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Luxury tax can push rich Kazakhs into concealing profits: MP

14 february 2012, 18:32
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Majilisman Azat Peruashev. Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
Majilisman Azat Peruashev. Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
Introduction of the luxury tax in Kazakhstan will force rich people to hide their incomes, KazTAG reports citing Majilis deputy and head of Ak Zhol party Azat Peruashev.

“I think that this is wrong. Luxury tax may be introduced, but it should not be the tax on income, but on luxury. A targeted approach is needed here. Otherwise we will push people into concealing their incomes,” Peruashev told the journalists on February 14.

According to the deputy, introduction of progressive income tax rate in Kazakhstan “resulted in several people being 'hired' to come up with one salary”. Here is an example of this scheme: several ghost employees could be 'hired' with the salary of $500 each (the tax rate on such salary is low) to come up with the $3000 salary (the tax rate is high) for one real employ. Doing so the company would save on taxes substantially.

“In fact the billionaires here in Kazakhstan are not getting salaries. They live from dividends on stock they hold. And sources of their profits are offshored more often than not. So let’s face the reality and call a spade a spade. If we raise the tax, we will only increase the burden on those working honestly and already paying taxes,” Peruashev said.

The MP promised to support the initiatives of the government and the parliamentarians “if they are aimed at getting people to pay taxes on their excess profits”.

Azat Peruashev worked as Vice-President of Kazakhstan Aluminum from 2001 to 2005. In 2006 he became chairman of Atameken national economic chamber. Starting from July 2011 he chairs Ak Zhol democratic party. In January Peruashev was elected to the Majilis (lower chamber of Parliament) and got into the Majilis Commission on Economic Reforms and Development.

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