TAXATION OF COMPANIES IN TAJIKISTAN
Major taxes payable by companies in Tajikistan include corporate income tax, simplified tax, VAT, social tax, excise tax, land tax, property tax, taxes on subsoil users, and sales tax on cotton fibre and aluminium.
The tax system applies to the customs territory of Tajikistan.
The calculation index (CI) is a reference for the purposes of calculating taxes, duties and other compulsory payments, fines, social benefits, as well as certain cost limits. The CI is amended through the law on the state budget. The CI rate for 2021 is TJS 60.
Corporate Income Tax
In Tajikistan income is taxed at the corporate level and then in the hands of shareholders upon its distribution. Resident companies are subject to tax on their worldwide income and non-resident companies are taxable only on income earned in Tajikistan.
The Tax Code imposes corporate income tax on resident legal entities, non-resident companies carrying out activities in Tajikistan through their permanent establishment, and non-resident companies receiving taxable income from sources in Tajikistan.
Trusts, investment funds, investment companies are regarded as taxable persons. Income of partnerships which are not legal persons under Tajik law is taxed in the hands of their partners.
Legal entities exempt from taxation include non-commercial organizations and organizations that carry out social activities (except for their income derived income from business activities).
A company is a resident if it is incorporated in Tajikistan. For permanent establishment see further below.
Corporate income tax is levied on the worldwide income of resident companies. Non-resident companies are subject to corporate income tax on their income from Tajik sources and on their worldwide income, which is derived through a permanent establishment located in Tajikistan.
Taxable income is defined as the difference between gross income and allowed deductions under the Tax Code.
Income which is considered to have its source in Tajikistan includes:
– income from the supply of goods by a domestic manufacturer;
– income from the provision of works and services;
– income from business activity attributable to a permanent establishment in Tajikistan including income from any sale of goods which are the same as or similar to those sold through the permanent establishment, or from any activity which is the same as, or similar to, an activity carried on through such permanent establishment (the “force-of-attraction rule”);
– income from business activity through a permanent establishment in Tajikistan due to the writing-off of bad debts by the taxpayer’s creditors, sale of capital assets or disbursement of deductions and reserves;
– dividends and interest paid by resident company;
– interest received from a non-resident having a permanent establishment or assets in Tajikistan if the underlying debt is connected with such permanent establishment or assets;
– rent payments from movable assets situated or used in Tajikistan;
– income from immovable assets in Tajikistan;
– income from the sale or transfer of shares in resident company or in a company whose assets mainly, directly or indirectly, consist of immovable property located in Tajikistan;
– income from the provision of management, financial and insurance and reinsurance services if the income is paid by a resident company or permanent establishment in Tajikistan;
– insurance and reinsurance premiums paid under contracts of insurance or reinsurance of risks in Tajikistan;
– income from cross-border telecommunications and transport services;
– income from capital assets situated in Tajikistan;
– any increase in the net value of the assets, except for certain specified income and social capital contributions;
– any other income arising in connection with activity carried out in Tajikistan.
Capital gains are taxable as ordinary business income.
In general, all income is subject to corporate income tax. The most important exceptions, however, are for income derived by non-profit organizations and the income of companies engaged in the production of goods subject to certain conditions (e.g. minimum capital requirements).
Domestic dividends distributed by resident companies to resident companies are exempt from taxation.
In general, all expenses incurred during the reporting (tax) period in connection with obtaining taxable income are deductible from gross income, except those explicitly not allowed by the Tax Code. All expenses should be substantiated by documentary proof in order to be deductible.
The expenses that can be deducted include:
– service and management fees;
– bad and doubtful debts;
– R&D costs;
– costs associated with insurance premiums under certain conditions; and
– expenses related to employees’ salaries and fringe benefits;
The following types of expenses are deductible, subject to the limitations as outlined below:
– business travel expenses are limited to the rates determined by the government for civil servants;
– expenses incurred in connection with repair of fixed assets are limited to 10% of the balance of each tax group of fixed assets at the end of the current tax period. Excess repair expenses should be added to the costs of the tax depreciation group; and
– donations to non-profit organisations may be deductible subject to a limit of 10% of taxable income.
