Two S&P Agency Investment Risk Management Lawyers Named to 2022 The Best Lawyers in Ukraine™


Kyiv, Ukraine, 12 November, 2021 – S&P Agency Investment Risk Management is pleased to announce that two lawyers have been included in the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in Ukraine. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.

Best Lawyers has published their list for four decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 75 countries.

“Best Lawyers was founded in 1981 with the purpose of highlighting the extraordinary accomplishments of those in the legal profession. After four decades, we are proud to continue to serve as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals worldwide,” says CEO Phillip Greer.

Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in Ukraine list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers based on professional expertise and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

S&P Agency Investment Risk Management would like to congratulate the following lawyers named to 2022 The Best Lawyers in Ukraine list:

  • Nataliia Osadcha – Investment
  • Mykola Siutkin – Litigation, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, and Real Estate Law

Natalia Osadcha is Co-Founder and Partner of S&P Agency Investment Risk Management. For over 20 years, Nataliia has been working in the field of law, risk management, investment, conflict resolution and government relation. She is an author of numerous research and articles on business protection and a creator of numerous investment strategies for a big international corporation in Ukraine.

Mykola Siutkin is Co-Founder and CEO of S&P Agency Investment Risk Management. He has been defending the interests of business in Ukraine in the field of law, business advising, risk management, business conflicts resolution and minimization for more than 18 years. He is also the founder and owner of the LDaily media platform.

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About S&P Agency Investment Risk Management

For the past 15 years, S&P Agency is a leading consulting company in Ukraine, which serves the largest foreign players, not only at the stage of entering Ukraine, but also in the process of implementing investment projects and support of everyday business activity. The agency has helped companies to develop unique investment solutions and strategies and to enter and operate in the Ukrainian market transparently and securely. S&P Agency assists large foreign companies in developing their business models and processes in Ukraine, in strict accordance with the high international requirements and standards for transparent business operations. S&P Agency’s main services include legal, risk management, financial audit and government relation.

 

S&P Agency lawyer named to 2021 Best Lawyers list


9 June 2020 – S&P Agency is pleased to announce that Mykola Siutkin has been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in Ukraine for his work in Mergers and Acquisitions Law and Litigation. This is the second consecutive year that Best Lawyers has recognized Mykola Siutkin for Mergers and Acquisitions Law. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.

Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 75 countries.

“Best Lawyers was founded in 1981 with the purpose of highlighting the extraordinary accomplishments of those in the legal profession. After three decades, we are proud to continue to serve as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals worldwide,” says CEO Phillip Greer.

Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in Ukraine list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

About S&P Agency

For the past 15 years, S&P Agency has been a strategic business and legal advisor for large foreign companies. The Agency helps companies develop unique investment solutions and strategies, enter and operate in the Ukrainian market transparently and securely. We assist large foreign companies in developing their business models and processes in Ukraine in strict accordance with the high international requirements and standards for transparent business operations.

In 2020, S&P Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mr. Budiarsa Sastrawinata, Managing Director of Ciputra Group, one of Indonesia’s largest developers and real estate investors in the Asia-Pacific region, and Mr. Jörg Bahren, Director Projects & Investments of RE RISE GmbH International Investments and Development Projects Management Company.

S&P Agency has unprecedented experience in developing unique business solutions and strategies for ambitious organizations striving to turn risks into new business opportunities.

Why our approach is unique? We combine the legal tools and business strategies that our clients need with a strategy of minimizing possible business and investment risks.

Such solutions meet the high standards of transparent business conduct of our clients who are looking for high-tech and safe business solutions in a tough yet profitable business environment – the Ukrainian market.

Without exaggeration, we can state that the S&P Agency team is unique. The combination of legal education and practical experience has empowered us to create innovative, high-tech, and secure business and investment solutions. Outstanding strategic decisions made by the S&P Agency team over the last 15 years have saved billions of dollars for our clients.

We offer clients our unique experience and knowledge to minimize and avoid possible negative consequences and losses in the future, to create a successful business in Ukraine.

Our goal is to find the shortest way to creating a profitable business with minimal risks for our client.

