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Tax professional lecture series

                     CATRC opens the semester with Visiting Lecturer from MARS


                  Lecture “Management of Tax Risks - Permanent Establishment”

                                   held on    September 5, 2013



   Taxation students of KIMEP University had recently a chance to listen to a special lecture delivered by Keith Brockman, global tax executive in MARS Company, UK.

Mr. Brockman has been engaged in a strategic global role starting in 2008 as a member of the Mars Tax Leadership Team, implementing tax strategies and "Best Practices" in Europe, the Middle East, Turkey,  Africa, Russian Federation and the Central Asian Region.  His prior roles have focused on tax, treasury and financial strategies for public and private multinational US headquartered companies.  From 2001 to 2008, he was the Vice President of Global Tax, as well as Treasurer, for publicly held multinationals.

From 1988 to 2001, he was the global tax leader for domestic and international taxes of several corporations.  His professional career started in public accounting, earning his CPA certificate and embarking upon a corporate tax and finance career.  He attended DePaul University in Chicago, earning Accounting and Finance degrees in addition to completing the Masters in Taxation graduate program. He also envisioned and created an International Tax Best Practices & Processes Blog located at 

 "Having Keith as a visiting guest speaker at KIMEP University was excellent opportunity for our students to see the variety of aspects, which have impact on tax risk management of multinational companies. On one hand there are the legal aspects, on the other hand the commercial strategy considerations. Keith also demonstrated to students the close interaction between the legal forms, which was contrasted with economic substance of various situations involving multinational enterprises."- noted Prof. Tomas Balco, Director of Central Asian Tax Research Center (CATRC).

 Indeed, the lecture was very interesting and productive. It covered various aspects related to the existence of permanent establishment. For clarifying and drawing more clear picture of what permanent establishment is, Mr Brockman used short cases as examples and discussed with students the considerations related to existence of PE. Students especially enjoyed being involved in the discussion and the opportunity to jointly analyze the cases.  

    “As a guest lecturer at KIMEP, I was introduced by Tomas Balco to his colleagues and research staff.  Upon entering the class, over 50 students and alumni provided a warm welcome.  It was truly fascinating to see the international community represented that evening. Everyone was attentive, asking insightful questions during the interactive presentation.  I look forward to future opportunities to interact with the faculty, students, alumni and staff at KIMEP University who represent current and future leaders in the global business community.”- mentioned Keith Brockman, after the lecture. 

   Mr. Brockman was accompanied by colleague from MARS Company, Kazakhstan Nadezhda Kaazik. Nadezhda is a KIMEP Alumni from Almaty, who took taxation classes from Tomas Balco. She graduated from KIMEP in 2009 and joined the tax department of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she worked for 3 years as a tax consultant. During this period, she was privileged to carry out a 6 month secondment in Washington, DC, where she worked on the joint project of World Bank and PwC - Doing Business which also includes element related to the burden of taxation and tax compliance in each country. Currently, she is working as in-house tax specialist in MARS, Almaty, carrying out all the responsibilities related to taxation. 

  “It was really amazing to see so many students interested in taxation. As much I’ve noticed before, KIMEP students were basically attentive to accounting and finance spheres. It was great chance for them to enlarge their visions by discovering the successful career path of Nadezhda. Personally, I think that knowing the principles of taxation is a must for everyone, who wants to open any business in the future.”- Garibsulton Davlatbekova, member of CATRC team. 

   "It was also great to have Nadezhda come back to KIMEP University as a past graduate making a career in the field of taxation. Students could see on her example that career in tax can be international and local as well as providing exposure to the professional as both in-house expert and external consultant, who is consulting other companies."- commented Prof. Balco.    

   At the end of the lecture, Mr. Brockman introduced the website ( which he created for Strategizing Multinational Tax Risks. It included various interesting themes and updates about the researches carried out by major companies, OECD and UN developments as well as information on changes in the area of General Anti-Avoiding rules which were recently adapted in different countries. It was interesting to find out the website contained some extra tips for self development, like presentation skills. Students may find the website and blog especially useful for their research and career development in taxation. 

   Both the CATRC members and KIMEP taxation students are thankful to Mr. Keith and Nadezhda, for contributing their time and shared their experience with the audience. Students have repeatedly demonstrated that they really care about the content of the lecture. Some of the feedback of participants follows: 

  “I'm a new member of CATRC team and beginner at the branch of tax law. That's why this guest lecture with Keith Brockman was incredible experience for me. I learned lots of new useful information about Tax Risk and Permanent Establishment. Moreover, it was very interesting to hear about his life and work experience. Lectures like this help us to deepen our knowledge and realize how important it is to be a qualified tax law expert.”- Tonya Tyurina, CATRC member. 

  “I believe students of KIMEP are indeed happy people. Thanks to our Professors and opportunities provided to us at our University we are exposed to meet great people, professionals of world class, whom we can learn and have an inspiring example from. Attending the lecture of Mr. Brockman was an interesting experience to me. Mr. Brockman gave a practical lecture on permanent establishment issues, providing complicated structures of tax structuring, making students to brainstorm and come to an answer. These are the realities that wait us outside of the doors of university and challenging ourselves and facing this reality while being a student is a useful lesson."- Kseniya Yeroshenko, Previously Research Assistant at CATRC, current Tax Consultant with EY and also LL.M. Student at KIMEP School of Law.