The following expenses are non-deductible:
– expenses not connected with business activity and not taxed via payroll, such as entertainment and leisure expenses, expenses related to persons other than employees, expenses in connection with the private use of motor vehicles;
– individual income tax and corporate income tax, including penalties and interest, paid in or outside of Tajikistan; and
– undocumented or improperly documented expenses.
Dividends are not deductible.
Grossed-up tax amounts may not be deductible, although this is not specifically provided by the Tax Code.
Depreciation and amortization
Assets used for business purposes are depreciated using a declining-balance method.
Depreciable assets are pooled in five groups. Depreciation rates vary from 7% to 20%. The following rates are currently provided by the Tax Code:
– motor road equipment, special tools and appliances, computer, peripherals and data handling facilities, electrical equipment and communication facilities – 20%;
– motor trucks, buses, special vehicles and trailers, aircraft, machinery and equipment, construction equipment, agricultural equipment and machinery, passenger vehicles and office furniture – 15%;
– power equipment and machinery, thermo and industrial equipment, turbine equipment, electrical engines and diesel generators, electricity transmission facilities and pipelines -8%;
– buildings, constructions, railway transport structures, river and lake passenger vessels – 7%; and
– other depreciable assets – 10%.
Generally, expenditures in connection with intangible assets (in use for at least 12 months if the period of their use is limited) such as licences, patents, copyrights, software, trademarks, etc., are considered capital expenditures forming a separate group of depreciable assets and are depreciated at the rate of 10%.
Expenses in connection with the geological exploration and preparation works for the extraction of mineral resources are considered capital expenditures forming a separate group of depreciable assets and deducted at a depreciation rate of 15%.
Land, artwork, inventory, incomplete construction and uninstalled equipment, assets fully deductible in the current tax year and other life assets are not depreciable.
Depreciation of assets used for business purposes is compulsory, even in loss-making years. In the case of disposal of assets, the net book value is compared with the sales value. A positive difference is treated as business income and a negative difference is deductible.
There is no accelerated depreciation.
Reserves and provisions
Reserves are not allowed.
Bad (doubtful) debts are deductible at the time they have been written off as such in the accounting books. A bad (doubtful) debt is a debt which has not been paid in any part within 3 years of the date on which it was due to be paid.
However, for tax purposes, the amount of accumulated deductions may not exceed 10% of the income received in the reporting period.
Losses may be carried forward up to 3 years and are offset against future taxable income. Losses may not be carried back.
Capital losses resulting from the alienation of assets which are used for business purposes may be carried forward for up to 3 years and offset against business profits.
Capital losses resulting from the alienation of assets which are used for non-business purposes can be offset against capital gains from alienation of assets which are also used for non-business purposes, and can be carried forward for up to 3 years. Such losses may not be deducted for the purposes of corporate income tax.
The corporate income tax rate for goods producers is 13%. For other business activity the rate is 23%.
In any case, corporate income is subject to a minimum tax of 1% of the gross income.
Special rates apply to taxpayers under the simplified tax regime.
Withholding taxes on domestic payments
A 12% withholding tax applies to distributed dividends with the exception of dividends distributed by state-owned companies. If within 6 months of the preceding financial year no decision has been taken to use the undistributed corporate income, such income shall be deed distributed for tax purposes and the withholding tax shall apply.
Interest paid by resident companies to resident companies is subject to a 12% withholding tax. Interest on loans and finance lease paid to resident banks and other credit institutions, including resident microfinance organizations and resident leasing companies, is not subject to withholding tax.
Interest received by resident companies after withholding is included fully in gross income without deduction. However, such companies may credit the amount of withholding tax subject to the documented evidence of the payment of such tax.
Royalty payments are not subject to withholding tax.
Capital investments Incentives
Exemptions from corporate income tax are granted to newly created companies engaged in the production of goods. The period of exemption varies depending on the amount of capital investment and starts from the date of the registration of the company.
|Exemption period||Capital investment (USD)|
|2 years||200,000||500 000|
|3 years||500,000||2 000 000|
|4 years||2,000,000||5 000 000|
|5 years||over||5 000 000|
The tax year is defined as a calendar year.
For the purposes of calculating advance tax payments, a year is defined as a 12-month period, which starts from 15 April each calendar year.
Tax returns and assessment
The deadline for filing corporate income tax returns is 1 April.
