Practice Area

Tax

Tax

SIGNUM tax practice combines Kazakhstan tax lawyers and experts experienced in rendering an industry specific, comprehensive, effective and solution-driven advice to various companies. Providing clients with such clear and effective tax advices, becomes increasingly important, especially in a constantly developing legal environment, such as Kazakhstan. Therefore, we monitor and analyse the legal developments, court practice and that of government agencies (including tax authorities) on a regular basis.

Our tax lawyers have advised many international and domestic businesses engaged in the energy, mining and telecommunication sectors. SIGNUM tax lawyers regularly participate in negotiations and court cases and advise on investments and tax stability, stability of PSA/subsoil use contracts, profit expropriation and application of the international treaties on tax matters in Kazakhstan.

Service includes the following directions
  • Tax Disputes, Litigation & Controversy Support
  • Independent Tax Opinions
  • Customs Law Practice
  • Tax Due Diligence
  • Transfer Pricing
  • Employment Taxation
  • VAT
  • Corporate Tax Structuring
  • Tax Liability
  • International Tax Planning and Double Taxation Issues
“Sofiya Zhylkaidarova is recognized as a “good and very energetic” lawyer who “knows her subject well”. Peers particularly highlight her experience in tax litigation.”
Chambers Global, 2015
“Sofiya Zhylkaidarova is held to be a “good specialist” in subsoil and energy. Peers note that she acts for a number of prominent oil and gas clients on a variety of issues.”
Chambers Global, 2015
“Managing Partner Sofiya Zhylkaidarova is commended for her wide-ranging expertise and impressive knowledge of Kazakh law. She maintains a diverse practice that spans tax, commercial contracts and M&A.”
Chambers Global, 2015

