Taxation of international executives
Tax returns and compliance
Termination of residence
Economic employer approach
Types of taxable compensation
Salary earned from working abroad
Taxation of investment income and capital gains
Additional capital gains tax (CGT) issues and exceptions
General deductions from income
Tax reimbursement methods
Calculation of estimates/prepayments/withholding
Relief for foreign taxes
General tax credits
Sample tax calculation
According to Code № 121-VI of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Taxes and other Obligatory Payments to the State Budget, dated 25 December 2017 (hereinafter, the “Tax Code”).
When are tax returns due? That is, what is the tax return due date?
What is the tax year-end?
What are the compliance requirements for tax returns in Kazakhstan?
Personal income tax withheld at source is due by the 25th day of the month following the month in which income is paid. Employer payroll tax reports are due quarterly by the 15th day of the second month following the calendar quarter.
Resident individuals must file a personal income tax declaration by 31 March of the year following the reporting year if they receive income which is not subject to Kazakh income tax withholding or if they have a foreign bank account outside of Kazakhstan. These individuals are required to remit tax to the state by 10 April.
Personal income tax withheld at the source of payment to non-resident individuals is due by the 25th day of the month following the month in which the income is paid. Employer payroll tax reports are due quarterly by the 15th day of the second month following the calendar quarter.
Non-resident individuals receiving Kazakh-source income which is subject to income tax withholding at the source of payment in Kazakhstan are not required to file tax returns.
What are the current income tax rates for residents and non-residents in Kazakhstan?
The income tax rate applicable to residents on all types of income except dividend income received from Kazakhstan is 10 percent; dividend income from Kazakhstani sources is subject to tax at 5 percent.
The income tax rate applicable to non-residents on employment income is 10 percent. Kazakh-source income other than employment income is taxable at rates ranging from 5 to 20 percent.
For the purposes of taxation, how is an individual defined as a resident of Kazakhstan?
Personal taxation in Kazakhstan depends on an individual’s residency status. Individuals are regarded as tax residents of Kazakhstan for a particular tax year if they spend 183 days or more in Kazakhstan in any period of 12-consecutive months ending in that tax year. A person is regarded as non-resident for the period following their last day of presence in Kazakhstan, unless the person becomes resident again in the year following the year in which that person departed from Kazakhstan.
Tax residents are subject to tax in Kazakhstan on their worldwide income. Non-residents are subject to tax in Kazakhstan only on their Kazakhstan-source income.
Is there, a de minimus number of days rule when it comes to residency start and end date? For example, a taxpayer can’t come back to the host country/territory for more than 10 days after their assignment is over and they repatriate.
As mentioned above, a person is regarded as non-resident for the period following their last day of presence in Kazakhstan, unless the person becomes resident again in the year following the year in which that person departed from Kazakhstan.
What if the assignee enters the country/territory before their assignment begins?
Foreign individuals who enter Kazakhstan and receive Kazakh-source income which is not subject to income tax withholding in Kazakhstan should register with the tax authorities within 30 calendar days from the start of their economic activity in Kazakhstan or from the moment when they first receive income from a Kazakh source. An individual who enters the country/territory before their assignment begins does not have a liability to pay tax to the state unless they receive income not subject to income tax withholding during that period. However, the days spent in Kazakhstan before the assignment begins do count towards tax residency.
Are there any tax compliance requirements when leaving Kazakhstan?
A foreign individual registered with the Kazakh tax authorities is required to deregister as a taxpayer when leaving Kazakhstan. To do so, the foreign individual must submit an application to the tax authorities indicating the reason for deregistering.
What if the assignee comes back for a trip after residency has terminated?
An individual severs their tax residency as of the date following the date of their departure from Kazakhstan. If they return to Kazakhstan at a later time, days that they have spent in Kazakhstan in the previous 12 months continue to be counted for tax residency purposes.
Do the immigration authorities in Kazakhstan provide information to the local taxation authorities regarding when a person enters or leaves Kazakhstan?
There is no regular exchange of information between tax authorities and immigration authorities in Kazakhstan regarding foreign nationals who enter Kazakhstan. However, in theory, the tax authorities could refer to immigration authorities' records to confirm the number of days that a foreign national was present in Kazakhstan. KPMG in Kazakhstan is not aware that this is done in practice. Border authorities routinely stamp the passport of a foreign national each time they cross Kazakhstan's borders with a mark indicating the entry/exit date, so the tax authorities could verify the length of an individual's stay in Kazakhstan from stamps in a passport.
