In a recent decree (the “Decree”) the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court (the “SAC”) has clarified the procedure for refunding VAT. The Decree confirms that the tax authorities must refund overpaid VAT, even if the taxpayer has not applied for such a refund, provided the taxpayer does not have any outstanding tax liabilities.

According to the Decree, a taxpayer may file an application, indicating the bank account to which he wishes the VAT refund to be transferred. If such an application is not filed, then the tax authorities are required to transfer the VAT refund to one of the taxpayer’s known bank accounts.

The Decree also stipulates that interest is due on any tax reimbursement which remains outstanding beyond the term of consideration of the tax return. Interest is due irrespective of whether reimbursement has been formally requested by the taxpayer. The SAC has confirmed that such interest will accrue daily.

[Decree No. 14223/10 of the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, dated 17 March 2011