The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (the "Ministry") has clarified that print advertisements that do not concentrate on information and material of an advertising nature must be accompanied by the notice "advertisement" or "for advertising purposes".
Otherwise, according to the Ministry, expenses for placing print advertisements may not be qualified as advertising. Consequently, they will not be deductible for profit tax purposes.
However, this approach does not seem to be substantiated, given that the tax laws do not stipulate that the deductibility of advertising expenses depends on placing the notices "advertisement" or "for advertising purposes" on print advertisements. In effect, the Ministry has introduced an additional criterion to the definition of "advertisement", which does not fit with the law on advertising.
The Ministry's recent clarifications on print advertisements will very likely give rise to numerous tax disputes.
[Letter No. 03-03-06/2/94 of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, dated 15 June 2011]