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Criminal liability introduced for ”under the table” salary payments in Belarus

The Law "On Amendments to Codes on Criminal Liability", inter alia, introduces criminal liability for evasion of the duties of a tax agent to transfer taxes and fees and evasion of payment of insurance premiums. The changes take effect on June 19, 2021.


"The tightening of the liability of employers for paying wages in an envelope was initiated by the State Control Committee and is due to the insufficiency of existing administrative measures in the fight against this negative phenomenon. By paying wages without being reflected in the accounting records, the employer causes damage not only to the state, but also to employees (starting from the lack of guarantees receiving the agreed earnings and ending with the unfair size of the future pension, deprivation of other social benefits)", - noted the State Control Committee.


The control committee drew attention to the fact that criminal liability is introduced exclusively for deliberate actions related to non-payment of insurance premiums and non-transfer of taxes and fees. And only on condition that the amount of unpaid payments exceeds certain sums: for taxes and fees - 1,000 base units, for insurance premiums - 2,500 basic units (currently BYN 29 thousand and BYN 72.5 thousand, respectively).


In addition, in order to be held criminally liable for evading the payment of insurance premiums, the fact of their deliberate non-accrual must be proven. Officials of organizations who do not hide their salaries, calculate insurance contributions, but do not transfer them to the social protection fund (for example, due to the lack of funds in the current account), will bear administrative responsibility.


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