Someone turned in a report for you: how scammers use business to their advantage
Some entrepreneurs outsource bookkeeping to professionals to keep records and submit reports. This is a normal situation. But sometimes reports are submitted by unknown people. This is an abnormal situation that can cause problems. We tell you how it happens and what to do to protect it.
How does the system work and where is the weak point in it?
The system works in such a way that the business independently reports the tax amount of tax payable. Entrepreneurs keep records, submit declarations and indicate there how much they owe. After that, the tax authorities compare the figures with each other and sometimes with their own data. Fraudsters can use this approach for their own purposes, that is, tell the Federal Tax Service that your company should pay a different amount than you received. Let’s take a look at who benefits from it.
Example 1. Competitors submit reports
For example, the companies “Romashka” and “Strawberry” do business in the same area. At some point, berry entrepreneurs send a declaration to the Federal Tax Service that flower farmers must pay an income tax of 1 million rubles.
At the same time, Romashka has already reported and paid a real tax in the amount of 25 thousand rubles. Tax officials on the basis of the “new” reporting fix the arrears. One fine day, “Romashka” sees that the money in the accounts is blocked, there is nothing to pay for the goods, the business has actually stopped.
It will take some time to clarify the circumstances, and the competitors from Zemlyanika at this time continue to work and win back their piece in the sunny clearing of the market.
Example 2: Fraudsters include companies in VAT schemes
When the next VAT reporting deadline approaches, Telegram channels are activated with proposals for a “paper” value added tax. These schemes always involve one or more real (live) companies.
If an entrepreneur does not keep track of accounting or simply forgot about the company (did not close the legal entity, but does not submit reports), then the dealers take the details, draw up an electronic signature and include the company in their schemes.
The sums in such frauds are always large sums. Therefore, at one point, the unfortunate business owner will see bailiffs on the doorstep who will demand to pay VAT for several million.
Example 3. Tax officials fulfill the plan
There are rumors (we refuse to believe it, but there are always publications in the media that this is true) that some employees of the Federal Tax Service themselves submit reports for entrepreneurs in order to fulfill the tax collection plan. Then the entrepreneurs return the money, but this happens in the next quarter. And in this the plan has already been fulfilled, and the employee calmly receives his bonus.
How is this technically possible?
The black market has not disappeared despite state control. An electronic signature can be made through some certification centers that do not ask for original documents and accept scans.
Company details are regularly sold in instant messengers and social networks. Information is leaked by bank employees or hackers. These data are taken by scammers and used for their own purposes. Because it is easy to find signs of offices near any tax office that proudly call themselves “Accounting Outsourcing” or “Tax Consulting”. In fact, they submit any reports at the request of clients, not bothering themselves much with checking the accuracy of numbers and the authenticity of powers of attorney.
Unfortunately, some tax officials also take part in the schemes. It is no coincidence that last week information appeared that searches were being carried out in the offices of the Federal Tax Service in Moscow.
How to protect your business from reporting by other people?
Similar cases occur with entrepreneurs who do not pay due attention to accounting. The approach “I have an accountant and I don’t want to know anything about accounting” inevitably leads to sad consequences. We do not get tired of saying that accounting is needed primarily by business, and not by regulatory authorities. If you follow the accounting, you will immediately notice the reports that were not submitted. In this case, you need to send the correct report with a higher correction number and this will solve the problem.
In addition, regularly conduct reconciliations with the Federal Tax Service. We recommend doing this at least once a quarter so you know how much you owe in tax. This is a simple and effective technique to protect a business from unpleasant surprises from the tax authorities.
And protect your data. Install an antivirus on your computer, do not go to suspicious sites and do not open links. Control access to digital signature.