The Federal Tax Service (FTS), together with the police, will intensify the fight against the purchase and sale of foreign currency “from hand”, bypassing banks.
Currency speculation by individuals is not subject to a moratorium on checking compliance with currency laws.
Selling and buying currency anywhere other than bank branches is prohibited.
The Federal Tax Service sent a letter to the territorial authorities with instructions to work with the Ministry of Internal Affairs in identifying currency speculators. They will stop the purchase and sale of currency “from hand”, writes RBC.
As noted in the document, the sale of currency by individuals is carried out in social networks, Telegram channels and Internet services with announcements that “under the current conditions, it poses a threat to the stability of the currency of the Russian Federation and the stability of the domestic foreign exchange market.”
In early March, the Federal Tax Service suspended inspections of compliance with currency legislation “to reduce the administrative burden on organizations and citizens,” but in a new instruction it clarified that currency speculation by individuals is not subject to a moratorium on inspections.
For exchange transactions in the shadow market under the Code of Administrative Offenses for individuals and legal entities, a fine is provided in the amount of 75 to 100% of the amount of the transaction. Responsibility comes for both the seller and the buyer of the currency.
In March, the Ministry of Finance proposed to reduce fines for illegal foreign exchange transactions to 20-40% of the amount, but the corresponding bill has not yet been considered by the government.
The appearance of the shadow market was caused by the rush demand for cash currency from the population and small and medium-sized businesses.
Since March 9, the Central Bank has introduced restrictions on the operations of the population with foreign currency, valid until September 9. During this period, banks are prohibited from selling cash to citizens. Only owners of foreign currency accounts opened before March 9 can receive currency within $10,000, and only in dollars.