that the only purpose of such a method is to evade taxes, then the tax authority charges additional tax, as if it were not according to the simplified system, but according to the general system. And already it turns out not 6%, but 33%.
Business fragmentation is a common practice that is used in other types of business.
– Beauty salons, car services, restaurant business – there are often acts of tax audits on additional taxes, – Gatin explained.
HOW SCAMINATORS ARE DETECTED
These scams are pretty easy to spot.
– Here the IP works, and in the middle of the year it has already approached the maximum amount for the simplified system, – the lawyer describes the picture. – And he understands that if he accepts another contract, he flies off the simplified route. What to do? Start a contract for her husband, and stop work in this direction until the end of the year. But the tax authorities see that a person has been selling his product for six months and suddenly stop. This is the dumbest moment. The tax authority analyzes major players on social networks, sees yachts, Bentleys, and so on, they are actively showing their growing level of well-being in these blogs, they need it to develop their business. But in doing so, they give themselves away. It’s all sewn with white thread.
You can act more cunningly – from the very beginning, create, for example, five individual entrepreneurs and evenly accept payments in a circle. Or divided by goals and objectives. For example, programs for mothers, for singles, for men.
– In itself, the splitting of business is not prohibited by law, but it must be justified, – says the lawyer. – For example, you have a car service and a nail studio. Or restaurants – Japanese and Italian, here you can compete. And in the information business, it is difficult to justify fragmentation: one and the same media person, on which everything is focused.
Blinovskaya is suspected of two criminal articles. Tax evasion on an especially large scale (part 2 of article 198 of the Criminal Code) is imprisonment for up to 3 years. And also in the laundering of money acquired by criminal means, on an especially large scale (paragraph “b” of part 4 of article 174.1 of the Criminal Code), the maximum punishment is up to 7 years in prison.