UK suspends tax co-operation with Russia

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ENGLAND / RUSSIA – The UK on Thursday, March 17, announced it is suspending the exchange and sharing of tax information with Russia and Belarus as part of continued efforts to inflict economic pain on president Putin’s regime. The UK exchanges tax information with Russia under the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and Russia and Belarus under bilateral Double Tax Agreements.

“This tax information is exchanged as part of global collaboration to address tax compliance risks, however, today’s decision to suspend tax information exchange will ensure the UK is not supplying Putin’s regime with information that could lead to an increased tax benefit or yield for Russia,” HM Treasury reported.

Lucy Frazer QC MP, financial secretary to the treasury, said:

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine and want to do everything we can to support them. As we look to put Vladimir Putin’s regime under decisive economic pressure, it would not be right to continue to exchange tax information with Russia and Belarus. Along with the other economic measures we’ve already taken, this step will help starve Putin of the resources he needs to carry out his barbaric campaign of violence.”

Suspending exchange of tax information, which will come into effect today, means that Russia will no longer receive information under any of the UK’s exchange of information agreements: Exchange of Information on Request, Common Reporting Standard or Country-by-country Reporting.

Thursday’s suspensions are one of a number of tax measures being taken by HMRC and the Treasury to support Ukraine and inflict economic pain on Putin’s regime.

“For example, within the last week, the UK government has announced that the £350-a-month payment made to families taking part in the new Homes for Ukraine scheme will be tax-free, as well as HM Treasury and HMRC’s decision to ease custom declarations on aid and donations going to the people of Ukraine, making it easier to supply humanitarian aid to Ukraine. These new economic measures demonstrate how the UK’s tax system can be utilised as part of the UK-wide response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, assisting in both adding additional economic pressure to Putin’s war regime and in providing practical and sustained support to the people of Ukraine.

“This comes on top of introducing a ban on exports to Russia of high-end luxury goods, imposing asset freezes and travel bans on leading oligarchs and members of the Russian Duma, as well as providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine totalling almost £400 million and defensive weapons, including more than 4,000 anti-tank missiles, and essential civilian supplies like generators and medicines,” noted HM Treasury.

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