Tax payers submit tax assessment to the tax authorities, based on self-assessment. The claims made by a taxpayer in its tax return are initially accepted without adjustment, however, the tax return may still be subject to further review.
Payment of tax
The tax must be paid by 15th day of the following period, in monthly or quarterly advances, depending on whether a taxpayer is deemed a large taxpayer or reached a certain specified level of corporate income tax paid in the previous calendar year.
The amount of each monthly (quarterly) advance should not be less than 1/12 (1/4) of the sum of the corporate income tax paid for the previous tax year multiplied by 1.1% and should not be less than 1% of the gross income of the reported month (quarter).
Advance payments are credited against the tax amount aggregating for the calendar year. Any amount of paid advances in excess of the tax due for the calendar year is credited against liability for other taxes of that taxpayer or refunded to the taxpayer. The tax return is due by 1 April of the next year. Final tax liability must be paid by 10 April of the following year.
The Tax Code generally allows for advance rulings (explanations). The taxpayer can request from tax authorities a written explanation about the tax obligations in respect of the envisaged transaction. The rulings are binding on tax authorities provided that all details of the transaction have been fully disclosed.
Simplified tax regime for small companies
The simplified tax regime is to be applied by newly-registered companies and companies with an annual gross revenue not exceeding TJS 1000 000,000 (approximately USD 88,500). The simplified tax regime substitutes the corporate income tax and VAT (except for VAT on imports). The tax amount is paid on a quarterly basis. If this is exceeded in any 12-month period, the company concerned is obliged to switch to the general taxation regime starting from the following month.
The general tax rate is 6% of the gross income. For companies engaged in the production of goods, the tax rate is 5%. Companies can now opt for being taxed on a net basis in which case the rate is 15% (and for those engaged in the production of goods, the tax rate is 16%).
Employers are required to pay social security contributions in the form of a social tax at the rate of 25% of the total payroll cost of the employer.
The social tax is also due on amounts (other than salaries) paid to resident individuals for services rendered by them.
Property tax applies to buildings and other constructions and is payable by owners or users of such property. The taxable base is the total area of all storeys of the property.
The rates are determined as a percentage of the CI. The rates vary depending on the size of the area occupied and the purpose of its use, with the tax amounts being further adjusted depending on the location of the property. The property tax rates vary from 3% to 12% and also depend on the location (which varies with the applicable ration of 0.09% to 1%).
For property located in tourism and recreational areas, the mentioned rates double.
The following immovable property is exempt from the property tax:
– state-owned property;
– property in which certain specified categories of individuals (veterans, invalids, etc.) are permanently registered;
– property of religious organizations used for non-business purposes; and
– leased state property where lease payments are fully paid to the state budget.
Property tax paid is deductible for corporate income tax purposes.
Land tax is levied on land users (legal or de facto). The taxable base is the size of the land plot. The tax rates are set by the government each 5 years, depending on the cadastre zone to which a particular land plot belongs and on the productivity of the land.
In relation to land parcels for housing purposes, progressive tax rates apply. The rate is adjusted based on the specific size of the land plot and a higher rate applies on the excess above each bracket. In addition, the rates differ based on the four regional zones (cities, regions, districts, villages).
Tax rates for the current year are adjusted to reflect inflation on the basis of the factor set by the statistics agency for the preceding year.
The following land plots are exempt from land tax:
– conservation areas, national and deontological parks and botanical gardens;
– plots of land used by the state;
– plots of land used for historical, cultural and architectural monuments;
– plots of land for re-cultivation and plots of land contested in courts, for a period of 5 years; and
– plots of land allocated for scientific and educational purposes and certain other experimental work.
Entities where at least 50% of the staff is invalid are exempt from land tax.
Land tax paid is deductible for corporate income tax purposes.
International Aspects of Taxation
Double taxation relief
The Tajik Tax Code provides for unilateral double taxation relief in the form of the ordinary foreign tax credit. The amount of the credit is limited to the amount of the domestic tax levied on such income. No carry-forward of excess credits is allowed.
Regarding dividends withholding tax, no credit is granted for underlying corporate income tax.
Relief provided through tax treaties, which is normally an ordinary tax credit, is granted upon request. For a list of tax treaties and their key details see our article in the coming weeks.
