There are more questions than answers. I’ll try to fix this a little.
Why do you need an electronic signature at all?
An electronic signature is the digital equivalent of your handwritten signature. With its help, you can sign documents with employees and contractors, send reports to the tax office, use the services of government agencies and participate in electronic trading. And all this from anywhere in the world.
Naturally, before leaving, it is worth converting the document flow with contractors and employees into electronic format.
Popular EDI services: Diadoc, VLIS.
Popular KEDO services (personnel electronic document management): Nopaper, HR-link, Kontur.KEDO, SBIS KEDO. Personally, I prefer the approach of the guys from Nopaper, so we work with them.
By the way, if everything is quite strict with the labor code, then the workflow with counterparties can be safely reduced to a minimum. For example, to replace the contract with an offer that does not require signing and exempts from the transfer of acts to buyers.
Another example: you can conclude an agreement with counterparties on the exchange of only scans of documents (that is, with a facsimile signature and seal). This will make the paperwork easier.
The risk in such work: if there are disagreements with the counterparty and the case goes to court, scans may not be enough for the evidence base.
Further in the text, we will use the abbreviation CEP (this is not a captain-obviousness, but a qualified electronic signature).
What can not be done with the CEP?
Open a new bank account.
Russian banks do not open accounts without personal presence. Such are the rules of verification. At the same time, if you left a representative and gave him a notarized power of attorney, the task becomes solvable. It all depends on the rules of a particular bank. For example, Modulbank does not open accounts by proxy, but the Marine Bank does not see this as a problem.
By the way, it is much easier and faster to issue a notarized power of attorney when the director is still in Russia. But even after leaving the country, it can be prepared and certified by the Russian consulate. Although it will take longer and be more expensive.
Purchase and sale of a share, entry / exit of a participant, change of director.
For all these actions, CEP may not be enough. It is better to have a representative in the Russian Federation with a notarized power of attorney.
Real estate transactions, vehicle registration and representation in a court also often require personal presence. Also trust and representative.
How do you know if you have a CEP or not?
Those who left Russia a long time ago may think they have CEP. And this is not always the case.
The fact is that the very concept of CEP has recently changed. We can say that the electronic signature is now the old and the new sample.
“Electronic signature of the old sample” fully corresponds to its name and is stored in electronic form. That is, it does not need a physical medium (token).
“EP of a new sample” – on the contrary. Doesn’t work without a token.
It happened last spring (end of April-May). So, it can be said with certainty that if you received the signature before April 30, then most likely you have an old one. It will not be possible to renew it remotely: you will have to come to Russia to issue a new one (on a token).
A new EP can only be obtained in Russia. More precisely, in taxSberbank or VTB.
If you have a new type of electronic signature and a token and the validity period has not yet expired, then you do not need to come to Russia. It can be extended remotely by confirming the prolongation with a valid electronic signature. This can be done in Taxpayer’s personal account for legal entities.
What about personal income tax?
The personal income tax rate depends on the tax residency status.
A tax resident of Russia pays at a rate of 13%. Tax non-resident pays 30%.
The status changes when a person left Russia and stayed abroad for 183 days during the year. He will cease to be a tax resident exactly on the 184th day, and the employer is obliged to start withholding personal income tax at a rate of 30%.
If this is not done, and the tax office reveals this fact, then will additionally charge the amount of all unpaid personal income tax at a rate of 30%. And if the employer does not pay personal income tax or does not pay in full, penalties and fines cannot be avoided. It will be 20% of the amount, and if intent is proved – 40%.
An important point: tax residency is tied to a calendar year. If, for example, 183 days outside the Russian Federation come in December, then the tax code requires to recalculate the personal income tax rate for the entire period from the beginning of the calendar year – a rather serious amount can turn out.
How does the tax office find out about the departure of the director / employee?
So far, the tax authorities are not able to independently find out that a person has left Russia. If the employer did not report about the departure of the employee, in the eyes of the tax he will remain a tax resident.
In rare cases, tax authorities request data from state agencies on crossing the border by a specific person, but only if there are any suspicions: for example, they are looking for debtors.
But they still do not know how to massively collect data on crossing the border. But I think they will learn soon. Digitalization is quite active, and within a couple of years they may well be put on the rails.
Should employees leave?
Whether each employer must inform about the departure of employees. And the options are:
1. Pretend that the employee/director never left and hope that the tax office won’t notice. If he does notice, he will charge the amount of unpaid personal income tax and may fine him.
2. Agree with the employee that you will withhold personal income tax at a rate of 30%, while adding. expenses will be taken from the salary of the employee. That is, in fact, reduce wages by an amount covering the difference in the personal income tax rate.
Still, the employee made the decision to leave on his own and the employer has every right not to take extra. spending on yourself. But then, of course, there is a risk of losing an employee.
3. If it is important for you to keep an employee, you can pay 30% personal income tax and provide for an increase in wages by a similar amount so that the salary on hand remains the same.
When hiring new employees from abroad (foreigners or tax non-residents), it is better to immediately sign a GPC agreement. Then you will not need to withhold personal income tax from their payments. The employee will have to be responsible for paying tax on his income to the budget of the country where he is located.
Such a GPC agreement is not reclassified as a labor contract, because if an employee is abroad, the employer cannot provide him with all labor guarantees and working conditions. If you have any questions, you can refer to this letter from the Ministry of Labor.