The information and communication technology sector has become a leader in the economy. In 2015-2021, its growth amounted to 35% against the growth of GDP as a whole by 7%. In 2021, the information and communication technology sector maintained the trend of previous years to increase the growth rate of gross value added: growth in real terms amounted to 10.8% (in 2020 — 6.9%, in 2019 — 5.7%) and reached 3.7 trillion rubles (3.2% of GDP).
The positive dynamics of the added value of the industry in 2021 was provided by organizations producing goods related to digital technologies (+39.3% in constant prices), IT companies (+11.6%), telecommunications companies (+2.5%).
Consistently positive dynamics of the sector was provided by the IT industry. In 2018-2021, the share of the IT industry in gross value added increased by more than a third (from 31 to 41%), the volume of sales of IT companies' own products increased by 1.7 times (in constant prices). About 60% of the industry's products (1.2 trillion rubles) were created by software developers, which is 1.4 times higher than the 2020 level (in constant prices).
The most significant increase in gross value added is noted in the production of information and communication equipment (+39.3%).
From January 1, 2023, additional tax conditions are being created for the development of the IT industry, including by establishing an increasing coefficient of 1.5 to the costs of purchasing Russian radio-electronic equipment and Russian computer programs (databases), if they relate to the field of artificial intelligence, as well as by providing an investment tax deduction for the costs of implementation computer programs (databases), electronic products, not taken into account when forming the initial cost of intangible assets (if there are exclusive rights) and fixed assets.
The procedure for applying the reduced income tax rate for organizations operating in the field of electronic industry (including the development of their own electronic component base, electronic (electronic) products, materials and technologies for the production of electronic component base) is being clarified. The rule applies to legal relations that have arisen since January 1, 2022, and applies until December 31, 2024 inclusive.
The President of the Russian Federation has established a set of measures for the accelerated development of the IT industry. One of the measures is to simplify the procedure for the employment of foreign citizens — IT specialists. IT companies that have received a document on state accreditation (except for residents of technical and innovation special economic zones, can attract them under an employment or civil law contract on the performance of works (provision of services) without obtaining permission to attract and use foreign workers. The specialists themselves do not need a work permit or a patent to work in them.
Employees of accredited IT companies (including IT specialists) can apply for a preferential mortgage if certain conditions are met.
On-site (repeated on-site) tax audits have been suspended for accredited IT organizations until March 3, 2025. Inspections that were initiated before receiving the relevant letter from the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation are completed in accordance with the established procedure. The term of their implementation cannot be extended or suspended, however, in some cases it is possible to carry out additional tax control measures.
Some goods used for the development of digital technologies are exempt from import customs duties when imported into the EAEU countries, if certain conditions are met. The benefit applies to goods in the customs regime of release for domestic consumption, the declaration for which (the application for the release of which) was registered by the customs authority from March 28 to September 30, 2022 inclusive.
Zero income tax rate (in the part of the tax credited to the federal budget) it is set for IT companies for 2022-2024. For its application, certain conditions must be met. The rule applies to legal relations that have arisen since January 1, 2022.
The range of IT companies applying reduced income tax rates, as well as preferential rates for insurance premiums has been expanded. The criteria used to determine the recipients of income tax benefits and insurance premiums established for the IT industry have changed: the criterion for the number of employees has been canceled; the share of income at which benefits are provided has been reduced to 70%. At the same time, the list of operations whose income is taken into account when calculating this indicator has been adjusted.
Among other changes are new grounds for accelerated depreciation of certain fixed assets and intangible assets, established from January 1, 2023.
In relation to accredited IT companies, scheduled inspections are prohibited by law, which are subject to the Federal Law "On the Protection of the Rights of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs in the Exercise of State Control (Supervision) and Municipal Control" and the Federal Law "On State Control (Supervision) and Municipal Control in the Russian Federation". The ban is valid until December 31, 2024.
The Government of the Russian Federation has clarified the rules under which Russian organizations are granted subsidies in order to partially reimburse the costs of developing digital platforms and software products for the production of high-tech industrial products. In particular, it is possible to extend for two years the deadline for achieving the values of the result of the grant and (or) the indicators necessary to achieve the result of the grant, if in 2022 it is impossible to achieve the result on time due to the introduction of trade and economic sanctions against persons influencing the implementation of a comprehensive project. Penalties are not applied in this case. Funds should be allocated annually from the federal budget to provide grants for promising development of domestic IT solutions.
The Government of the Russian Federation has established rules for preferential lending to systemically important organizations in the field of information technology, as well as companies belonging to a group of persons of such organizations. In 2022, they can receive loans to replenish working capital at a rate of up to 11% per annum.
To expand grant support for Russian IT companies, amendments have been made to certain legal acts defining the procedure for granting subsidies to grant-granting funds, namely: the Development Fund of the Center for the Development and Commercialization of New Technologies (the changes affect, among other things, the amount of grants issued, the amount of funding for the pilot project from extra-budgetary sources);
The Russian Fund for the Development of Information Technologies (changes affect, in particular, the amount of grants, the amount of co-financing of the project at the expense of the recipient of the grant); the federal state budgetary institution "Fund for the Promotion of Small Forms of Enterprises in the Scientific and Technical Sphere".