We are an international company, headquarter is located in Oslo, Norway. We have some clients in Russia and deliver goods and services for them. The clients asked to provide them with a confirmation stating that our company is permanently located in the state with which the Russia has an international treaty regulating the issues of taxation, and such a confirmation document has to be certified by a competent authority. Could you please clarified what should it be a document in accordance with the requirements of the Russian legislation?

Alex Berger, Oslo, Norway 30.12.13

Russian Tax Code doesn`t establish an obligatory form of documents supporting the fact of permanent location in a foreign state. Such documents can be issued in the form of informational letters formalized in accordance with the form established by the internal legislation, as well as in the form of an informational letter in unconditioned form. Such informational letters shall only be considered to be the documents supporting the fact of permanent location of a foreign company if they contain the following or similar wording: “Herewith we do confirm that (specify the name of the organization) has been (was) during (specify the period of time) a legal entity with the permanent location in (specify the state) under (specify the international treaty) between the Russian Federation and (specify the foreign state)”.
As different criterion can determine the fact of permanent location in foreign states and whether or not they have been met is ascertained at the moment of application for a necessary document, such a document has to specify the certain period (calendar year) in relation to which the permanent location has to be confirmed. Also the specified period should correspond with the period for which the income paid to the foreign company is due.

Your Russian partner as a tax agent is only provided with one confirmation of the fact of the foreign company’s permanent location for each calendar year of payment of income regardless of the quantity and regularity of such payments, types of paid incomes, etc.

The documents which confirm the permanent location should bear the seal (stamp) of the competent authority (or authorized by a competent authority) under the respective treaty on avoidance of double taxation, of the foreign state and the signature of an authorized person within such authority. The specified documents are subject to legalization in the established order or they should bear an apostille.
Apostille is a formal procedure of identification of the signature and the status the person who signed the document, and in certain cases, the authenticity of the seal and stamp which this document bears, which was specified by the Hague Convention of 1961 which cancelled the requirement to legalize foreign official documents.

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