Tax and customs in Kazakhstan

Dentons

Dentons regularly acts in complex tax and customs disputes in Kazakhstan; the group also assists with the tax elements of natural resources projects and counts major airlines and manufacturing companies as clients. Kanat Skakov is a leading tax and customs lawyer and counts international and local natural resources companies, service providers, airlines, pharmaceuticals companies, banks and manufacturing businesses as clients. Associate Stanislav Lechshak focuses on tax and customs issues in the oil and gas, mining, construction, finance, retail and telecoms sectors.

Practice head(s):

Kanat Skakov

Testimonials

Dentons in Kazakhstan has a strong knowledge and competency footprint in the country.

I acknowledge the good work of Stanislav Lechshak, specifically for his well-developed, business-oriented approach, care of clients and prompt response.’

Key clients

Schlumberger Logelco Inc.

JV KATKO LLP

Axiom Swiss Bank

Louis Vuitton Kazakhstan LLP

Samsung Electronics Central Eurasia LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for Schlumberger Logelco in a dispute against the tax authority relating to the assessment of withholding tax on the income of a non-resident based on results of a thematic tax audit.
  • Advised Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline Company on various tax issues associated with different options for the restructuring of its business in Kazakhstan.
  • Represented Samsung Electronics Central Eurasia in several administrative disputes against the tax authority relating to the assessment of administrative fines relevant to the endorsement of electronic invoices by the tax authority.

GRATA International

With notable experience in Kazakh tax and customs law, GRATA International handles a variety of complex issues and assists with tax and customs control issues and the protection of interests during disputes. The group frequently advises clients in the oil and gas, mining, transportation, construction and manufacturing industries. Assel Ilyassova leads the tax and customs law department, which includes highly experienced tax specialist Kanat Adilbekov.

Practice head(s):

Assel Ilyassova

Sayat Zholshy & Partners

Sayat Zholshy & Partners provides 'good and reliable' Kazakh tax assistance to its varied roster of clients. Rustam Ospanov has extensive experience in providing tax advice and defending clients in tax appeals, with clients including companies in natural monopoly industries, power sector businesses and transport clients. Yelena Tyureikina has a broad practice encompassing various tax issues including corporate tax planning work and tax disputes.

Practice head(s):

Rustam Ospanov; Yelena Tyureikina

Testimonials

Over a number of years, we have been working with Sayat Zholshy & Partners as our lead tax counsel. We highly value their professionalism, expertise and experience in the tax and customs domain and we laud their work approach, as well as the ability to stand their ground in disputes and interactions with tax authorities.’

They always demonstrate a high level of professionalism and their tax practice covers a very broad span of issues. Their strongest speciality in this area is tax dispute resolution.’

Special mention in this regard should be made of Rustam Ospanov. His leadership skills, deep knowledge of tax law and extensive experience in this area of practice, his ability to efficiently coordinate the team work and to collaborate with a client, as well as his aptness for generating out-of-the-box solutions and bringing advantages to a client are the key criteria that determine our choice of tax counsel and our confidence in their advice and deliverables.

Yelena is a leader of her profession and is very well versed in tax law. Deep insight into a problem, high-quality legal opinion and advice, and helpful recommendations and suggestions on the most effective resolution of tax disputes are her most distinguishing characteristics.’

Key clients

TengizTransGroup

CAIH Power LLP

TRANCO Group

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited provides complex cross-border tax structuring advice and also handles tax structuring mandates, tax and customs disputes, transactional planning and drafting work, and tax due diligence issues. Curtis Masters is a pre-eminent foreign lawyer in Kazakhstan, and specialises in cross-border financial transactions, M&A, privatisations and leasing issues, and acts for clients in the insurance, telecoms and real estate sectors. Igor Kolupayev is a tax and corporate counsel and primarily focuses on the tax aspects of M&A, general tax planning work and customs matters.

Practice head(s):

Curtis Masters

Key clients

Abbott

Accenture

Bechtel

Dogus

Evraz Caspian Steel LLP

Mitsui

Work highlights

  • Advised the Kazakhstan Ministry of Finance on a matter relating to aircraft leasing in Kazakhstan.
  • Represented Weatherford International, one of the largest oil and gas drilling services companies in Kazakhstan, in a significant dispute with the state customs authorities concerning customs duties due on imported equipment.

Deloitte TCF, LLP

Deloitte TCF, LLP handles a wide variety of tax mandates including reviewing tax payment calculations for individuals and legal entities, and consulting and structuring issues. Managing partner Anthony Mahon leads the tax and legal practice, and specialises in the extractive and energy industries; he has significant experience in large-scale due diligence projects and complex cross-border tax structuring assignments. Newly promoted partner Andrey Kakharchuk conducts tax reviews and tax consulting issues, and Aidana Abdaliyeva is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Mahon; Andrey Zakharchuk; Aidana Abdaliyeva

Testimonials

Deloitte works for its client’s needs in a complex and challenging environment. The firm is technically highly experienced and well-connected even beyond Kazakhstan’s borders. If you would like to do business in Kazakhstan, they are the advisers you need to have on your side.’

