INTERNATIONAL TAX: OECD recognises that AIFC tax regime complies with global standards of tax transparency.

As published on inform.kz, Wednesday 3 August, 2022.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released a report declaring that the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC’s) tax regime is compliant with global standards of tax transparency. This recognition is an important step in demonstrating the AIFC's compliance with global tax transparency standards.

According to OECD, Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) practices cost countries 100–240 billion US dollars in lost revenues annually, which is the equivalent of 4-10% of the global corporate income tax revenues. This is the result of the abuse of gaps and inconsistencies between the tax systems of different countries, the AIFC’s official website reads.

To address this problem, in 2016 the OECD jointly with the G20 created the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. Today within the Framework there are over 135 countries and jurisdictions, implementing 15 actions to combat tax evasion, improve consistency of international tax rules, ensure a more transparent tax environment and address tax problems arising from the digitalisation of economy.

The OECD recommended that the AIFC implement «Substantial Presence» requirements for Kazakhstan to comply with BEPS. In this regard, in 2021 the Astana Financial Services Authority in agreement with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan adopted the Rules on Substantial Presence of the of AIFC participants applying tax exemptions for the payment of corporate income tax, value added tax. According to the Rules, AIFC participants enjoying tax benefits for the payment of corporate income tax and value added tax must confirm their presence in the AIFC. This is corroborated by meeting the requirements for core income generating activities in the AIFC, as well as ensuring amount of expenses and full-time employees are commensurate to the scope of activities.

Reference: The Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) is the independent regulator of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), which is established in accordance with the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan «On the Astana International Financial Centre» for the purposes of regulating financial services and related activities in the AIFC. AFSA administers the AIFC Regulations and Rules and is responsible for the authorisation, registration, recognition and supervision of financial firms and market institutions in the AIFC.

Over 1,400 firms from 64 countries are registered in the AIFC. These firms provide banking, insurance, investment, professional and other services. The range of financial services offered at the AIFC is comparable to the list of services available in long-established financial centers of the world, such as London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and others. www.afsa.kz

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