Early July of2020, our law firm took part in an online Roundtable discussion “The Double Tax Treaty between Cyprus and Kazakhstan; opportunities thereof,” which was organized by the Cyprus-Kazakhstan Business Association with the support of the CCCI, and the Cyprus Ministry of Energy , Commerce and Industry.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides, who is one of the architects and signatories of this historic Agreement, signed in May 2019 and ratified in both countries at the beginning of 2020, addressed the participants with a welcoming speech. It was stressed that The Double Tax Treaty between our countries will come into force in 2021.
The speakers focused on various aspects of the Treaty, which determines the procedure of taxation of transactions between Kazakhstan and Cyprus tax residents of either one or of both countries, as well as on those features of Cyprus corporate and tax law, which permit to expand the opportunities for market participants to optimize and structure their business. The Treaty covers corporate and individual income taxes for Kazakhstan residents, as well as capital gain tax, special defence contribution tax, individual income and corporate taxes for residents of Cyprus. It is important to consider the elimination of taxation duplication. The Tax paid for a specific income in any contracting state and in accordance with the applicable taxation is credited against the other’s state tax liability.
Also it was mentioned that the Treaty allows Kazakhstan companies to apply reduced withholding tax (WHT) in Kazakhstan, when paying of the following types of income to Cyprus tax resident companies:
- Dividends. A reduced rate of 5% applies if the Cyprus company owns directly at least 10% of the capital of a Kazakhstan subsidiary;
- Royalty and interest income. A reduced rate of 10% applies. The Treaty also provides, that the income received by a Cyprus tax resident company from the sale of shares/stakes in Kazakhstani enterprises (capital gain) will be exempted from taxation in Kazakhstan if the Kazakhstan subsidiaries has less than 50% of real estate located in Kazakhstan.
Thus, thanks to the Treaty signed, Cyprus jurisdiction can reasonably be considered as an alternative for the registration of holding, financial and IP companiesin terms of overall tax efficiency. At the same time, the use of Cyprus structures provides a number of additional advantages. Namely:
- Cyprus does not impose any withholding tax (WHT) on dividends, interest and royalties paid to non-residents of Cyprus, including the individuals;
- Cyprus has one of the most pro-business tax systems in Europe;
- There are some special provisions in Cyprus legislation to reduce the effective tax rate on income derived from IP up to 2.5%. IP Box tax regime.
The two graphs below illustrate various possible models of practical business structuring using Kazakhstani, Cyprus and other foreign companies, as per the terms of The Double Tax Treaty that comes into force.
Among other advantages of the Cypriot jurisdiction, the speakers highlighted the role of the new legislation governing one of the most dynamic sector of the Cypriot economy – the Investment Funds industry. Recently, Cyprus has become to be a modern European hotspot for Alternative Investment Funds. A good proof of this is the opportunity for Cypriot funds to enjoy the European passporting rights, when Cyprus funds units can be traded in any other European jurisdiction without any additional licensing. Cyprus funds can now be listed in all major global platforms, such as Clearstream Vestima, Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.
The chart below illustrates the key benefits of the Alternative Investment Funds registered in Cyprus.
We will be happy to advise you in more detail about the various possibilities of using Cypriot jurisdiction to increase efficiency and reduce the risks for your business.
For more information please contact:
Mr. Armondzhon Ikramov, Of counsel
Tel. +357 22 465500
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