Changes Related to the Retention Periods of Documents that Came into Force from the Beginning of 2021.
The quarantine has left its mark on many aspects of the work of business entities.
It also affects the retention periods of primary documents.
These terms are defined in clause 44.3 of the TCU, last paragraph, which covers now their prolongation “for the period of suspension of the statute of limitations in the cases provided for in clause 102.3, Article 102 of this Code”.
One of these cases is to the controlling body according to the law and/or a court decision prohibits conducting an audit(s) of the taxpayer (clause 102.3.2 of the TCU).
In general, this can also include the case of a “quarantine” verification moratorium with clause 522, Sub-section 10, Section XX of the TCU.
Its validity period is defined as follows: “for the period from March 18, 2020 to the last calendar day of the month (inclusive), in which the quarantine established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine throughout Ukraine ends in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the territory of Ukraine“.
Conclusion: terms of storage of primary documents from clause 44.3 of the TCU are extended for the period (we add this period to the standard storage period) from March 18, 2020 to the end of the last month of quarantine, when the tax authorities are prohibited from checking the payer. However, this is provided that the start of the countdown period falls on the date before March 18, 2020. Otherwise, you must add the period from the beginning of the term to the end of the last month of quarantine to the standard term.
Nevertheless, there is a discussion about the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On reducing the validity period of restrictions regarding the moratorium on conducting certain types of inspections” No. 89 dated February 3, 2021 (Resolution No. 89). This Resolution, as it is understood by the tax authorities, was prematurely lifted, among other things, the ban on holding scheduled documentary inspections of legal entities (!) — from February 9, 2021.
In this case, if legal entities can already be checked as planned from February 9, 2021, then can we say that this is the end of the extension period?
That is, up to the basic storage period of documents from clause 44.3 of the TCU, we should only add 328 days (or less if the deadline itself started running after March 18, 2020)?
Or is the extension period also extended as long as the quarantine lasts?
There is a certain problem with the “duplication” of norms. In the same clause 522, Sub-section 10, Section XX of the TCU, we see a “special” norm that says that the deadline in Article 102 of the TCU is terminated for the period from March 18, 2020 by the end of the last month of quarantine.
The idea of an “individual approach” looks logical: as soon as the STS has the opportunity to check a specific payer, the terms for storing documents for them are to expire (and the extension period is fixed accordingly and no longer increases).
However, the STS can adhere to the “general approach”: as long as the quarantine lasts, only the period for which the basic storage periods of documents are extended increases. With an eye to the fact that not all types of documentary checks are now allowed to them.
For the individual entrepreneurs, the ban on scheduled documentary inspections has not been lifted, so they need to focus on the version – the deadlines are terminated for the period from March 18, 2020, by the end of the last month of quarantine (Art. 102 of the TCU).
New (effective from January 1, 2021) grounds for suspending the statute of limitations under clause 102.3 of the TCU (and therefore, for extending the storage period of documents) are as follows:
— the controlling body has stopped, extended, or postponed the terms of conducting the audit according to the procedure provided for in Art. 44, 82 and 85 of the TCU or Customs Code of Ukraine (the CCU);
— the controlling body cannot conduct an audit and independently determine the number of monetary obligations of the taxpayer in connection with:
1) drawing up an act on the impossibility of conducting an audit (except in case of recognition of illegal actions to draw up such an act);
2) non-admission by the taxpayer of officials of the controlling body to the audit if the conditions of the controlling body are met:
- a) defined in clause 41.1.1 of the TCU provided for in Article 81 of this Code;
- b) defined in clause 41.1.2 of the TCU provided for in Article 349 of the CCU;
3) appeal by the taxpayer in court against the decision of the controlling body to conduct an audit (except in cases of declaring illegal and/or cancelling such a decision);
— an administrative or judicial appeal is made by the taxpayer against the decision of the controlling body to charge a monetary obligation.
The Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine Regarding Improvement of Tax Administration, Elimination of Technical and Logical Inconsistencies in Tax Legislation” No. 466-IX dated January 16, 2020 (Law No. 466) made a necessary clarification to clause 44.3 of the TCU, which sets the retention periods for documents.
Earlier, there was a lack of understanding of the question of when to start counting down the 1095-day (2555-day in the case of transfer pricing) period if the documents that the payer is required to have are not used directly for tax reporting.
Please note that the countdown of the document storage period begins as follows:
— in case of submission of tax reports, if the documents are used for its preparation — from the date of submission of such reports;
— in case of its failure to submit — from the deadline for submitting such reports provided for in the TCU.
Since May 23, 2020 (Law No. 466), it is also established that the countdown of the document storage period begins as follows:
— for documents related to the implementation of the requirements of other legislation, the control over compliance with which is entrusted to the supervisory authorities, — from the date of implementation of the relevant business transaction.
In both cases, the document retention period is 1095 days (3 years).
— for permits — from the date of expiration of their validity period.