A non-resident company is a company, which is incorporated outside of Tajikistan.
Taxes on income
Business income of a non-resident company is subject to tax in Tajikistan if it is derived from activities in Tajikistan which can be allocated to the non-resident’s permanent establishment in Tajikistan. The taxable income of the permanent establishment is determined in the same manner as that of a resident company. The general rate of corporate income tax applies. In addition, the permanent establishment is liable to branch tax at a rate of 15% applied on the taxable income for tax purposes less corporate income tax.
The Tax Code also provides for the “force of attraction” principle. Thus, business income includes income which may be attributed to the permanent establishment, including income from the sale of goods identical or similar to those sold through the permanent establishment, and income from the activity identical or similar to that carried on through the permanent establishment.
Where allowed by the relevant tax treaty, a non-resident company may deduct management and general administrative expenses associated with income earned through a permanent establishment in Tajikistan.
The domestic definition of a permanent establishment follows the OECD Model. It also incorporates concepts found in the UN Model. A permanent establishment is defined as a fixed place through which a non-resident company carries on its business activity in another country. It includes:
– a place of management;
– a place related to the use of slot machines, computer networks and communications channels, transport and other infrastructure; or
– a building site, assembly and installation object (including related supervisory and design activity).
No time threshold is required for the above activities to constitute a permanent establishment in Tajikistan.
The following activities also create a permanent establishment in Tajikistan:
– the provision of services for more than 90 days in any 12-month period through employees or personnel hired for such purposes;
– the collection of insurance premiums or insurance and reinsurance through an authorized agent;
– the participation in a simple partnership created under laws of Tajikistan; or
– a registered representative office or a branch office of a non-resident company.
The following activities do not constitute a permanent establishment:
– the storage of goods or merchandise belonging to a foreign enterprise;
– the purchase of goods and merchandise, or the collection of information for a foreign enterprise; or
– the carrying on, for the purposes of a foreign enterprise, of any other activity of a preparatory or auxiliary character.
Profits received by a non-resident corporate taxpayer from the sale or transfer of immovable property or rights of property located in Tajikistan, which is not connected with a permanent establishment in Tajikistan, is taxable at the rate of 25% on a net basis (but it cannot be less than 1% of the gross income).
If a non-resident company without a permanent establishment in Tajikistan derives income from Tajikistan, this income is subject to a withholding tax at source on a gross basis. This includes gains from alienation of stock or other participation interest in a Tajik company. Dividends, interest and royalties paid to a non-resident company by a resident company or paid by a permanent establishment in Tajikistan, are subject to withholding tax at source on a gross basis.
Withholding tax on payments to non-residents companies
Dividends paid to non-resident corporate and individual shareholders are subject to a 12% final income withholding tax on a gross basis, unless a tax treaty provides a more favourable withholding tax.
Interest paid to non-resident companies is subject to a 12% final income withholding tax on a gross basis, unless a tax treaty provides a more favourable withholding tax.
There is no special rate for royalties. They are taxed as “other” income at a rate of 15%.
Fees for international freight paid to a non-resident without a permanent establishment in Tajikistan are subject to a 6% withholding tax.
Fees for telecommunications and international transport services, as well as insurance premiums, are subject to a 6% withholding tax.
Other income, including among others, lease payments and services fees, paid to non-residents, and not connected to the permanent establishment in Tajikistan is subject to a 15% final withholding tax.
Income received from the sale of shares or other participation interest in a transaction between non-residents of Tajikistan in a Tajikistan company shall be subject to 15% rate on a gross basis; the Tajikistan company may ultimately be treated as a tax agent for the purposes of this tax.
The Tax Code allows for tax authorities to challenge an agreed price if it:
– is agreed in a transaction between associated persons;
– is agreed in a barter transaction;
– is agreed in a foreign trade transaction; or
– deviates from the market price for similar goods or services by more than 30% in either direction, within a 30 day period before or after the supply of goods or services.
For foreign trade transactions and transactions with price deviation, the price is presumed to be market based, unless a taxpayer can prove the actual transaction price through documentation.