                                                                                           Article by Garibsulton Davlatbekova

 Expert on Estate and Inheritance Planning – Mr. Vincent L. Teahan visits KIMEP and delivers lectures to KIMEP LL.M. students

   Beginning from March 14, 2013 (till when) KIMEP LLM students had opportunity to attend guest lectures of Attorney Vincent L. Teahan, a partner of Teahan & Constantino, LLP in Millbrook and Poughkeepsie, New York, who was invited by and within the programs of Central Asian Tax Research Center (CATRC). Mr. Teahan arrived to Kazakhstan, under the auspices of the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria, to share with his experience as a lawyer in the field of estate planning and taxation of family assets. During his sessions Mr. Teahan mainly focused on tax, family and contract laws.

After introducing himself, Mr. Teahan focused on the main part of the lecture, which was social aspects of estate planning, wealth transfer to young generation and tax regimes.

“Vincent’s lecture provided students with the tax, legal and social as well as psychological aspects of family estate planning”- said Professor Balco.

As we understood from the Teahan lectures, the goal of  estate planning is to maximize the value of estate for younger generation family members by reducing taxes and other expenses - - consistent with the wishes of the older generation which owns the estate.

As a practicing lawyers in various fields - - especially those who major in taxation - -  the LLM students were fascinated by the topics Mr. Teahan discussed. The lectures gave them a great opportunity to expand their knowledge in international law, in particular US law and practice regarding estate taxation which does not exist in Kazakhstan. One of the LLM 2nd year students, Yekaterina Kartseva, noticed:

Since I work in the industry of money management, Vincent’s lecture was very useful in terms of enlarging my knowledge about international expertise of the wealth management. In particular it was interesting to learn what structures exist in the US wealth management practice, what problems beneficial owners of trusts may encounter and what problems advisers may face while managing the assets and what solutions exist”.

Students were really attentive and motivated to explore new horizons, as Mr. Teahan was a  expert in them.   He used a lot of "real life" examples. The most interesting examples involve cases in which the younger generation can succeed or fail with the inheritance left by their parents.  He thought that these examples would be of interest to lawyers and accountants in Kazakhstan, as an emerging, wealthy commercial country.

“Forty years of law practice have taught me that while making money is good for people and for families, inheriting money is often not so good”, said Mr. Teahan.

One of the visitors, alumni of KIMEP LLM program, Tolkyn Turkpenova mentioned:

“Vincent’s lectures on U.S. estate planning law both from a tax and property law standpoint illustrated by real-life examples were comprehensive and interesting. Having listened to his presentations it is possible to say that one of the sources for revenue can be introduction of some form of wealth tax in Kazakhstan. The presentations on the social aspects of estate planning showing non-tax aspects were also new for me”.

Director of CATRC, Tomas Balco, was also an active participant on the guest lectures of Vincent and asked a lot questions leading to  interesting discussions with Mr. Teahan.

“It is very useful for students to see the tax issues in perspective with family estate planning. The example of US estate and gift taxation is an example of how taxation can gradually “eat away” family wealth over generations. If combined with mismanagement, the family wealth can disappear completely before not too long...” commented Prof Balco.

The second very informative topic for the students was the structure and nature of Marriage contracts. As such contracts are not a well-developed area of law in Kazakhstan, there was   considerable interest on the part of students.

As a practicing lawyer, mostly in contract and family law, Vincent's lectures on  marriage contracts were very interesting for me. I realized that in Kazakhstani law this type of contract and relation between the spouses are not developed. We need to increase and develop this institute learning from the foreign practice. In my mind, marriage contracts would relieve divorcing parties from problems and simplify the whole process, as everything is written on a paper and executed before the crash” says, LLM 2nd year student Dana Darzhanova.

As a result of guest lectures, students also obtained much information, mostly from the practical standpoint, and were motivated to learn about these spheres deeply as an independent study. Mr. Vincent gave KIMEP students opportunity for independent study leaving a lot of interesting materials (in PDF and other internet form) and real life cases for them to study.

 The Teahan lectures also covered “trust arrangements" - - a  form of asset protection and management widely-used in the  US.  The students asked many questions about trusts, their function, and operational and management aspects.

“Vincent's lecture concerning family trust arrangements was very interesting and innovative. It suddenly struck me that in Kazakhstani business environment trust funds are not popular, but in respect to time and changing world such funds will find their niche in Kazakhstani financial market. Insurance, banking and trust funds would be three interrelated financial areas with biggest potential for development. Information which was presented by Mr. Vincent opened full-enough picture of trust foundation, and showed that Kazakhstani citizens are ready for such innovations. Many thanks to Vincent for the time he spent on his presentation”, says LLM 2nd year student Kuanysh Serikbayev.

 Students were very grateful to have the opportunity to learn from Vincent on areas, which are still only in early stages of development in Kazakhstan.

“We were very lucky that Vincent kindly donated his time to share his knowledge with our students”, said Professor Balco.

                                                                                                 Article by Dana Darzhanova




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Sep 20, 2013, 5:00 AM
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Sep 20, 2013, 5:07 AM