Officials Clarify Questions about New Property Rights Legalisation

New legalisation regarding property in Kazakhstan will take effect on Sept. 1 and expire on Dec. 31, 2015. A law titled “On Amnesty for Citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Oralman and Persons with Kazakhstan Residence Permits, regarding the Legal Status of their Property” has been adopted.

inside_legislationIn the bill, the government tried to identify all critical aspects of the forthcoming process of legalisation, considering the inevitable emergence of an immense number of questions from the country’s population.

All citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Oralman (ethnic Kazakhs who have returned to Kazakhstan since independence in 1991) and persons with Kazakhstan residence permits have the right to legalise and normalise the status of property.  Persons who are affected by Article 222 of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan and have had their sentence come into force are not eligible to participate.

Property, including money belonging to residents, or money received by them before Sept. 1, will be legalised. Legally contested property cannot be legalised.

It is possible to legalise real estate outside of Kazakhstan. For this to happen, Kazakhstan residents need to submit all necessary documents to tax authorities in respective jurisdictions for legalisation. Also, potential participants have to keep in mind that recognised property is property identical to the property determined by real estate according to Kazakhstan law.

Starting Sept. 1 and ending on Nov. 30, 2015, the populace of the country may submit the documents necessary for real estate legalisation to local akimats (regional government administrations.). It will take 30 calendar days for the commission and tax authorities to consider requests from the date of their submission. In case documents are returned for corrections, the applicant is allowed to resubmit their application, except for cases involving money. All expenses connected with the registration of legalised property go directly towards legalisation procedures.

As for fees, they constitute 10 percent of the cost of acquisition or estimated cost of the property outside of the country. Tax payments on legalised money are made only in cases where a resident wants to remove the funds from a special account in a second-tier bank before planned (before five years), without investing in the economy and if his property is outside of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan residents may be tax exempt if their legalised money in savings accounts has been held no less than 60 calendar months since the date of transfer to the account for legalisation or if they want to make an investment with that legalised money.

The date of the commission’s or tax authority’s decision on legalisation is considered to be the official date of Kazakhstan residents’ property legalisation. In regards to money, it is considered  legalised from the moment of its transfer into a savings account. Thus, its security is assured by legislation regarding the obligatory guarantee of deposits. Consequently, Kazakhstan residents will get all their money returned within 60 calendar months of it being deposited in a savings account.

Credit is not eligible for legalisation. Moreover, income tax will not be imposed upon it.

In case of dissatisfaction with the commission’s or tax authority’s decision, action or inaction, applicants may appeal their case in court. There is one interesting detail that needs to be mentioned for Kazakhstan civil servants who have legalised their money and “forgot” to specify such in declarations from previous years. According to the initiative, in legalising income, these people are exempted from disciplinary liability for non-presentation or submission of incomplete or doubtful declarations as provided by Article 9 of the law “On the Fight Against Corruption,” during the period preceding the law coming into force.

However, it is necessary to consider that legalisation doesn’t extend to property acquired through corruption and crime.

Strict procedures for the legalisation of buildings is also being planned.  If a Kazakhstan resident has an apartment which isn’t taken out of housing stock in property, the land plot or garage – the property is not eligible for legalisation. One of the conditions for legalisation of property located in Kazakhstan is that the property must belong to the real owner.

Kazakhstan’s government will formulate procedures for document submission and property legalisation.

All information submitted as part of the programme will be held under strict confidentiality.

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