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“Business under attack”: what banks can consider as a cash out scheme and block an account

Recently, 115-ФЗ has become a serious stumbling block for a calm business. In accordance with it, banks are entitled (and in fact, taking into account the requirements of acts of the Bank of Russia – are obliged) to identify suspicious transactions. Based on their suspicions, banks may refuse to conduct operations, unilaterally terminate the contract or refuse to open an account. The same numbers are published everywhere: in 2017, banks refused to complete approximately 500,000 transactions.

Criteria of “suspiciousness” of the operation

115-ФЗ does not provide for criteria, and Bank of Russia regulations establish an open list where hundreds of signs of suspicion are counted. Despite the fact that there are many signs, one can single out the top of the most common grounds, based on practice and recommendations from the Bank of Russia (the main ones are clarifications No. 18-MP and 5-MP):

1. Low tax burden (below 0.9% of the total turnover) or no taxes, insurance contributions, salaries are paid from the account to company employees.

In general, it is not difficult to pass the 0.9% threshold to a bona fide entrepreneur. An honest company may have a problem situation if the accounts are opened in different banks, and taxes are transferred to the budget from only one of them. Therefore, you need to either spray tax payments to reduce risks, or always have ready to confirm their payment. An important nuance: the payment of personal income tax in the absence of payment of insurance premiums will also inevitably attract the attention of the bank.

2. The client’s operations do not correspond to his type or scope of activities.

Golden rule in existing realities – work on OKVED. If the ongoing operations (and especially the costs!) Do not fight with the main type of activity that was indicated by the client when opening an account, the bank will absolutely reasonably believe that something is not clean here. Also, banks are suspicious of the situation when the operations for crediting and debiting funds in their economic sense are not connected in any way. If the debit is about Thomas, and the loan is about Yerema – prepare a rationale for the operations.

The second common situation: the monthly profit account goes to tens of millions, and judging by the operations on the account from employees, there is only one accountant, and there are no payments at all to support economic activity. High turnover, according to banks, necessarily require the presence of employees and the appropriate material and technical base.

3. “Transit” schemes.

There are two common options: large amounts of money go to the account of an individual entrepreneur or physicist, who withdraws the entire amount in cash within a couple of days; or transfers are constantly being sent to your account not through your personal / bank account, but through the cashier, electronic wallets, which are transmitted further down the chain. Maybe the scheme is more complicated: the amounts are credited for transactions subject to VAT, it is deducted, and everything received from the transaction leaves, no longer subject to VAT.

It would seem that these schemes are so traveled that only amateurs in the world are engaged in them, and certainly not honest entrepreneurs. But to convince banks of this is in vain. Therefore, at least it is better to withdraw / transfer money in parts and in different numbers, and at the very least – to have documentary evidence of each transaction made. It is in such cases that the primary is our everything.

4. Suspicious counterparties.

This rule is as old as the world: with whom you will lead … In order not to run into the tax authorities or the Special Economic Crimes, you need to carefully consider who you are dealing with. Banks are no exception. If the counterparty is in the “black base” of bank customers, then your operations (and, not only with this counterparty) will automatically receive close attention.

By the way! Before starting cooperation with a new company, it is better to carefully check it using the online counterparty verification service.

In the end, I would like to add: in order to feel safe, it is better not only to follow simple recommendations, but also to conduct a tax audit together with an audit of risks associated with violation of 115-FZ every quarter or every six months (depending on the company’s turnover).

Litigation: important findings for bank customers

Fearing to lose their licenses, banks took the requirements of the 115th law too literally and did not focus on the fact that the goal of the 115-FZ was, first of all, to counteract the laundering of illicit acquired money and the financing of terrorism. Therefore, mainly small and medium-sized businesses were hit. Entrepreneurs often simply do not have enough experience and resources so that their honest attempts to earn money do not look like fraudulent schemes. The fact that banks are engaged in formalism is also confirmed by statistics on litigation: more than 60% of them in 2017 were resolved in favor of customers.

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