09/04/2012 02:27 pm ET

Corporate Bribes Not Tax-Deductible In Russia, Finance Ministry Says

Sorry, Russian business executives: writing off bribes as tax deductions just isn’t going to fly.

That’s what the Russian Finance Ministry recently ruled in an effort to abide by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Anti-Bribery Convention, Bloomberg reports.

“Expenses incurred while committing legal violations, including providing bribes or kickbacks, are not recognized for the purposes of tax assessment,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

The ruling is specifically directed at arms exporters and commodity companies, according to the Telegraph.

A survey conducted last year by Transparancy International found Russia was the country most likely to use bribery to secure foreign contracts. A push by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to combat corporate corruption was largely unsuccessful, but since joining the Anti-Bribery Convention in April, Russia may soon place greater emphasis on complying with international bribery rules.

Even though Russian companies may be the most likely to bribe, they're not alone. The companies that have reached the biggest settlements relating to bribery under the United States' Foreign Corrupt Practices Act include France’s Alcatel-Lucent and Germany’s Siemens, The New York Times reported this week. U.S.-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer in August agreed to a $60.2 million to settle charges it bribed officials in eight countries, including Russia, Businessweek reports.

American companies have also been in trouble for bribery closer to home. Most notably, Walmart found itself at the center of a scandal earlier this year when reports emerged it had attempted to cover up widespread bribery between officials in Mexico and Walmart executives in charge of building new stores there.

(Hat tip: Newser.)

Check out below for the countries most likely to use bribery in business deals:

Countries Most Likely To Use Bribery In Business