On December 29, 2017, the President of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev signed the law for the ratification of the Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income.
History of the Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty
The Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty was originally signed in Astana on April 26, 2017. Ireland already ratified the treaty through Statutory Instrument 479 on November 10, 2017. By ratifying the treaty on December 29, 2017, Kazakhstan completed the process for the treaty ratification on the part of Kazakhstan.
The Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty will enter into force once the ratification instruments are exchanged. The provisions of the Treaty will apply from January 1 of the year following its entry into force. The Treaty is the first tax treaty between Ireland and Kazakhstan.
Taxes Covered by the Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty
The Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty will apply to the following taxes. With respect to Ireland, the Treaty will apply to the income tax, the universal social charge, the corporation tax and the capital gains tax. For Kazakhstan, it will apply to the corporate income tax and the individual income tax. Identical or substantially similar taxes imposed by either state after the Treaty was signed are also covered by the Treaty.
Main Provisions of the Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty
Here is an overview of the most important provisions. Obviously, this is a very general description for educational purposes only, and it cannot be relied upon as a legal advice; you should contact a licensed attorney in Ireland or Kazakhstan for legal advice.
Article 4 of the Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty defines the meaning of the term “resident”. It should be noted that the Treaty applies only to Irish and Kazakh residents (see Article 2 of the Treaty).
Article 5 defines the term Permanent Establishment.
Article 6 states that income from the “immovable” property (i.e. real estate) is subject to taxation in a country where it is located. This includes business real estate. This provision, of course, does not exempt the owner of the real estate from the obligation to also pay taxes in his home country.
Article 7 deals with business profits. It states that “the profits of an enterprise of a Contracting State shall be taxable only in that Contracting State unless that enterprise carries on business in the other Contracting State through a permanent establishment situated therein.” In the latter case, “the profits of the enterprise may be taxed in the other Contracting State but only so much of them as is attributable to that permanent establishment.”
Article 8 states that “profits of an enterprise of a Contracting State from the operation of ships or aircraft in international traffic shall be taxable only in that Contracting State.”
Article 9 deals with Associated Enterprises.
Article 10 establishes the maximum tax rates for dividends. In general, dividends should be taxed at a maximum rate of 5% if the beneficial owner is a company (other than a partnership) that directly holds at least 25 percent of the capital of the payer company; in all other cases, the tax rate should be no more than 15%.
Articles 11 and 12 establish the maximum tax withholding rate of 10% for interest and royalties respectively.
Articles 13 – 22, 24 and 25 deal with capital gains, employment income, director fees and certain special cases.
Article 23 establishes the usage of foreign tax credit to eliminate double-taxation under the Treaty.
Information Exchange and Tax Enforcement under the Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty
The Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty contains fairly strong provisions on the information exchange and tax enforcement. Article 26 provides for exchange of relevant tax information described in the Treaty. Article 27 obligates the signatory states to lend assistance for the purposes of collection of taxes.
Information Exchange under the Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty and FATCA Compliance
Article 26 of the Ireland-Kazakhstan Tax Treaty could be dangerous to US citizens who are also either Kazakh residents or citizens. The reason for it is FATCA which would obligate Ireland to turn over the information it receives under the Treaty directly to the IRS in cases where this information concerns noncompliant US tax residents. This may lead to an IRS investigation and the imposition of FBAR and other penalties on these US taxpayers.
Contact Sherayzen Law Office if You Have Unreported Foreign Accounts in Ireland or Kazakhstan
If you have undisclosed foreign accounts and/or foreign income in Ireland and Kazakhstan, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office as soon as possible. Our firm specializes in offshore voluntary disclosures and has helped hundreds of US taxpayers to deal with this issue. We can help You!