Will an assignee have a filing requirement in the host country/territory after they leave the country/territory and repatriates?
Yes, an assignee must properly file a final personal income tax declaration with the tax authorities by 31 March of the year following the year of departure and only then can deregister as a taxpayer.
Do the taxation authorities in Kazakhstan adopt the economic employer approach to interpreting Article 15 of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) treaty? If no, are the taxation authorities in Kazakhstan considering the adoption of this interpretation of economic employer in the future?
There is no explicit reference to OECD principles, but in our experience the tax authorities in Kazakhstan generally apply the economic employer concept in applying the dependent services article of Kazakhstan's tax treaties. If salary costs are deducted in Kazakhstan, we believe the individual does not qualify for treaty relief.
3Are there a de minimus number of days before the local taxation authorities will apply the economic employer approach? If yes, what is the de minimus number of days?
For tax treaty purposes there is no de minimus approach to the economic employer concept.
What categories are subject to income tax in general situations?
Kazakh-source income with respect to employment includes all remuneration, whether received in cash or in-kind, for work performed in Kazakhstan, regardless of where such income is paid. As a rule, all types of compensation and benefits that an employee receives for employment services constitute taxable income. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Intra-group statutory directors
Will a non-resident of Kazakhstan who, as part of their employment within a group company, is also appointed as a statutory director (i.e. member of the Board of Directors in a group company situated in Kazakhstan) trigger a personal tax liability in Kazakhstan, even though no separate director's fee/remuneration is paid for their duties as a board member?
In case of the occurrence of the labor relations in territory of Kazakhstan, employer is obliged to pay a salary to the employee which should be paid in cash in the national currency of Kazakhstan (KZT) at least once a month. Salary paid to the employee should not be lower than the minimum wage amount established by the republican budget for the relevant calendar year (for 2019 KZT42,500).
a) Will the taxation be triggered irrespective of whether or not the board member is physically present at the board meetings in Kazakhstan?
As the establishment of salary is mandatory under local legislation, it should be taxed at source by a group company situated in Kazakhstan irrespective of whether or not the board member is physically present at the board meetings in Kazakhstan
b) Will the answer be different if the cost directly or indirectly is charged to/allocated to the company situated in Kazakhstan (i.e. as a general management fee where the duties rendered as a board member is included)? No
c) In the case that a tax liability is triggered, how will the taxable income be determined?
The taxable income will include the salary established locally in KZT and any other income received from abroad for work in Kazakhstan.
Are there any areas of income that are exempt from taxation in Kazakhstan? If so, please provide a general definition of these areas.
Are there any concessions made for expatriates in Kazakhstan?
There are no special tax regimes or concessions for expatriates in Kazakhstan.
Is salary earned from working abroad taxed in Kazakhstan? If so, how?
Salary earned from working abroad is not regarded as Kazakh-source income. Hence, only a tax resident must report such income in Kazakhstan and pay tax on it. Such a tax resident is required to file an annual personal income tax declaration by 31 March of the year following the reporting year and remit the personal income tax to the state by 10 April.
Are investment income and capital gains taxed in Kazakhstan? If so, how?
Kazakh tax legislation provides a tax exemption for the following types of investment income earned by either resident or non-resident individuals:
Other Kazakh-source dividend and interest income paid to individuals is subject to income tax withheld at the source of payment.
Residents are required to self-assess Kazakh personal income tax on the following types of investment income:
Non-residents are required to self-assess Kazakh personal income tax on the following types of investment income, unless tax was withheld at the source of payment:
According to Kazakhstan tax legislation, the excess of the market value of a stock over the stock option exercise price is not regarded as income to the individual exercising the stock option.
A gain realized on a sale of immovable property owned for less than 1 year is regarded as property income. A gain realized on such property held more than 1 year is not taxable.
Resident individuals should self-assess and pay income tax on property income at a rate of 10 percent. Non-residents should self-assess and pay income tax on such gains at a rate of 15 percent.
Kazakhstan tax legislation does not provide a tax deduction for a loss incurred on a sale of immovable property.
Kazakhstan tax legislation does not address deductions for capital losses for personal income taxation purposes.
Kazakhstan tax legislation does not provide a tax deduction for the cost of personal use items.
Any in-kind benefit provided by an employer to an individual is taxable in Kazakhstan. The value of property received in the form of gifts from other individuals is exempt from taxation.
Are there additional capital gains tax (CGT) issues in Kazakhstan? If so, please discuss?
There are no additional capital gain tax issues in Kazakhstan.
Are there capital gains tax exceptions in Kazakhstan? If so, please discuss?
