In December 2015 Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) was created by the Constitutional law of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The main goal of AIFC is to provide financial services of international level and standards. The AIFC aims to assist in attracting investment to the economy of Kazakhstan, create an attractive environment for investing in financial services, develop capital market of Kazakhstan and ensure its integration with international capital markets. AIFC operates under its own jurisdiction on the basis of its own acts, which can be based on the principles, norms and precedents of the law of England and Wales and (or) the standards of leading world financial centers. On the AIFC territory, certain preferences are provided for registered companies (private owners) in the form of free office space and exemption from certain taxes of Kazakhstan. In particular, the following tax benefits are provided for AIFC participants:
1) CIT and VAT at AIFC for financial services
Until January 1, 2066, they are exempted from paying Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and VAT received from the provision of the following financial services in the AIFC:
· banking services of an Islamic bank;
· reinsurance and insurance brokerage services;
· services for investment management of assets of investment funds, their accounting and storage, as well as ensuring the issue, placement, circulation, redemption and redemption of securities of investment funds;
· brokerage and (or) dealer, underwriting services; and
· other financial services determined by the AIFC Act (hereinafter financial services).
Thus, AIFC participants providing the above services to both participants and non-AIFC participants are exempt from CIT and VAT.
2) CIT and IIT in the AIFC for legal, audit, accounting and consulting services
It is also worth noting that AIFC participants and their foreign workers under an employment contract are also exempted from paying Individual Income Tax (IIT) and CIT on income received from legal, auditing, accounting, consulting services provided to AIFC bodies, as well as AIFC participants providing financial services indicated above.
Thus AIFC participants providing legal, auditing, accounting, consulting services to AIFC agencies, as well as other AIFC participants rendering specified financial services are also exempt from CIT.
It should be noted that income from the services by AIFC participant to other AIFC participants which do not provide financial services or which are not AIFC participants are not exempt from CIT.
3) Taxes on shares and dividends at AIFC
Individuals and companies are exempt from the payment of individual and CIT on income from capital gain shares on stock exchanges i.e., the sale of shares or stakes in the authorized capitals of the AIFC participants, with dividends and interest on securities on the stock exchanges, or out of the stock exchange, with the dividends on shares or shares in the capital of AIFC participants and from sources outside the Republic of Kazakhstan, if individuals are investment residents of the AIFC and are recognized as a resident of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the purposes of the Tax Code.
4) Administration and tax revenue accounting and separate accounting of AIFC participants
In accordance with the Rules of tax administration and interaction of state revenue bodies with bodies and AIFC participants on taxation issues, AIFC participants are entitled to:
- maintain records, including tax forms, and submit to the state revenue authorities the necessary documents in English;
- on paper: in person through the Expat center of AIFC ;
- by registered mail with notification;
- in electronic form;
- carry out tax accounting in functional currency, specifically in accounting, if it remains unchanged during the tax period;
- determine the objects of taxation and objects related to taxation, and calculate taxes and other obligatory payments to the budget in the functional currency if it remains unchanged during the tax period, with the exception of tax obligations, for which, in accordance with the Tax Code, fixed rates are set in tenge.
AIFC participant Tax Calculation Currency
If the AIFC taxpayer calculates taxes and other obligatory payments to the budget in a functional currency other than tenge, the amount of taxes and other obligatory payments to the budget payable is determined at the market currency exchange rate determined on the last business day preceding the date of tax transfer to the budget.
Tax accounting policy
The AIFC participant applies the tax accounting policy approved by one of the following methods (at the choice of the AIFC participant):
1) AIFC participant independently, taking into account the requirements of the Tax Code;
2) Special Provision No.1 of AIFC providing tax accounting policy for AIFC participants receiving income from financial services, and for AIFC participants, providing legal, auditting, accounting, consulting services for AIFC authorities, as well as other AIFC participants rendering abovementioned financial services.
Separate accounting of income by AIFC participants
According to the Rules of conducting by AIFC participants separate accounting of revenue, subject to exemption from CIT and subject to taxation, as well as costs to be deductible AIFC participant provides separate records of income tax for the reporting period:
1) attribution to income:
- subject to exemption from CIT - direct income;
- taxable - other income;
2) reflection of information on direct income and other income in tax registers.
Direct and other income
The Rules stipulate that direct income recognized as income:
1) received from activities from the provision of financial services in the AIFC in accordance with the agreements (contracts/deals) concluded by the AIFC participant in the AIFC.
2) derived from legal, auditting, accounting, consulting's services under agreements (contracts/deals) concluded by AIFC participants on the territory of AIFC with AIFC authorities and AIFC participants which provide financial services.
Under other income, the Rules recognize all income of the AIFC participants that is not recognized as direct income and is to be included in the total annual income in accordance with the tax legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.