Ukrainian “tax vacation”


The most common issue faced by taxpayers at the moment is interaction with tax authorities during the quarantine. During this period, a lot of regulations have been adopted that change the order of interaction between business and regulatory authorities. The state declares the facilitation of a business “life” during quarantine, which has led to a large-scale cessation of economic processes in the country and has caused a direct ban on certain types of business activities. We want to help get things straight if everything is indeed the way it was declared and if there is the flip side of the coin.

Myth 1. All tax audits are canceled for the period of quarantine.

Everyone is aware that in accordance with the laws recently adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in connection with the coronavirus spread, they established a moratorium on documentary and factual audits by tax authorities, including single social security tax inspections. The moratorium is limited to the period from March 18 to May 31, 2020. Audits that were started by tax authorities before March 18, 2020, and were not completed must be suspended until the last day of the quarantine’s final month.

Everything seems to make sense − the state provides businesses with benefits and facilitation during the quarantine period. However, there are some hitches here.

Not everyone knows that the moratorium does not apply to in-house, unscheduled documentary tax audits on VAT refunds and/or ones declaring a negative VAT indicator for the amount of over UAH 100,000.

Moreover, there is a very interesting detail here: during the moratorium on inspections, tax authorities are not prohibited from conducting review procedures including sending requests for information to businesses. How does this affect entrepreneurs?

We have analyzed the requests and activities of tax authorities during the quarantine period and the so-called moratorium, and it is highly likely that the temporary suspension of inspections is used by the tax service as another opportunity to gather information and make cross-audits with counterparties.

How do tax authorities do this? They send relevant requests for information to businesses − and this is evidenced by numerous requests from tax authorities that a lot of companies have received over the past two months.

At the same time, such requests often have to do with economic activity even of 2014 and 2015. Many counterparties whose business transactions interest tax authorities and the list of requested documents prove the intention to appoint and conduct unscheduled audits after the lifting of the moratorium.

We come to this conclusion based on our many years of practice working with tax cases. We know for sure that frequent requests from a tax company are the first harbinger of an unscheduled audit. According to current law, tax authorities have the right to conduct such an inspection of the business entity in case of failure to provide or incomplete provision of explanations and documents at their request.

The economic crisis and a significant budget gap are just the tip of the iceberg of the negative consequences for Ukraine caused by the quarantine introduced due to the pandemic. Activation of tax authorities and numerous additional charges is exactly the process inevitable for business in the country, and it is caused by a rapid economic downturn and a significant lack of budget revenues.

The idea that everything is very bad with the budget replenishment comes up to the minds of entrepreneurs more and more often. Especially to those who during the quarantine and moratorium received a request from the tax office for documents that prove the repayment of budget loans back… in 1997-1998!

Therefore, companies should be prepared for the fact that tax authorities will begin active unscheduled audits immediately after the quarantine ends.

What should companies do to prepare for and minimize possible additional charges?

Firstly, do not ignore any action from tax authorities. All the phone calls, written requests, inquiries, letters, etc. must be carefully analyzed.

Secondly, responses to requests for information and documents should be carefully prepared. It often determines whether you will have an audit or not.

Thirdly, provide documents during the audit only after you have analyzed them carefully.

Based on our experience, most mistakes are made by taxpayers both when responding to tax inquiries and when going through a direct audit. All these mistakes lead to serious surcharges difficult to refute even in court. As a result, they lead to significant costs for complex company litigation and criminal proceedings.

Thus, a timely audit at the stage of receiving requests from the tax authority or the order to conduct an audit actually allows to:

– significantly reduce the amount of surcharges;

– reduce litigation costs;

– reduce the risks of criminal prosecution of the company’s officials.

When talking about the audit, we mean a careful analysis of the tax authorities’ mistakes which can be reasonably used by the company in defending its rights. It’s great if you can do it on your own. However, if you understand that you probably do not have enough practical and theoretical knowledge, it is best to find a consultant able to help you protect your rights. This approach provides real savings as you try to prevent issues and losses in the future instead of solving current problems. By the way, problems of the day are usually not the easiest ones to solve.

Myth 2. Rumor has it among businesses that criminal prosecution for tax evasion can be initiated only after the assessed amounts are agreed. Therefore, if the company has applied to the court to cancel a tax assessment notice (TAN), criminal proceedings cannot be initiated until the decision of the Administrative Court of Appeal enters into force.

This is also a significant mistake that contradicts reality. Therefore, it can come at a price for the company.

The relevant provision can be found in the “Guidelines for the interaction procedure between the State Fiscal Service units under the organization, conduct, and implementation of taxpayers’ audit materials”, approved by the Order of the SFS of Ukraine №22 from July 31, 2014. However, this document is not normative, which means that in practice, tax authorities, to put it mildly, do not always follow these recommendations and quite often pass the audit materials to the investigative units not only after the issuance of tax assessment notices but also after filing an audit report. This is in no way taken as a violation of applicable law as, in accordance with the requirements of Art. 212 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, criminal proceedings are registered in the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations (URPI) on the basis of any information about the commission of a criminal offense. We carried out very long and extensive criminal proceedings against our clients (very large companies) in our practice. Such criminal proceedings were caused by the reports from the taxpayers who believed that companies evaded taxes. These reports were sent to law enforcement agencies immediately after the audit and drawing of the act. Therefore, both the process of appealing the additional tax amount and criminal proceedings took place as parallel and completely unrelated processes. It involves all the “great things” of criminal prosecution like searches and seizures, interrogations, asset freezes, and even official inquiries to non-resident companies, interrogations of their owners, and officials in their countries. Even if a company receives a positive court decision which enters into force, this is not an indisputable reason to close a criminal proceeding. Our practice shows that such criminal proceedings were closed only after the final decision of the Supreme Court of Ukraine and thanks to a large-scale naming and shaming.

Myth 3. All issues, including non-payment of taxes or criminal prosecution for alleged tax evasion, can be solved by selling the corporate rights of the struggling company, changing its owners and officials.

This myth is actively spread in business circles, and sometimes even lawyers offer entrepreneurs “a helping hand” to solve all their problems (including tax evasion and criminal prosecution for alleged tax evasion) by changing owners, officials and re-registering the company in Donbas (temporarily occupied territories), as well applying other similar techniques.

This is really a myth and a trap because those who worked as directors and chief accountants of the company during the period when tax liabilities were accrued or other violations of tax legislation were established are prosecuted for tax evasion.

That is, by changing the management and owner of the company before or after the start of criminal proceedings, you will not solve the problem. After all, the fact that a person is no longer a director at the time of the investigation does not in any way release them from responsibility for the acts committed during their tenure.

The liability of a person who was the company’s executive and whose actions led to tax evasion, in accordance with Art. 212 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, can be significant and depends on the amount of unpaid taxes.

Thus, tax evasion in the amount of UAH 3,153,000 to UAH 5,255,000 reserves collection of a fine in the range of UAH 51,000 – 85,000 or deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to three years.

For tax evasion in the amount of 5,255,000 to 7,357,000 UAH you will have to pay a fine of 85,000 – 11,900 UAH with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to three years.

For the above-mentioned violations in the field of tax payment, the fine is often complemented by seizure of funds, valuables and other property acquired during criminal activities. In practice, it is difficult to prove the fact that this property was acquired during the period of criminal activity and at the expense of such activity. However, all official’s property can be easily seized even for the entire period of criminal proceedings. It is possible to lift the seizure of property in court, but it can be quite difficult both because of the lack of time and additional legal aid costs.

As for larger amounts, for tax evasion in the amount of UAH 7,357,000 and more, you get a fine in the range of UAH 255,000 – 425,000 with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to three years, as well as seizure of property regardless of its value. In this case, it means that this seizure is mandatory for a guilty person, and the amount and value of the property to be confiscated does not depend on the amount of unpaid taxes. In fact, all property owned by an individual who used to be an official of the company may be seized regardless of its value and the term of acquisition of such property.

All the above-mentioned once again shows that companies should not wait for problems to occur. You should be one step ahead: create and implement a mechanism that can help avoid problems instead of wasting time and money on solving them.

Maybe now it is the time to change everything? First of all, to change something important inside your company…

Order services by link https://forms.gle/jHvYVJPQmfCgQMfX7

 

If you want to make real savings on your budgets, you should start working with risks


Why should companies work on risks?

Why is it important to reduce risk?

The main reason is that by reducing risks, you minimize hours of litigation and criminal trials. This means you make savings. You save not only money but time, health and nerves, maintain your reputation and retain clients.

Unfortunately, in our country, most companies are at risk, especially in terms of additional tax assessment, as well as criminal prosecution, particularly in cases of tax evasion.

As a proficient executive, you are probably trying your best to prevent the above-mentioned unpleasant incidents from happening. However, not everyone can do this. Why?

The reason is that companies and their executives often lose sight of one important tool – issue or risk audit.

We are not talking about incredibly expensive financial audits. This is about a regular meeting with your business consultant and legal counselor in order to analyze the situation and gain an understanding of the ways to minimize additional charges or possible criminal trials. When we say to minimize, we mean keeping to a minimum or not getting at all.

The most interesting part is that such an analysis will definitely help you find similarities and/or patterns among all the problematic points. Most likely, you experienced all these problematic issues a dozen times before. As a result, you may have lost track of something significant. That is why the company constantly faces all the same issues.

For example, the policy of your company provides for engaging an external consultant only if you receive an additional charge on taxes and fees. Some companies, even in this case, try to deal with this issue on their own. After receiving an additional charge on taxes, the company and its executives are expected to have expensive and complex litigation, and at the same time, experience all the “great” things about criminal trials with interrogations, searches, and seizures of accounts and property.

You immerse in the process of solving your issues so often that you simply don’t see the full picture from above. This is exactly why the only thing you do is trying to solve the already existing problems.

Ask yourself a question: “Can I do something another way? Can my company avoid these high-priced issues by implementing a different policy? What should I do so that I simply don’t have such difficulties in the future? ”

What would you do if you were told that you can reduce additional charges on taxes without even reaching the stage of receiving a tax note decision and tax prosecution if you begin to conduct an audit (analysis) at the stage of receiving a request yet not after receiving a tax charge?

Maybe it’s time to introduce new policies and rules that will reduce both financial and time costs, and in some cases even help prevent sensitive lawsuits and criminal trials?

THIS is all about the REASONABLE ECONOMY!

If you are ready, go ahead!

Order services by link https://forms.gle/jHvYVJPQmfCgQMfX7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Together with S&P Investment Risk Management Agency, LDaily is joining the Peli can live team’s project called Лісосмуги Життя / Shelterbelts of Life


Together with S&P Investment Risk Management Agency, LDaily is joining the Peli can live team’s project called Лісосмуги Життя / Shelterbelts of Life.

The purpose of the project is to restore existing forest belts and to create new ones in order to:

– restore biodiversity,

– reduce the negative impact of climate change,

– improve the natural state of farmland.

LDaily is helping Peli can live raise community and business awareness of the issue; build the social responsibility of our society and business.

S&P Investment Risk Management Agency will share its 20 years of risk management, GR, PR, jurisprudence experience, provide legal services and help Peli can live create a risk map and effective project protection mechanism for the Shelterbelts of Life project, as well as implement forest belts as an obligatory element of farming in our country.

Together with S&P Investment Risk Management Agency, LDaily is joining the Peli can live team’s project called Shelterbelts of Life.

The purpose of the project is to restore existing forest belts and to create new ones in order to:

– restore biodiversity,

– reduce the negative impact of climate change,

– improve the natural state of farmland.

LDaily is helping Peli can live raise community and business awareness of the issue; build the social responsibility of our society and business.

S&P Investment Risk Management Agency will share its 20 years of risk management, GR, PR, jurisprudence experience, provide legal services and help Peli can live create a risk map and effective project protection mechanism for the Shelterbelts of Life project, as well as implement forest belts as an obligatory element of farming in our country.

Information on the COVID-2019 quarantine


An emergency situation due to the coronavirus has been declared in Ukraine. Probably a lot of people still do not have a full understanding of what it is and what restrictions have been imposed for the society and business. What does an emergency situation mean?

An emergency is a situation on a separate territory (or economic entity, water body, etc.), characterized by a violation of the population’s normal living conditions.

It can be caused by a catastrophe, accident, fire, natural disaster, epidemic, epizootic (common animal disease), epiphytotic (infectious plant diseases spread in a large area), the use of destruction means or other dangerous events.

As a rule, such circumstances lead to a threat to the population’s life or health, a large number of the dead and injured, significant material loss, and the inability of the population to reside in such a territory or facility (or the implementation of economic activities there).