Especially I would like to mention Aidana Abdaliyeva (Director). Reliable and on-time delivery of requested advice. She and her team are providing a very high service quality.

KPMG in Kazakhstan

KPMG Law provides advice on a broad range of issues pertaining to tax law in Kazakhstan and is able to call on the expertise of colleagues in other CIS countries on cross-border advisory mandates. Rustem Sadykov specialises in corporate and indirect tax, tax planning and inbound investment work, and provides advice on tax stabilisation issues under subsoil use contracts. Inna Alkhimova counts international and Kazakh companies as clients and advises on corporate and indirect taxation, international taxation and currency regulation. Tatyana Novikova focuses on taxation and accounting mandates and has experience in handling tax reports and tax assessments.

Practice head(s):

Inna Alkhimova; Rustem Sadykov

Testimonials

KPMG tax consultants worked for our entities, constantly showing high quality services, and they always try to outperform your expectations.

Always listen to your needs, polite and professional in communications with you. They are strong in solving non-standard issues.

SIGNUM Law Firm

SIGNUM Law Firm's tax practice predominantly acts for international and local companies operating in Kazakhstan across the oil and gas, chemistry, IT and aviation sectors. The group is well-positioned to advise on noteworthy projects and sophisticated regulatory, tax and finance issues. Managing partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova is experienced in the oil and gas, mining and subsoil use sectors, while Talgat Sariev primarily handles tax litigation.

Practice head(s):

Sofiya Zhylkaidarova

Testimonials

I think our company is very lucky to have such a one-stop-shop law firm on hand. SIGNUM’s tax team is exceedingly proactive with a constructive approach and very creative ideas.’

The one thing that makes SIGNUM unique as compared to other firms is the level of personal responsibility that the partners and employees have in making sure the client’s needs are met.’

The individual approach that each of the query/assignment gets is something we like in this firm. They easily understand the requirements from clients and accordingly come out with the best possible results.’

The legal analysis and products provided by SIGNUM have been practical and to the point.’

Sofiya Zhylkaidarova is very good at providing constructive advice in an artistic way and that innovative and creative response makes her a brilliant lawyer in terms of provided valuable advice.

Sofiya Zhylkaidarova is a great lawyer with a good reputation in Kazakhstan market. She is one of the leading members of the Kazakhstan Bar Association and is always on top of the legal trends and shares ideas with peers.

Key clients

Excellence Logging Ltd.

Australian Gas Group Pty Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Excellence Logging on the tax aspects of a cross-border M&A deal relating to the acquisition of Weatherford International including its assets in Kazakhstan.
  • Assisted Australian Gas Group, a major Australian company, with the liquidation of subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and its exit from the Kazakh market.

AEQUITAS

AEQUITAS is recognised for its expertise in the construction sector, where it handles the tax aspects of the construction of major industrial and social facilities, infrastructure projects and large residential complexes in Kazakhstan. Olga Chentsova and Nurlan Sholanov lead the team.

Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP

With offices in Almaty, Nur-Sultan and Atyrau, Ernst & Young Kazakhstan LLP assists clients with a number of core issues across tax and customs  mandates including tax advisory work, corporate tax issues, tax disputes and tax reviews. Dinara Tanasheva leads the practice in Kazakhstan and specialises in the tax aspects of M&A, cross-border work, legal due diligence and corporate and commercial law.

Practice head(s):

Dinara Tanasheva

Integrites

Integrites provides expert legal services to foreign and local companies on a range of issues including international taxation and customs law, and acts in judicial and administrative disputes with tax authorities. Office head Viktoriya Fomenko specialises in tax and customs law, litigation and issues arising from the structuring of foreign investments.

Practice head(s):

Viktoriya Fomenko

PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax & Advisory LLP

PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax & Advisory LLP provides a wide range of tax and customs services from its three offices in Almaty, Nur-Sultan, and Atyrau. The group's expertise spans corporate income tax, transfer pricing issues and double taxation treaties, and the team is a key name in the market for clients in the oil and gas, mining, consumer goods, retail, pharmaceuticals, alternative energy and telecoms industries. Michael Ahern advises multinational clients on various tax issues including M&A-related work, transfer pricing matters and expat-related issues. Elena Kaeva has a strong knowledge of domestic direct taxes and the oil and gas industry.

Practice head(s):

Michael Ahern; Elena Kaeva