CATRC Participates in 6th Kazakhstan Tax Forum

CATRC Participates in 6th Kazakhstan Tax Forum

Two CATRC (Central Asian Tax Research Center) professors, Tomas Balco and Vladimir Tyutyuryukov, were invited to attend a series of meeting and deliver a speech at the 6th Annual Kazakhstan Tax Forum. The Forum was organized by The Scientific Research Institute of Finance and Tax Law, with the support of The National Economic Chamber of Kazakhstan “Atameken”, International Fiscal Organization (IFA, Russian Sector) and the main media partner – industry magazine “Taxes and Finance”.

The 6th Kazakhstan Tax Forum was held from 18-19 October 2011 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This forum is an annual public event aimed at gathering together Kazakhstani Government Tax and Legal Authorities with local and international tax experts and professionals. The purpose of the meetings is to publicly discuss, analyze, compare and criticize the current tax policy situation in Kazakhstan, and to reach a consensus about tax policy with respect to governmental, public and taxpayer interests.

The central theme for this Forum was “Tax Competition and Kazakhstan: Features, Benefits and Perspectives”. The aim was to consider and evaluate the Kazakhstani tax system’s competitiveness and its ability to attract foreign direct investment. Nikitinskaya Y.S. of the Atameken Alliance presented a report on the topic “Kazakhstani Tax Competitiveness in World Practice”. She pointed out the need to revise the list of unscheduled tax audits and, by so doing, to prove the appropriateness and efficiency of their use. According to her findings, 27 types of existing unplanned checks are inefficient and pointless.

The discussion also focused seeing taxes as both an incentive and disincentive for the economic development of Kazakhstan. The problems and perspectives of fairness and tax abuse practice were widely discussed. Nikitinskaya Y.S. gave a speech on the main directives for Optimization of tax administration in Kazakhstan. Some of the problems to be solved included gradual reduction of administrative barriers and the simplification of tax procedures, as well as the maximum realization principles of the direct law. These questions were observed by Yergozhin D.E. of the Tax Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the RK, who in his presentation delivered the results of the work done by the Tax Committee for the period of 2010-2011. Mr. Yergozhin also informed the participants about the changes that are going to be implemented with respect to simplification and improvements of tax administration procedures.

Tomas Balco, CATRC director, dedicated his speech to potential further tax policy measures which Kazakhstan could introduce to enhance its competitiveness. He started his report with an overview of the potential competitive advantages that Kazakhstan has over other Central Asian countries in which he highlighted the degree of economic and infrastructure progress and the growing importance of Kazakhstan as financial and knowledge hub of Central Asia. Professor Balco briefly summarized economical and political benefits for further advances in Kazakhstan and shared his view about the tax policy measures that should be undertaken in order to ensure successful future development of the country.

“Kazakhstan is one of the most progressive countries of CIS and Central Asia in terms of an elaborated tax system and novel tax policy measures. Currently Kazakhstan stands on the threshold of entering a new area of regional economic integration, which requires elimination of customs and fiscal barriers to trade and economic activities. The mobility of capital and certain functions means that we will witness relocation of certain company functions and also possibly the production facilities to locations that make better economic sense in terms of economic factors, infrastructure and fiscal conditions. It is therefore important that policy makers evaluate the current situation and formulate tax policy measures for the new era of Kazakhstan’s development,” commented Prof. Balco.

Alina Ishaleyeva, CATRC Research Department Coordinator, who also attended the Forum, shared her opinion: “I am very grateful for the opportunity to visit this event. It was a great experience for the members of CATRC due to the following reasons: our team learned about the current situation in Kazakhstan in terms of its competitive features in taxation, and it was also useful to hear the feedback and questions arising during the Forum from the audience, who were lawyers, tax consultants, businessmen. This built a clear picture about the hot issues in Kazakhstan.”

In order to develop further integration of Kazakhstan in the World Community and share its experience with other countries, the Forum’s organizers invited tax experts from The Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, the USA, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

“It was a nice event putting together researchers and practitioners from several countries. I would like to highlight the contribution of Victor Matchekhin, the Russian tax lawyer, regarding recent developments on international taxation in Russia. An interesting point of our participation was that Tomas and I were working on our topics  independently, but our presentations supplemented one another – my part was about tax novelties that differentiate Kazakhstan from other Customs Union countries, while Tomas suggested some possible further steps”,- commented Vladimir Tyutyuryukov, KIMEP Professor.

“The event was a starting point for warm and friendly relations with Russia. As a consequence the CATRC team, in cooperation with guests from Russia, organized the Russia-Kazakhstan Round Table, and in the near future we intend to organize a Russia-Kazakhstan Tax Forum devoted to deep analysis of the tax systems of both countries," says Alina Ishaleyeva.