The modern theory of managing the processes of creating new products underestimates the relationship between the processes of developing and selling new products and the development of brands. The easiest way to avoid mistakes is to use the services of a consultant. Let’s analyze what signs call into question the reality of the provision of marketing services and how to compose the primary so that there are no problems during verification. How to arrange marketing services without tax risks? Use consulting templates.
Why are marketing services a tax risk?
Any company is engaged in research of sales markets and clarifies consumer preferences in one form or another. Indeed, thanks to industry development and advanced technologies, people now have access to any goods at almost any time and in any place. The “era of the buyer” has already arrived. It is he who ultimately decides what to choose from a variety of similar offers on the market for goods and services.
Regular stores, online stores, direct sales – the methods are different for all sellers, but the goal is to attract a buyer to your trading platform, sell your product to them and keep them for making further purchases. And to achieve this goal, as they say, all means are acceptable. To successfully display goods, various loyalty programs, global and local research of consumer behavior, segment the market according to various criteria, and position goods by segment are helpful.
We all know these things intuitively. But we must understand that serious research is behind the manifestations of the sellers’ activity. These activities are either ordered by marketing specialists or used free of charge (media, Internet). Often, an enterprise’s staff has its marketer, and besides them, advertisers, designers, and IT specialists.
From the accountant’s point of view, payment for marketing activities is usually payment for ordinary services. But from the regulatory authorities’ point of view, not everything is so simple. Why? Because the intangibility of such services and the obvious influence of the results of applying the recommendations of marketers on the growth of sales and improving the financial condition of the enterprise gave rise to the phenomenon of aggressive optimization of taxation by numerous enterprises by issuing acts for allegedly rendered marketing services. It doesn’t matter if you make a profit or a loss: everyone needs marketing.
For example, information about the conjuncture and development prospects of a particular market for goods (services) can be obtained from open sources – it will look like market research. Further, it is technically easy to draw up an act for the amount required by the enterprise: after all, it is not easy to find analogs of prices (to confirm their “usualness”) for specific marketing services, since in each case, everything is very, very individual.
So it turns out that the primary documents seem to be executed impeccably: contract, act, tax invoice. And the company – the customer of services receives expenses in accounting and a tax credit, reducing the tax base for income tax and VAT (as an end in itself). But upon examination, it may turn out that no marketing services were provided. And hence the unpleasant and often “financially overwhelming” consequences for the company – the customer of fictitious services: expenses and the tax credit will be “removed” with the simultaneous charging of taxes and penalties. If the transaction amount is large, this can lead to the company that bought the fictitious services to bankruptcy.
What are Marketing Services?
We are considering the issue of what relates to marketing services in terms of reducing tax risks. To this end, we recommend focusing on those definitions that are in various regulatory documents, and not in marketing textbooks. First, let’s take a look at the general definition of service delivery. The supply of services means any transaction that is not the supply of goods, particularly the provision of services consumed in the course of performing a specific action or carrying out a particular activity. This definition has something in common with the Civil Code definition regarding consulting templates on the provision of services.
Then we consider the definition of various marketing services:
On the placement of products of the taxpayer at the points of sale;
The study, research, and analysis of consumer demand;
Entering data on the products of the taxpayer into the information bases of sales;
Collection and distribution of information about products (works, services).
Let’s dwell on marketing research separately. They mean a systematic process of determining, collecting, accumulating, processing, and analyzing information about the current state and forecast of the goods market. And services, supply, and demand, consumer behavior, market conditions, price dynamics. This whole complex of actions aims to improve the promotion of goods on the market, increasing their sales.
And finally, let’s take a look at merchandising. This type of marketing promotes the intensive promotion of goods in retail without the active participation of specialized personnel. This includes the successful placement of goods on the trading floor, the original design of counters and shop windows, the organization of presentations with souvenirs’ distribution, and discounts and benefits. In other words, this is a set of measures aimed at attracting the attention of the buyer to a particular product (or group of products). A product posted using certain technologies sells itself.
How to prove the reality of marketing services?
Arm yourself with consulting templates. How to fill the consulting templates to provide marketing services to convince controllers that these services are substantial? This issue has become especially relevant in the past few years, at the next stage of regulatory authorities’ struggle with a fictitious tax credit. Let’s list the key signs that prove that the business transaction for providing services is unrealistic:
The “seller” of services is not an economic entity producing the corresponding service.
The service provider is not able to provide it, judging by the available labor and material resources;
The documented service is artificial. For example, a report on the provision of marketing, information, or consulting services may contain predominantly declarative and sometimes even meaningless information.
How can you prove that the company received services? It is necessary to go from the opposite of those signs listed above: none of them should be applicable in your case. Or, simply use a consulting template. Also, current jurisprudence should be taken into account. The courts defend taxpayers in disputes about the reality of transactions in cases where the primary documents confirm the purpose, objective necessity, the economic feasibility of obtaining the relevant services, as well as the possibility of carrying out such operations, taking into account the required time, place, material resources required to provide such services.