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Putin Signs Law Granting Sanctions-Hit Russians Tax Breaks

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that exempts Russians who are under Western sanctions from paying taxes in Russia if they are registered as taxpayers abroad.

The amendment to the Tax Code that Putin signed into law on April 4 also relieves such individuals of the requirement that they declare their incomes.

The legislation, initiated by the ruling United Russia party, also grants Russians under sanctions the right to receive a refund on taxes paid to the Russian treasury since 2014 if they prove their status as a foreign tax resident.

In 2014, Western countries imposed asset freezes and travel bans on dozens of Russians -- some of them close to Putin -- after Moscow seized the Crimean Peninsula and backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

A 2013 law prohibits Russian officials and lawmakers from owning bank accounts, securities, or companies abroad, but allows them to have property in foreign countries that is taxed by local authorities.

Based on reporting by Kommersant, TASS, and Interfax