From January 2024, the third stage of universal declaration in Kazakhstan will be introduced, which will oblige executives, founders (participants) of legal entities, individual entrepreneurs and their spouses to submit the report as part of the declaration of assets and liabilities.
The government made a decision to introduce a universal declaration to create a system of effective control of income and property of individuals and legal entities, to combat the shadow economy and corruption.
The declaration should reflect information on the acquisition and/or sale, gift or inheritance of property subject to state or other registration, including property abroad. These include property, including land plots and/or land shares; aircraft and marine vessels, cars, and special equipment; shares in a residential building under a contract on share participation in housing construction; shares in the authorized capital of a legal entity; securities, derivative financial instruments, digital assets, cryptocurrencies; investment gold, intellectual property objects, copyright objects.
The deadline for submission of the declaration on paper is no later than July 15, 2024, and in electronic format no later than Sept. 15, 2024.
In case of actual absence of entrepreneurial activity
For this category of persons, the obligation to submit declarations will arise even if the entrepreneur or legal entity does not carry on business. In Kazakhstan, it is common practice for legal entities to operate without hired employees or balance sheet real estate.
At the same time, when terminating their activities, legal entities often prefer not to undergo the mandatory procedure of liquidating a legal entity. From the point of view of the legislation such legal entities are considered registered, therefore their owners are obliged to file declarations on assets and liabilities from Jan. 1, 2024.
In case of an actual absence of entrepreneurial activity, the following actions are recommended to be completed before the end of 2023, which will help to be exempted from the third stage of the declaration process.
If a legal entity does not operate, it is necessary to decide and liquidate the legal entity. If certain conditions are met, the legal entity is liquidated in a simplified procedure, in other cases, as a result of a tax audit.
If an individual is not the head of a legal entity, but the registration data of the legal entity has not been changed, it is necessary to correct the data by submitting a notification on the electronic government website or by mail.
For late submission of the declaration, the legislation envisions sanctions as a warning in the first case and a fine in case of repeated violation within a year. The penalty equals 15 MCI or 55,380 tenge ($120.5).
Failure to report ownership of overseas properties and funds in foreign bank accounts in Kazakhstan’s individual income tax declaration will result in a fine of 100 MCI or 369,200 tenge ($803.3).
The fourth stage of the declaration
In the future, the declaration of assets and liabilities will be replaced by another declaration of income and assets. In other words, the universal declaration declared by the state is not a one-off but an annual one.
The deadline for submitting the declaration of income and assets on paper is no later than July 15, 2025, and in electronic format no later than Sept. 15, 2025.
Under a multilateral agreement of competent authorities on the automatic exchange of financial information with the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Kazakhstan exchanges and analyzes data on financial accounts of residents and non-residents.
From the beginning of the fourth stage of universal declaration, residents of Kazakhstan who have foreign assets or receive income from abroad will be required to file an individual income tax return and pay tax to the treasury, even if they reside abroad.
According to the order of Kazakhstan’s Minister of Finance dated June 21, 2018, from 2025 the declaration must also be submitted by residence permit holders, and foreigners or stateless persons who are residents of Kazakhstan.
Non-resident foreigners or stateless individuals will also have to submit a declaration if, as of Dec. 31 of the year before the declaration year, they own property that requires state or other registration in Kazakhstan or have shares in housing construction within Kazakhstan.
The authors are Adilkhan Ziyashev, a lawyer at GRATA International, and Zaira Sarsenova, a partner of GRATA International. GRATA International is an international law firm present in 22 countries around the globe, including in Kazakhstan.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Astana Times.