Today, at a time when tax legislation is subject to frequent and continues changes, it is quite hard to attend to all changes of the Kazakhstani tax legislation. Certain wordings of the tax legislation are differently comprehended and interpreted by the tax authorities and taxpayers. 

This presents a considerable risk for any company doing business in Kazakhstan. Tax consulting is a reliable way to secure your personal rights and business interests.

GRATA International has wealth of experience in the area of tax planning of dealings, analysis and minimization of tax risks, as well as participation in and successful solution of tax disputes. However, we are also working on an actively mastering new areas of taxation and tax administration.

Our main priority is continuing education and training in order to help you overcome existing, and obviate potential, problems for your company. When seeking legal advice from GRATA International in the area of taxation, you can rest assured that your problem will be correctly handled and that you will be able to avoid tax disputes. We are here to protect your interests.


Brochure: Tax Law

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Cоrporate Taxation

GRATA also provides expertise in the taxation of legal entities, which primarily entails major taxes such as CIT and VAT, property tax, vehicle tax, land tax, excise and other taxes, fees in the budget payable by corporations.

Our experts have the highest available knowledge in:

  • the correctness of the execution of a company’s obligations under the Tax Code, and the minimisation of tax risks thereby entailed;

  • tax planning and tax optimisation through optimal solutions, the development of effective internal tax policy in tax accounting and the application of tax benefits;
  • the choice of a business form (legal entity of subdivision) for business operations which is optimal for tax purposes.

Representation and protection of interests in the course of tax disputes

The imperfection of the current tax legislation, including the legislation for the past years, generates many tax disputes between taxpayers and tax authorities.

At the same time, most of GRATA's tax practice refers to appealing the results of tax audits. In this regard, we have an extensive database on practice of performance of tax audit and judicial practice on tax disputes consideration. This fact enables us to assess in each separate case the outcome of the tax dispute consideration in the Appeal Commission or in the court, and to use as well positive examples from our judicial practice in the course of the current tax dispute.

As a rule, the negative results of the tax audit are of fundamental importance to the taxpayer, since, in addition to the negative economic effect, such audit results also form a "precedent" for the company's further activity (tax audit of subsequent tax periods on similar issues).

The tax team of GRATA Law Firm has solid experience in all aspects of tax practice:

  • advising on lawfulness of tax audit results, actions or omissions to act of the tax authorities and assessment of chances on resolution of dispute in favor of the client;

  • appeal of tax audit results;
  • representation and protection of interests of the client before the tax authorities in the course of tax dispute;
  • suspension of proceeding on imposition of administrative fine;
  • appeal of ruling on imposition of administrative fine;
  • appeal of other decisions, actions or omissions to act of the tax authorities.

Tаx Accounting Policy and Special Forms of Tax Registers

As you know, the Tax Code states that taxpayers should develop and approve their tax accounting policy and that tax registers should be submitted to the tax authority.

Team experts of GRATA are ready to provide services on the development and preparation of tax accounting policy and special forms of tax registers, and to prepare amendments and additions to existing documents in terms of changes in the tax legislation of Kazakhstan. 

Tax Administrаtion

In order to prevent tax offenses, GRATA specialists advise on the quality of implementation and enforcement of tax obligations, including:

  • registration as a taxpayer at the tax authorities and registration as VAT payer;

  • registration as an entrepreneur;
  • preparation and submission of tax statements in a timely manner;
  • the calculation and payment of taxes, including the assessment of tax authorities to impose an arrest on bank accounts, penalties or the disposal of property;
  • other aspects of tax administration

GRATA can also represent your interests in the  tax authorities on these matters.

Tаx Due Diligence (Tax Audit)

As part of legal support in M&A transactions, GRATA also provides services in Tax Due Diligence.  As we know, the purpose of conducting such a Due Diligence is to make an analysis of the company in terms of tax risk and possible violations of tax laws. Simultaneously, an evaluation of the risk of potential claims by tax authorities and the preparation of practical recommendations to minimise such risks are also included in our services.

Tax Due Diligence includes: evaluation of the validity of tax base, evaluation of the applied  tax exemptions, assessment of the correctness of applied conventions on the avoidance of double taxation, definition of certain tax risks to the company and the provisions of solutions to mitigate them, and calculation of consequences in case of the breaching of tax legislation.

Our tax team is also pleased to provide services for Tax Review - a legal expertise of the proper and timely fulfillment of tax obligations of a company, i.e. a legal review of the tax records of the company in order to avoid risks or negative results.

Tax Investment Preferences and Tax Planning

The investment climate in Kazakhstan provides the investors with various incentives and preferences including the tax ones. However all further activity of the investor depends on correct understanding and, therefore, application of these incentives and preferences.

In this regard, GRATA is glad to advise on the following:

  • fiscal incentives of special economic zones participants;

  • tax investment preferences;
  • fiscal incentives for the companies operating under investment agreement;
  • other fiscal incentives for investors;
  • tax planning of the client’s transactions and activity in whole.

Tax Support and Structure in M&A Transactions

Companies at various stages of their development can take decisions on business expansion, improvement of corporate structure, changes in business operations and activity, all of which are realised in the form of "Mergers & Acquisitions" transactions. Such transactions’ tax component could have impact on their basic structure. While planning the transaction, the seller and the buyer should seek the optimum way to transfer business to a new owner.

This service includes: developing different optimal disposal schemes in terms of minimising the tax burden and reducing total risks; preparing and defending the positions of the client on the evaluation of the company and the conditions of the deal; participation in negotiations on the realisation of the project of M&A.

