This was stated by Russian officials, denying applications the right to be called “intellectual property”, and at the same time loading VAT. 

To begin with, a little help: since 2008, the sale of rights to use software and databases under a license agreement is exempt from VAT. But since, according to the Federal Tax Service Inspectorate, “a mobile phone is not an electronic computer,” then mobile applications are not programs and do not belong to intellectual property objects. 

So, according to Vedomosti, the tax authorities decided that “the sale of mobile applications under a license agreement, unlike computer programs, should be subject to VAT.”

At the same time, the position of Rospatent is paradoxical, which continues to officially register mobile applications as programs and issue appropriate certificates for them. 

How the situation will develop in the future is not entirely clear. Nikolay Nikiforov, the head of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications, said (unofficially, on Twitter) that he had already instructed his deputy Mark Shmulevich, responsible for IT in the ministry, to deal with the situation. 

By the way, last year VAT on the total earnings of Russian mobile software developers could amount to $ 20 million, – investor Igor Matsanyuk told Vedomosti.