Experience

Tax Disputes, Litigation & Controversy Support
  • Litigation between PSA operator and tax authorities – a case following tax audit (accrued taxes ~$20 million).
  • Litigation between an international air carrier and tax authorities – a case following accrual of CIT due to incorrect application of Double Taxation Treaty (accrued taxes ~$1.3 million).
  • Litigation between uranium company and tax authorities – a case following tax audit (accrued CIT, Mineral extraction tax, property tax, other payments of subsoil user, etc. ~4 billion tenge).
  • Litigation between FMCG company and tax authorities – a case following tax audit (accrued taxes ~$15 million).
  • Litigation between FMCG company and customs authorities – a case following accrual of customs payments due to inclusion of royalties in customs value.
  • Litigation between an international oil company and tax authorities – a case following tax audit on transfer pricing (accrued taxes ~$2.5 million).
  • Litigation between construction company and customs authorities – a case following accrual of customs payments (accrued payments ~$1.5 million).
  • Litigation between foreign company providing geophysical research services and tax authorities – a case following accrual of VAT (accrued tax ~$300k).
  • Litigation between uranium company and tax authorities – a case following refusal to refund VAT (disputed amount ~$8 million).
Independent Tax Opinions
  • Legal advice for foreign insurance company on reinsurance issues (limited recourse clause);
  • Legal advice for a major Kazakhstan bank on insurance and reinsurance issues;
  • Legal advice for a Kazakhstani insurance company on the taxation of insurance premiums;
  • Legal advice for public oil and gas company on compensation issues (including taxation of incentives and insurance plans);
  • Legal advice for the Association of Subsurface Users on cancellation of the stability of the subsurface use contracts under the new tax code;
  • Shared legal expertise on the PSA provisions with regard to recoverable cost exclusion by state authorities with a PSA operator;
  • Provided tax advice on the regulations of the VAT tax exemption under the North Caspian Sea PSA and the Kazakhstan laws to international service companies;
  • Corporate advice to major uranium producer on understanding the state tax implications of deductions for the CIT purposes;
  • Legal counselling of telecommunications company on taxation of business concerning the import of software products to Kazakhstan;
  • Legal advice for telecommunication company on regulations on granting investment benefits and preferences;
  • Assisting cellular operator on the application of tax exemption and preferences under investment project conditions;
  • Legal advice on tax matters related to the sale of participation interest in the PSA.
Customs Law Practice
  • Initiated proceedings in a court to litigate the recognition of customs exemptions provided to the operator under the PSA against the Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan;
  • Dispute between international oil company and Customs authorities – a case following the Customs’ charge of USD 10 million in export customs duty;
  • Provided legal advice to large European service company on application of customs duty exemptions provided by the PSA to subcontractors of the operator;
  • Negotiated on behalf of client over tax and customs duty refund issues;
  • Legal advice for a telecommunications company on customs clearance of software;
  • Legal counselling of large service company on customs clearance of vessels to Kazakhstan;
  • Legal advice for a large European service company on tax and customs regulations of the special economic zone of “Seaport Aktau”.
Tax Due Diligence
  • Due diligence and legal advice on addressing tax compliance issues prior to tax audit;
  • Conducting tax due diligence and handling tax regulatory issues that arise in corporate transactions on acquisition for European oil and gas company operating in Kazakhstan;
  • Conducting tax due diligence and handling tax regulatory issues that arise in corporate transactions on acquisition of gold-producing company;
  • Conducting tax due diligence of medium-sized electricity and heating company in Eastern Kazakhstan on financing of reconstruction project by large European bank.
Transfer Pricing
  • Transfer pricing due diligence for large European oil and gas company;
  • Transfer pricing due diligence for Portuguese oil and gas company;
  • Legal advice for a large Kazakhstan uranium producer on transfer pricing regulations;
  • Transfer pricing due diligence for UK-based oil and gas company operating in Kazakhstan;
  • Successful representation by litigation lawyers of a large German oil and gas company’s interests in the court case on transfer pricing issues.
Employment Taxation
  • Legal advice for large uranium producer on regulation of secondments and their structuring to minimize tax burden in Kazakhstan and overseas;
  • Legal advice for a European oil and gas company on possible liabilities of both parties of the secondment agreement for non-compliance with tax legislation requirements;
  • Legal advice for a large mining producer on tax-efficient remuneration structures including different flexible benefit schemes and all other aspects of employee taxation;
  • Provision of tax counsel to large European oil and gas company on consultancy arrangements for tax purposes and the risks involved for both consultants and employers who participate in such arrangements;
  • Due diligence of employment contracts concluded for the past five years with foreign employees of large Canadian joint venture with regard to tax audit;
  • Legal advice for clients on income taxation of self-employed individuals under the tax legislation of Kazakhstan;
  • Legal advice for large uranium producer on taxation and payment of benefits to employees born or living in special ecological zones of Kazakhstan;
  • Legal counselling of mining company on taxation of disability, personal injury and accident payments.
VAT
  • Legal counselling of large German airline on VAT exemption issues;
  • Tax lawyers assisted large European telecommunications company on management and minimization of VAT liabilities in Kazakhstan;
  • Tax lawyers advised large European service company on VAT under the new Kazakhstani tax code and requirements of current legislation with regard to suppliers of consortiums;
  • Representing interests of large telecommunications company in a tax dispute on a VAT refund from the budget of Kazakhstan.
Corporate Tax Structuring
  • Legal advice on tax matters related to restructuring of international E&P company prior to IPO;
  • Tax lawyers advised on taxation of 100% of shares of E&P company in Kazakhstan;
  • Tax advice on matters related to listing and trading on KASE;
  • Legal advice for a large European oil and gas company on corporate restructuring of the current offices in Kazakhstan under the new tax code;
  • Counselling and developing corporate structures for UK client with regard to taxation of legal entity’s business activity in Kazakhstan;
  • Corporate lawyers advised large telecommunications company on corporate restructuring in Kazakhstan due to merger of two international telecommunication companies.
Tax Liability
  • SIGNUM lawyers in cooperation with criminal law attorneys provide assistance and represent taxpayers in criminal tax defence;
  • Our litigation lawyers represented top managers of a large European oil and gas company in all phases of criminal proceedings, including audits and representation in criminal investigations;
  • Legal counselling and representing interests of mining company in work with criminal investigation authorities with regard to tax audit results;
  • Litigation lawyers successfully represented interests of large German oil and gas company in administrative proceedings concerning the results of the tax audit.
International Tax Planning and Double Taxation Issues
  • Legal advice for largest German airline on various corporate and tax questions, and issues concerning application of Double Taxation Treaty between Germany and Kazakhstan;
  • Legal counselling of a Kazakhstan founder of legal entity established in the United Kingdom with regard to individual taxation issues and applicability of double taxation treaty between the United Kingdom and Kazakhstan;
  • Legal advice for a large international service company on dividends and royalties on overseas payments;
  • Legal advice for the largest French food company on taxation of services on feasibility studies and commenting the agreement.

Specialists in the field

Sofiya Zhylkaidarova
Managing Partner

Sofiya is a 20+ years of experience Kazakhstan lawyer working with international clients and government. She is well known and highly regarded professional and great contributor to country's reforms and initiatives aiming to improve investment climate.

Practice areas:
  • Subsoil Use
  • Tax
  • Dispute Resolution and Litigation
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Perizat Nurlankyzy
Associate

Perizat is tax lawyer and works with variety number of clients.

Practice areas:
  • Tax
  • Subsoil Use
  • Contracts and Business Law
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Nazym Argynbay
Associate

Nazym's core practice area in tax.

Practice areas:
  • Tax
  • Regulatory Compliance and Environment
  • Employment and Labour
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Yekaterina Zhgutova
Tax Expert

Yekaterina has extensive experience in advising national and international companies on a wide range of tax matters.

Practice areas:
  • Tax
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Articles and publications

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