There are no capital gains tax exceptions in Kazakhstan, other than those mentioned above.
Not applicable for Kazakhstan tax purposes.
Not applicable for Kazakhstan tax purposes.
What are the general deductions from income allowed in Kazakhstan?
Residents have the right to deduct the following:
Registered individual entrepreneurs have the right to deduct the following expenses associated with the generation of income:
What are the tax reimbursement methods generally used by employers in Kazakhstan?
Tax reimbursements are included in the employee’s income in the year when the reimbursement is made.
How are estimates/prepayments/withholding of tax handled in Kazakhstan? For example, Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG), etc.
Kazakh tax legislation does not provide for an advance tax payment mechanism for personal income tax. Monthly tax withholdings are calculated by applying the standard personal income tax rate to actual accrued income.
Employers in Kazakhstan must withhold personal income tax from all payments they make to employees, regardless of the nationality or tax residency status of the employees.
Local companies and foreign companies that have a registered permanent establishment in Kazakhstan are required to remit withheld taxes to the state by the 25th day of the month following the month in which income is paid and file a quarterly personal income tax and social tax report by the 15th day of the second month following the calendar quarter.
Individuals receiving Kazakh-source income not taxable at the source of payment in Kazakhstan are responsible for calculating and remitting personal income tax on such income. Such individuals must file an annual personal income tax declaration by 31 March of the tax year following the year of income receipt. Personal income tax is due by 10 April.
When are estimates/prepayments/withholding of tax due in Kazakhstan? For example, monthly, annually, both, etc.
Personal income tax withheld at the source of payment is due by the 25th day of the month following the month of income payment.
Is there any Relief for Foreign Taxes in Kazakhstan? For example, a foreign tax credit (FTC) system, double taxation treaties, etc.?
A foreign tax credit is available for a tax resident for foreign tax paid on foreign-source income. The amount of the foreign tax credit may not exceed the Kazakhstan tax payable on the same income.
Kazakhstan recognizes the prevalence of its tax treaties over its domestic tax legislation, so foreign employees should be able to claim benefits under the relevant tax treaty if they qualify for them.
What are the general tax credits that may be claimed in your country/territory? Please list below.
Not applicable for Kazakh tax purposes.
This calculation4 assumes a married taxpayer resident in Kazakhstan with two children whose assignment begins 1 January 2019 and ends 31 December 2019. The taxpayer’s base salary is 100,000 US dollars (USD).
|Moving expense reimbursement||20,000|
|Interest income from non-local sources||6,000|
Exchange rate used for calculation: USD1 = KZT384.87.
Calculation of taxable income
|Days in Kazakhstan during year||384,87|
|Earned income subject to income tax|
|Moving expense reimbursement||7,697,400|
|Total earned income||63,503,550|
|Person deduction of official minimum monthly salary||510,000|
|Dependent spouse deduction||0|
|Dependent children deduction||0|
|Total taxable income||65,302,770|
Calculation of tax liability
|Taxable income as above||65,302,770|
|Kazakhstan tax thereon||6,530,277|
|Domestic tax rebates (dependent spouse rebate)||0|
|Obligatory social medical insurance (OSMI)6||0|
|Total Kazakhstan tax||6,530,277|
* The company car is excluded from taxable income, because there is no guidance on how to value the benefit. Reporting this income probably creates more risk than not reporting it, because once it is reported, the tax authorities might question the value of the benefit.
1The official exchange rate of the National Bank of Kazakhstan on 22 July 2019 was KZT384.87 per USD1.00.
2 Certain tax authorities adopt an "economic employer" approach to interpreting Article 15 of the OECD model treaty which deals with the Dependent Services Article. In summary, this means that if an employee is assigned to work for an entity in the host country for a period of less than 183 days in the fiscal year (or, a calendar year of a 12-month period), the employee remains employed by the home country employer but the employee's salary and costs are recharged to the host entity, then the host country tax authority will treat the host entity as being the "economic employer" and therefore the employer for the purposes of interpreting Article 15. In this case, Article 15 relief would be denied and the employee would be subject to tax in the host country.
3For example, an employee can be physically present in the country/territory for up to 60 days before the tax authorities will apply the ‘economic employer’ approach.
4 Sample calculation generated by KPMG Tax and Advisory LLC, a Kazakh member firm affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity, based on the Tax Code).
5 Based on Kazakh tax legislation there is no deduction of minimum monthly salary for social tax purposes, we excluded this deduction from taxable base.
6 OSMI is not applicable if the foreign individual has no residence permit.
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