Belarus: Foreigners should take into account some crucial features of deals with Belarus residents.
Under previously established rules, goods or money donated free of charge to Belarus residents, as well as interest-free loans and contributions by foreign members to Belarusian non-profit organizations, are considered as foreign donations and must be registered at the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the Administrative Board of the President of the Republic of Belarus (“the Department”). This property is characterized by special regulations that apply to it.
However, nowadays legal entities and individual entrepreneurs need not register foreign donations at the Department if the amount does not exceed 500 basic units (about 4500 EUR) and the property is accepted for industrial and economic activities. Otherwise, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs must register foreign donations no later than three months from the date of receipt.
In turn, natural persons now need register foreign donations only if they apply for exemption from income tax on donations received.
The list of taxes that recipients can be released from in case of permitted use of foreign donations has been expanded. It includes tax under the simplified taxation system and tax for producers of agricultural products. If recipients are exempt from taxes on foreign donations, they may not use more than 20% of donations to pay salaries to employees who perform organizational and administrative functions. In addition, permitted use of foreign donations means using them according to a plan approved by the state authorities, or according to objectives set by legislation. Spending foreign donations for other purposes, such as economic activities of the recipient, leads to paying taxes under the general procedure.
Recipients of foreign donations will be required to accept goods within one month from the date of importation. In addition, individual entrepreneurs will be entitled to accept goods without involvement of the state authorities.
Note that foreign donations cannot be used for preparing and organizing referendums, political mass-meetings, manufacture and distribution of propaganda materials, and the like. According to the redrafted Decree, spending foreign donations by foreign legal entities and representative offices for these purposes is considered a ground for terminating the activities of representative offices and liquidating legal entities.
The decree enters into force on 4 March 2016.
Source: National legal Internet portal of the Republic of Belarus (NLIP) 02.09.2015 1/15998