Associated persons are defined as persons having special relationship capable of exerting direct influence on the terms and economic results of their transaction. These are:
– individual or corporate shareholders of the same company each owning at least 20% of shares of that company;
– individual or corporate shareholders of the company owning directly or indirectly at least 20% of shares of that company;
– individuals being in employment subordination to, or controlled otherwise, by another individual;
– subsidiaries of the same company, or companies being under direct or indirect control of a third party;
– individual or corporate shareholders controlling a third company by virtue of ownership by each of the shareholders of at least 20% of shares of that company; or
– married couples or relatives (as defined for the purpose of the Tax Code).
The following methods of market price determination are allowed:
– comparable uncontrolled price;
– resale minus; and
The market prices of goods, works and services may be determined based on the information received from the official and publicly available sources (e.g. database of state bodies and local authorities, and information provided by taxpayers, experts and appraisers).
As such there no specific thin capitalisation rules are in place. But there are limits on the deduction of interest. For the limitation on deductibility of interest.
Deduction of interest is limited to three times the amount of the refinance rate applied by the National Bank of Tajikistan in the tax year. Interest paid to non-residents is deductible and is limited to the borrower’s actual interest income plus 50% of its gross income less allowable expenses (except for the deduction of interest). However, the rules apply only if the corporate non-resident shareholder owns directly or indirectly more than 25% of shares of the resident borrowing company. Similar rules apply if a resident corporate borrower pays interest to its resident tax-exempt shareholder. Interest paid on loans which finance the construction/production or acquisition of capital assets is not deductible.
Controlled foreign company
The Tax Code has a controlled foreign company (CFC) provision that applies to foreign companies controlled by a resident individual or company. Control is defined as ownership, direct or indirect, of more than 10% of the share capital (or of the voting shares) of a foreign company.
For the purposes of the Tax Code, a CFC is defined as a company that is resident in a jurisdiction:
– with preferential corporate income tax rates, i.e. where the applicable corporate income tax rate is 30% less than the rate applied in Tajikistan; or
– whose laws on confidentiality of financial information or laws otherwise permit information on the beneficial owner of the property or income to be kept in secret.
The CFC provision does not clearly define what constitutes a “tainted income”. Instead it is referred to as the part of the CFC’s income that is attributable to (and thus taxable at the level of) the resident shareholder.
Road User Tax
Road users tax is calculated as 1% of the sum of all operating, administration and financial expenses, including interest expenses, depreciation, VAT and import duties due by the company but excluding the minimum income tax, profit tax and capital costs.. If the amount of the actual expenses (costs) incurred does not exceed 70% of the gross income, the taxable base shall be deemed to be 70% of the gross income.
The tax period is a month. Tax declarations must be submitted every month not later than the 15 day of the month, following the tax period.
VAT is levied on supplies of goods and services at all stages of supply. Generally, input VAT is deductible in computing the final tax liability so that, in effect, only the value added is taxed. Since this year, VAT is also levied on the following e-services:
– granting rights to use computer software and databases via the internet;
– providing advertising space via the internet;
– storage and processing of information online;
– provision of domain names, hosting and web-support services;
– search engine and statistics tracking services;
– administration of information systems, and others.
The VAT legislation allows a credit for input VAT incurred on business-related goods or services. A credit is only allowed for VAT-able and zero-rated supplies while VAT-exempt supplies and supplies at a reduced rate are not creditable.
In relation to mixed supplies consisting of exempt and taxable goods, a certain share of the creditable input tax is allowed and is determined on the basis of the proportion of the taxable supplies to the total supplies.
Taxable persons include individual entrepreneurs or legal persons whose gross income for the preceding calendar year exceeds TJS 100 000 (appr. USD 88 500).
With respect to e-services VAT is payable by foreign companies providing e-services (directly or via agents) to individuals in Tajikistan. They will have to do it by registering with the tax office in Tajikistan through opening their tax account (e-room via www.andoz.tj) and pay the tax directly via such facility.
E-services provided to individuals in Tajikistan is subject to VAT if the individuals purchasing such e-services:
– live in Tajikistan; or
– have a bank account in Tajikistan which is used to process the payment for e-services; or
– have IP address registered in Tajikistan; or
– use international code for Tajikistan for payment processing purposes.
If e-services are provided to companies and individual entrepreneurs in Tajikistan then VAT is collected and paid by such persons on behalf of a foreign services provider.
The taxable amount is the sales price (or the fair market price, whichever is lower), excluding the VAT, but including any excise tax and other duties.
