Electronic charitable giving in Russia
While the development of mainstream charitable
activity is enshrined as a key subject in Russia’s Concept of Developing
Charitable Activity and Volunteering, most of the electronic means of donating
are held back by the lack of a legislative base for it. However, in practice,
this type of giving is spreading in Russia.
At a conference on The Law and Charity: reforms in Russia and European
experience, lawyers and NGOs discussed
the situation and prospects. People who want to donate via a text message have
to rely on “grey” schemes, or pretend that something is charitable giving by
text message when it really isn’t. For example, if you sell a service as a
charity, and then transfer part of the earnings as a charitable donation, you
have to pay income tax on it. A new federal law on a national payments system
does something to help. The law is signed but part of it only enters force in
2012. Further amendments to it may be necessary. The Commission on Charity and
Volunteering of the Russian Public Chamber intends to monitor implementation of
the law in practice and will continue consultations on the issue.
On the blog “NGOs: the laws of development” there is a presentation on
“Legal regulation of electronic charitable giving in Russia” by Anna Lesova of Dewey
& Le Boeuf, and another on “Electronic Charitable Giving in the UK” by
Hannah Terry from CAF. There is also an overview of how to promulgate
international legal practice in regulating electronic giving by Anastasiya
Kumaritova of CAF Russia.