Authorities Again Tighten Control Over People’s Money

Authorities Again Tighten Control Over People’s Money


At the same time, discussions of property belonging to officials and civil servants might be simply forbidden. A corresponding bill was actively discussed in the State Duma at the end of 2020.

Experts have been saying for quite some time that the federal center is trying to establish stricter control over people’s money. For example, many political analysts linked the appointment of Mikhail Mishustin, an experienced tax official and former head of the Federal Tax Service, to the post of prime minister of Russia with the implementation of a new concept for Russia. It is called “people are new oil.”

However, the year of 2020 made the authorities and the entire country grapple with an avalanche of painful surprises, primarily the ones caused by the pandemic of the novel coronavirus. So, the plans to once again "dive hand" into people’s pocket were put on hold. However, time flies. So, at the beginning of 2021, when the program of vaccination against COVID-19 is in full swing in the country, the start of implementation of these plans is not ruled out. So, from January 10, 2021, fundamentally new rules of control over people’s cash assets came into force in Russia. Now all postal and electronic transfers exceeding 100,000 rubles ($1,350) will be controlled by tax inspectors.

It is reported that experts of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) will now also carefully monitor the withdrawal of cash by people through ATMs. In this case, transactions exceeding 600,000 rubles ($8,088) or replenishment of the account for the same amount will come to the attention of the watchdog agency. All lottery winnings of the same amount will be under strict control. Finally, control will be established over transactions with real estate objects priced at over 3 mln rubles ($40,440.)

From now, all data on these transactions will be transferred to the controlling agency. If its employees have doubts about the legal origins of the monies, the information will be handed over to law enforcement agencies. However, from now on, transactions involving anonymous bank accounts as well as transfers by order of non-credit organizations will be excluded from control.

According to the authorities, these changes will facilitate the work of legal businesses in the country and make money laundering more difficult. However, experts recommend not taking the authorities’ words at face value. To their thinking, in fact, it might be an attempt to take away the last savings of the Russians. At the same time, mere discussions of the property belonging to officials and civil servants might be forbidden. A corresponding bill was actively discussed in the State Duma at the end of 2020.

Earlier, Ilya Grashchenkov, a well-known Russian political analyst, expressed his opinion about the above-mentioned shifts. “If we take into account the fact that the authorities are going to limit the rise in prices of sugar, bread and butter, it might be concluded that the situation is so complicated that in the future, poor fellow citizens might happily accept the idea of coveting their wealthier neighbors’ properties. However, this is not the case at all. The problem is that everyone has some hidden savings. If today they ask where a person got the money to buy a car, tomorrow they might be interested where he or she got the money for a new jacket, and the day after tomorrow for cat food or sausage,” said Grashchenkov.

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