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The damage threshold for economic crimes is increased

On April 3, 2024 the Federation Council of the Russian Federation approved a law on increasing the minimum thresholds for big and particularly big endamagement for a number of economic crimes. Corresponding amendments were made to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation.[1]

According to the explanatory note the increase in inflation in recent years has led to the fact that the degree of public danger of the committed crime in the amount of 1 million rubles in 2022 has significantly decreased compared to the same in 2011. In addition, one of the priorities in the case of unprecedented external economic sanctions should be to ensure maximum economic freedom of doing business which implies liberalization of criminal law.

The changes were made in a number of articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation which provide for punishment for crimes related to the avoidance of mandatory payments to the state budget (Art. 199, 199.1, 199.3 and 199.4). Thus, the threshold for tax avoidance (Art. 199) and for violation of the duty of the taxpayer (Art.) is increased from 15 million rubles to 18.75 million rubles for big damage and from 45 million rubles to 56.25 million rubles for particularly big damage.

The thresholds for big and particularly big damages under articles for the avoidance of payment of contributions by the insurant - a natural person (Art. 199.3) increased from 1.8 million rubles to 2.250 million rubles and from 9 million rubles to 11.25 million rubles and under Article for the avoidance of payment of contributions by the insurant - an organization (Art. 199.4) – from 6 million rubles to 7.5 million rubles and from 30 million rubles to 37.5 Million rubles.

The changes also involved Article 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud). The amount of the big damage was increased from 3 million rubles to 4.5 million rubles and the particularly big damage - from 12 million rubles to 18 million rubles.

Articles 170.2 (entering of obviously incorrect information in the demarcation plan), 178 (restriction of competition), 180 (the illegal use of means for individualization of goods (works, services) of the Criminal Code and other were also amended.

The law will enter into force after its signing by the President of the Russian Federation and after 10 days of its official publication without changes to Article 194 of the Criminal Code regarding the avoidance of payment of customs duties. These changes come into force after 90 days from the date of publication.

[1] Draft Law No. 327269-8 "About Amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation"