Tax and legal issues for beginner freelancers


I know that programmers have a lot of questions about taxation and law. I decided to write about the questions arising from the novice freelancer.

I will begin with the general questions of individuals, Russian tax residents, who do not yet plan to register as an IP. There are questions where I just identified the problem to pay attention. For example, about the possibility of tax withholding by foreign companies. By the way, the question applies to all those who work with foreigners. Often find out about this only after the tax is deducted.

I do not write anything about non-resident individuals, this is a separate big topic.
The IP issues are much more - the choice of tax system, reporting, exchange control, and so on. And in LLC plus corporate issues.

I do not know yet how much the subject of taxes and rights is in demand, what information is needed, in what format. Ask questions, write that it is clear that it is not clear. What you need more. What topics are interested. If it is interesting, I will continue.

Is it possible to work without registering an IP?

This is the first question for a person who decided to work independently. It is difficult and dangerous to open an IP, as many people think, and it is not known how things will go, but you have to pay something anyway. Therefore, it is better to first try, and then register IP. I will not discuss now what and how to pay IP. I will write about something else - how you can work without registering the PI.

This is not about a labor contract, but about a civil law, the provision of services or a contract.
There are many articles on the Internet about the retraining of a civil contract in an employment contract. But the employer will be responsible for this, and there will be no negative consequences for the individual. Well, if you do not assume that the hospital will not pay, leave, too, and at any time the contract will be broken, but as a rule, the freelancer already knows.

But if there are a lot of clients, and the income is significant, then it is better to open the PI. It is more profitable from the point of view of taxation.

It is a little about such concept as illegal business . In Article 2 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation there is a definition of entrepreneurial activity - it is “an independent activity carried out at your own risk, aimed at systematically receiving profits from using property, selling goods, performing works or rendering services.” Whether or not they will attract a dozen clients or not, I think not. But the practice is constantly changing. For example, at one time there was a tendency to consider entrepreneurs who rent their apartments. Then changed.

I will talk about the consequences if they recognize illegal entrepreneurship. Upon receipt of a small income provides administrative liability, a fine of 500 rubles. up to 2,000 rubles. (Article 14.1 of the Code on Administrative Offenses). If the income is more than 2,250,000 rubles, then criminal liability (Art. 171 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

But it's not just fine. If business activities are recognized, taxes are assessed according to the general taxation system, i.e. NDFL + VAT.

However, even in this situation, not everything is so bad. Personal income tax individual and so must declare and pay.

But not everyone knows about VAT that it is possible to get an exemption, including "backdating", if for three months the income is less than 2 million rubles. (Clause 5, Article 145 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation). This, incidentally, is also relevant for individual entrepreneurs or limited liability companies, which for some reason have been transferred to the general taxation system.
Therefore, at the initial stage, you can work without registering as an individual entrepreneur, but if the income increases and will be regular, then you need to think about the individual entrepreneur registration. From 2019, they plan to introduce a new tax for self-employed persons in four regions - Moscow, Moscow region, Kaluga region, Tatarstan. But until the law is passed, it’s too early to speak.

What taxes should be paid to an individual?

If a contract with a Russian legal entity or SP

In this case, you don’t have to pay any taxes yourself. PIT must keep the customer, LLC or IP, it does not matter. And you can not agree that the individual will pay the tax itself. NDFL according to Article 226 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation are obliged to withhold and transfer to the budget, there are no other options when working with Russian SPs or legal entities.

In addition, LLC or IP will have to pay insurance premiums. This is 27.1% of the accrued amount - 22% to the Pension Fund and 5.1% to the Medical Insurance Fund (contributions to the Social Insurance Fund are not required).

If the contract with an individual

In this case, the customer is not a tax agent, therefore the contractor, an individual, must pay personal income tax on his own. The rate is 13% (for tax residents of the Russian Federation).
The 3-NDFL declaration must be filed by April 30 of the following year. That is, the income for 2018 will have to be reported before April 30, 2019.

No more taxes to pay to the executing individual. He is not a payer of insurance premiums for himself, he does not have to pay VAT.

If the contract with a foreign company

It is possible to enter into an agreement with a foreign company, and not only a labor agreement, but also a service agreement. In this case, it is not necessary to register with the participant of foreign economic activity, it is not necessary to undergo currency control in the amount provided for the IP The instruction of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation of 16.08.2017 No. 181-I applies only to entrepreneurs.

However, it is better to first contact the bank, describe the situation and clarify whether it is necessary to provide documents, at what time, etc. Currency control is different everywhere.

As for Russian taxes, you only have to pay personal income tax, while declaring and paying yourself, the foreign person is not a tax agent.

But the catch is that there may be taxes of a foreign state. This is definitely necessary to learn when discussing the contract. If the answer is "no", then enter in the contract that the customer does not withhold taxes. If the answer is even slightly different from a sure "no", begin to figure out how much will hold, when and what documents will be. Because it may happen that they will keep it there, and then pay.

If they say that taxes will be withheld, and then “easily reckoned,” do not believe it. Not easy and can not be credited. To broaden horizons and loss of emotional balance, read Art. 232 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation. In each case, you need to look at whether you are entitled to withhold and what documents should be provided.
Although, as a rule, foreign freelancers do not withhold taxes. But it is better to clarify.

Why do I need a contract?

I will say a little about the contract. Many believe that this is a mandatory document, so they make up something formal and unnecessary. That is, all the essential terms of the contract seem to be - the subject matter, the timing. But this is not a working paper. Because if the parties have a full understanding, then the contract, by and large, is not important. But as soon as a conflict situation arises, they immediately look at the contract. And in the contract there is nothing about this, and the TK is formal. And it turns out, a month worked, then two swore. And even two years judged.
In fact, the contract is not a piece of paper, but first of all an agreement of the parties.

When you start working, do not forget that the relationship with the counterparty may deteriorate and what you signed “on the knee” is for the accountant of the customer, then it can have serious consequences. Therefore, read carefully and it is better to invoice, especially if the amount is small than regretting that you signed an agreement with bonded conditions.
Of course, we can assume that customers are to blame. But often conflicts because the parties have a bad deal.

How to negotiate?

Try to simulate all stages of work, from the very beginning to the end. For example, ordered the development of the site. The amount agreed on the terms too.

Without information from the customer can start work? If not, then attach the term to the provision of information.

You do not care in what form will this information? If not, then immediately say what format is needed or how much it will cost to bring in the desired format.

The customer thinks of the month, he finally sent the information. And you went on vacation with your family. And the deadlines are coming, and the customer is already pushing - he sent the information. When he could, then he sent. So what, what a month. And no one told him what was needed in three days. This means that we must immediately agree on the timing of the provision of information. And if these terms are violated, then the terms of your work will change.

And so on for each item. Transmission of information, acceptance of work, correction of deficiencies. Amounts, terms, liability. If this is a serious project, then there are no trifles. But even if this is a small job, think about where the pitfalls might be.

Believe me, I do not propose to draw up a contract for all occasions to a freelancer who is just starting to work. This is a difficult and difficult job, even for a lawyer. But to think and write by mail or in the messenger is quite possible, in your own words.

And most importantly the execution of the contract, so I advise you then unsubscribe - did this, did you accept?

Clearly, it is impossible to foresee everything. There will definitely be something unintended, and with experience more and more different situations and solutions will accumulate. Better all controversial situations from the very beginning for themselves to fix, then to understand where the special case, and where the recurring situation. And if you ever draw up a standard contract, then discuss all these cases with a lawyer, and try to include system situations in the contract to reduce the risk of conflict.

Do I need to sign acts and some other papers?

Signing is not required. But it is in your interest. If there is a contract, then I advise you to sign the act, this confirms that the work has been completed (the service is rendered). If stages, then for each stage sign.

What happens if the act is not signed?

When everyone is happy, nothing will happen. But if the customer is dissatisfied or not paid, then:
- If there was an advance payment, but the act was not signed, then the customer can collect the money. Prove that the work is done, you will. How? Complicated. That's when the messages in the messenger can help, that you have done everything, and the customer's answer, what is accepted. Courts accept. This is also not so simple, but better than nothing.

  • If the customer has not paid, but there is a signed act indicating the amount, there is a chance to recover the debt. If there is no such act, then it will be very difficult, almost unrealistic, to confirm the fact of the work done and the amount.
  • If the payment is in fact, and you do not want to sign the act, or you understand that you have to run for the customer for a long time, then you can specify in the contract that the payment is after work and in the absence of claims. Then the customer, if he suddenly wants to collect money, will prove that he paid just like that, and he forgot to read the contract.

In fact, collecting the money after the work is done is quite possible. Especially when transferring to a card without a contract, especially if it listed a wife, friend, neighbor, or just anyone other than the customer. The one who transferred may demand the return of these funds as unjust enrichment (Article 1102 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation). And he will charge, if you do not prove that it was payment for the work done, and besides payment, he will also charge for penalties and court costs. And such transfers are often in the case when the work is without documents, and a conflict situation arises. Accordingly, the customer can not recover. Therefore, if someone paid to the card, it is desirable that the customer wrote, at least by mail or in the messenger - such and such a number was a payment from Ivan I., the amount will indicate and write it from him, for doing the work. Repeat confirmation of the work try to make out. Not by paper acts, then at least in correspondence.

If you signed a contract with a Russian company or the CIS, then most likely they themselves will be interested in signing an act. Do not forget to take a second copy.
Foreign companies, if they sign acts, then only upon request. But they are unlikely to sue.


This is a small part of the questions that arise in practice.

Yes, there are simple and obvious questions for someone. But these basic questions are not uncommon.
Yes, these are not all questions. This is not even the tip of the iceberg, but the view of the iceberg from afar. I hope someone will help.

It will be interesting to know the opinion about the article. Write to.

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