  1. What restrictions are imposed on business ??
  • Prohibition of all educational institutions activities, incl. non-state ownership;
  • Prohibition of any events involving more than 10 people;
  • Prohibition of eating establishments – except for cooking for delivery;
  • Prohibition of shopping centers and other entertainment establishments work;
  • Prohibition of fitness centers and cultural institutions activity;
  • Prohibition of trade and consumer services establishments work;
  • Restriction or total prohibition of carriage by route vehicles.
  • The Cabinet of Ministers regulates the prices of medicines, socially significant goods.

The prohibition of activity does not apply to:

  • catering establishments for targeted delivery – subject to the mandatory use of all personal protective equipment by all employees;
  • Work of retail establishments for products, hygiene products, medical equipment and medicines – subject to the mandatory use of personal protective equipment by all employees;
  • Banking and insurance activities;
  • Activities of gas stations;
  • Vehicle maintenance and repair activities;
  • Activities of postal facilities;
  • Transportation by cars;
  • Passenger carriage in shuttle vehicles – limited number of passengers (usually no more than half of the seating capacity);
  • Enterprise employees’ transportation by company vehicles – exclusively on routes agreed with the National Police.

Additional prohibitions may be imposed by local governments.

Business support measures:

  • Quarantine is attributed to force majeure;
  • Simplified procedure for the purchase of medicines and equipment intended to combat COVID-19, the list of which was approved by the CMU;
  • Import of the above medicines is not subject to VAT and customs duties;
  • Budget managers can provide 100% upfront payment for the supply of goods and services intended to combat COVID-19;
  • KSCA gives 50% discount to enterprises for municipal premises rent;
  • For violations of tax law committed during the period from March 1 to May 31, 2020, penalties are not applicable except for:
    breach of requirements for long-term life insurance or non-state pension insurance contracts, including supplementary pension insurance;
    alienation of property held in a tax lien without the controlling authority’s consent;
    violation of the rules of accounting, production and circulation of fuel or ethanol in excise warehouses, which are applied on a general basis;
    violation of accrual, declaration and payment of value added tax, excise tax, rent.
  • During the period from March 1 to May 31, 2020, taxpayers are not charged a penalty. The accrued but not paid penalties are deductible during this period.
  • A moratorium on documentary and actual tax audits for the period from March 18 to May 31, 2020 has been established, except for the case of verification of VAT credit reimbursement in the amount of over UAH 100 000. (Clause 78.1.8 of the Tax Code).
  • Scheduled and unscheduled inspections by control bodies have been stopped.
  • There is no charge and no payment for land for the period from March 1 to April 30, 2020 (land tax and rent for state and communal property plots) for land owned or used, including on lease, natural or legal persons, and used by them in their business activities.
  • FOPs, self-employed persons and farm members are exempted from paying ESAs for the period from 1 to 31 March and from 1 to 30 April 2020 for themselves.
  • During the periods from March 1 to March 31 and April 1 to April 30, 2020, payers of a single contribution are not charged a penalty, and accrued penalties for these periods are subject to write off.

Responsibility for non-compliance:

– Administrative. Violation of the rules on quarantine of people, sanitary-hygienic, sanitary-anti-epidemic rules and norms stipulated by the ‘On protection of the population against infectious diseases’ Law of Ukraine, other acts of legislation, as well as decisions of local self-government bodies on combating infectious diseases, –

Will be penalized with a fine:

  • for citizens – from 1000 to 2000 non-taxable minimum incomes (17-34 000 UAH)
  • officials – from 2000 to 10 000 non-taxable minimum incomes (34-170 000 UAH)

For the qualification of this article of the Code of Administrative Offenses, no consequences are necessary; if such a violation has led to consequences, such as infecting other people or creating a threat of such a contamination, criminal liability is provided.

– Criminal. Violation of the rules and regulations established to prevent and control epidemic and other infectious diseases, as well as mass non-communicable diseases (poisoning), if such actions have caused or knowingly could have caused the spread of these diseases, –

Will be punished by one of the sanctions:

  • a fine of 1000 to 3000 non-taxable minimum incomes (17-51 000 UAH);
  • arrest for up to six months;
  • restriction of freedom for up to three years;
  • imprisonment for up to 3 years.
  • If this has led to the death of people or other grave consequences – imprisonment from 5 to 8 years.

– Civilian: the person guilty of the above actions shall compensate the damage caused by them by the civil action.

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