For taxable persons engaged in trade, provisioning, purchasing and sale activity that purchase goods from non-VAT payers, the taxable amount is a positive difference between the price of their supply and the price of purchase from non-VAT payers. A similar mechanism applies to import supplies of agricultural equipment, medicine, medical and pharmaceutical equipment, certain individual equipment for the handicapped and natural gas.
The standard rate of VAT is 18%. Until 2023 end, a reduced rate of 7% will apply on supplies by food production and public catering enterprises, retail and wholesale enterprises.
A zero rate applies to export of goods (except for raw cotton, cotton fibre, cotton yarn, primary aluminium, precious metal and stones) provided that the export is supported by documentation.
The list of exempt goods and services includes the following:
– export of gold, silver and certain other precious metals and stones;
– sale or lease of immovable property, except for hotel rooms, newly built housing premises and premises used for business purposes;
– financial services;
– religious and ritual services;
– medical services provided by state institutions;
– services of primary education, secondary education and vocational training;
– the supply and/or import of goods in relation to humanitarian aid;
– the supply of goods to the penitentiary system;
– goods for children and the handicapped as specified by the government;
– recreational services; and
– the domestic supply of primary aluminium and cotton fibre.
– the import of designated agricultural equipment, medicine, medical and pharmaceutical equipment;
– the import of technological equipment under a capital contribution scheme;
– the import of goods for designated construction projects;
– the import of certain individual equipment for the handicapped; and
– international transport services;
– online sale of goods, provided such goods are physically supplied, or the provision of consultancy services by e-mail, are not e-services for these purposes.
A withholding mechanism applies in the case where non-resident taxable persons with no business presence in Tajikistan supply goods and services to taxable persons registered in Tajikistan.
Grants and loans made by foreign governments to the government of Tajikistan are VAT exempt.
Taxpayers whose proportion of zero-rated supplies exceed 70% are entitled to a refund of the balance between the input and output tax.
Customs duties apply to import supplies of products and commodities (a free trade regime applies for members of the European Council). The rates are set by the government as a percentage of the customs value as a fixed amount in euro applied on quantity units.
Customs duties on some major products and commodities include:
– food products, vegetables and fruits: 10%, 15%;
– beverages: from EUR 0.15 to EUR 1.5 per 1 litre;
– tobacco products: EUR 3 per 1,000 pieces; and
– oil products, pharmaceuticals, timber and paper, textile materials, equipment and machines and motor vehicles: 5%.
There are also customs fees which are payable for:
– customs clearance (rates range from USD 10 to USD 900 depending on the customs value of imported goods);
– customs escort/customs support services (USD 3 per 10 km);
– storage of goods (motor cars – USD 1 per day and night, and goods – USD 0.01 per 50 kg); and
– issuing qualification certificates by specialists on customs processing (USD 50).
Excise tax is levied on spirits, beverages, soft drinks, processed tobacco and its substitutes, mineral fuel, oil and its products, bitumen and mineral waxes, tyres, motor vehicles and jewellery.
For the purposes of excise tax, a taxable person is a company engaged in the production or import of products subject to excise tax.
Excise tax is levied on the cost of goods sold or the cost of imported goods.
For goods produced domestically, the taxable base does not include any applicable VAT, excise or sales tax. The taxable base for imported goods is valuation for customs purposes and any applicable customs fees and taxes. The rate however, should not be less than the market price and excludes VAT.
Excise tax paid on the purchase of raw materials is deductible from excise tax due on the sale of finished goods produced from the same raw materials. For corporate income tax purposes, excise tax paid is deductible. The excise duty rates depend on the type of produced or imported good.
Mobile operators are subject to excise tax of 5% (previously 3%). The tax base is the amount of compensation received or to be received by a mobile operator for the provision of mobile communication services, less the amount of excise tax and VAT chargeable for such services. The tax period is a calendar month.
The tax is computed on a self-assessment basis and is payable by the company producing excisable goods not later than the 10th day of the month following the month when the excisable goods were produced. Excise duties on imported goods are subject to other payment rules. Excise duties payable for telecommunications services are payable by the 10th day of the month following the month when the telecommunications service is provided. The tax return is to be filed not later than the 10th day of the month following the reporting tax period.