When sending an employee on a business trip in Russia the employeer is recquired to pay for the trip and his accommendation. An employee might also organize the business trip himself and advance the expenses. About the costs of the business trip the employee should report in the expense report after the business trip and provide all underlying primary documentation to the accounting department.
It is better to have a defined process for business trip purchases. And it also advisable to describe the class of hotel, the hotel room category to be used by the employees for the business trip in order to minimize missunderstandings, e.g. an employee purchases a business class airline ticket or stays in a suite in a hotel.
With the tickets for airplane or train it is always the same in Russia, independent who bought it. The employee must provide with the expense report a printed copy of the electonic ticket or printed ticket or ticket stub.
On a trip abroad the employee should also provide a copy of the passport page with the stamps of the border crossing for the travel and expense report in Russia. This is vital for Russian accounting regulations but employees often forget to provide these copies. When using Avansovka the employee can easiliy take a picture of the passport page and provide it to the accounting department.
Here we will list different options on how employees can buy or order hotel rooms in Russia and the accounting differencesbetween them
1. Employee ordered a hotel room by himself
The hotel often provides documents that contain not the company name but the name of the individual – an employee traveling. The employee should add to the general hotel bill – the registration form – in Russia it is an official prove that it was paid like a payment slip from the cash terminal of the hotel or the documentation from the credit card machine. The name of the employee should be mentioned in the documents and also the services provided.
If a document is not in Russian – which is often the case on international trips – according to the practice the tax inspection expects a translation of the document into Russian even if the original document is in English.
The employee though also could ask the hotel to fill in the documents with the requisites of the company he is travelling for as it is an official business trip.
Then the hotel should provide a confirmation document about services provided (akt), the invoice if VAT is relevant as well as a payment confirmation from the cash or credit card machine.
2.The company that sends an employee on a business trip orders the hotel room and pays for the it by itself
In this case, the supporting documents issued by the hotel that the service was provided, can be sent by mail, or the employee can ask for them and take the original documents from the hotel himself.
In order to minimize issues with the tax inspector it is better for a company to order and pay the hotel by itself. Then the risk that the tax inspector removes the expense from the category of deducatable expenses for profit tax purposes sinks.