Taxation of bank and financial transactions

The financial services market has a number of specifics and nuances in taxation procedure due to its volume and complexity.

Such specifics have a direct impact on successful outcome of the financial transaction and, as a consequence, allow to avoid certain risks.

In this regard, GRATA advise on tax implications and risks of various bank and financial transactions, including:

  • loan agreement;

  • debt securities;
  • financial leasing;
  • derivative financial instruments and etc.

Taxation of individuals

As part of tax services, GRATA also specializes in taxation of individuals.

GRATA specialists have experience in providing services in terms of taxation of personal income, including income of individual entrepreneurs from both Kazakhstan and foreign sources, namely advising on the following issues:

  • types of taxes and payments to be paid;

  • applicable rates, the possibility of applying the double tax treaty or the possibility of applying the envisaged tax exemptions;
  • the procedure of tax returns submission;
  • choosing the optimal tax regime for individual entrepreneurs;
  • possible legal consequences in case of violation of tax laws, etc .;
  • within the framework of these services, we also render services on protection and representation of clients' interests in courts, tax and law enforcement agencies.

At the same time, we have a solid experience in advising on issues related to taxation in employee incentive programs (Share Incentive Plans)

Taxation of non-residents

The complexity of International Tax Law, including the Convention on the Avoidance of Double Taxation, and peculiarities in the taxation of non-residents in Kazakhstan, raise many questions for which GRATA specialists can provide clear answers.

We are glad to advise on the following issues:

  • advising on taxation of non-resident’s income from source of payment;

  • advising on application of rules of ‘controlled foreign companies’;
  • advising on permanent establishment risk;
  • tax optimization of non-resident’s income from sources in Kazakhstan;
  • choosing the most suitable form (legal entity or structural subdivision) for certain business type for taxation purposes;
  • corporate structure and transaction structure from tax law perspective.

Tаxation of Subsoil Users

Subsoil users are the separate category of taxpayers with their own tax regime different from the standard one.

As a result, tax advising of subsoil users requires specific knowledge and relevant experience which is what GRATA possess.

We are glad to advise the subsoil users on the following:

  • advising on issues of calculation and payment of taxes and special payments of subsoil users including excess profit tax, mineral tax and bonuses;

  • advising on issues of tax stability regarding the prior tax law and its interaction with the requirements of the current tax law;
  • advising on maintenance of separate tax accounting;
  • advising on issues of taxation and tax planning of M&A transactions in subsoil area.

Trаnsfer Pricing

Transfer pricing issues occupies a separate niche in the tax law structure due to specifics of this area.

In this regard, control over transfer pricing is one of the main considerations of any state. It is a special type of control that differs from ordinary tax inspection and requires special approach to international business transactions.

Tax bodies exercise control on the basis of comparison between market price and the deal price and in case there is a difference, the deal price becomes a transfer price i.e. the deal price was undervalued on export or overvalued on import.

GRATA is glad to offer the following transfer pricing services:

  • advising on application of transfer pricing law (preparation of memorandums);

  • preparation of due diligence on lawfulness of actions and decisions of the tax authorities in transfer pricing part.

VАT Refund from the State Budget

GRATA also provides services related to the protection and representation of the interests of clients in disputes relating to the refusal of tax authorities to refund VAT already paid in the budget.

As part of this service, our tax professionals will be glad to help:

  • prepare and assess documents on their compliance to tax legislation;

  • collect evidence required for the VAT refund;
  • prepare recommendations to determine the VAT amount that should be refunded;
  • represent and protect the interests of our client during the tax audit;
  • contest illegal actions made in the refusal to refund.

Withhоlding Tax Refund

It is commonly known that non-residents of the Republic of Kazakhstan can completely or partially get a refund of the paid sums of withholding tax (WHT) to the budget on the basis of standards of the international conventions on avoidance of double taxation.

With purpose of providing legal services GRATA successfully renders services in legal support of  WHT refund from the budget on the basis of the international treaty on avoidance of the double taxation.

We will explain you possibilities of complete or partial return of the paid sums of WHT from the budget and render qualified services in legal support of returning WHT, beginning with consultation about right to return WHT, until transfer of the returned sum to your company’s bank account.

We can assist you with the following:

  • qualified consultation concerning possibility of WHT refund;

  • preparation of documents and checking their compliance with tax legislation;
  • analysis of standards of international treaties providing complete or partial release from taxation for possibility of WHT return;
  • to prepare tax notification and covering letters on tax return;
  • assistance with collection of evidence necessary for WHT refund;
  • representation and protection of interests before tax authorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan during application and consideration of tax notification;
  • representation of interests in the Appeal Commission or in courts when appealing omissions of tax authorities in case of refusal on return of paid sums of WHT.

Name Position Contacts
Assel Ilyasova Partner, Head of Tax Law Department Inquire
Eldar Ziatdinov Director of Tax Law Department, GRATA International (Moscow) Inquire
Nurbol Kissembayev Partner, Branch Director Inquire
Nodir Yuldashev Partner, Construction, Telecommunications, Transport, Tax and Litigation Inquire
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08.02.2013

Problems with Obtaining Refunds from the Budget of Excess VAT Accumulated During Mineral Exploration

Lately, obtaining a refund of value added tax (VAT) incurred in connection with the export of goods[1] has been a pressing issue.

08.02.2013

Review of the Amendments made to the Tax Code and Administrative Code in 2013

On 26 December 2012 the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed the Law On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Taxation.


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Key contacts

Assel Ilyasova

Partner, Head of Tax Law Department

Almaty

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