Banking, Money and Taxes in Kazakhstan
Despite some uncertainty following the global recession, Kazakhstan’s banking sector is viewed as one of the most robust of the former Soviet states and expats will find that managing their money and banking in Kazakhstan is relatively easy and straightforward.
Money in Kazakhstan
The local currency of Kazakhstan is the Tenge (KZT), which is divided into 100 tïın.
Notes: 200 KZT, 500 KZT, 1,000 KZT, 2,000 KZT, 5,000 KZT, and 10,000 KZT
Coins: 1 tïın, 2 tïın, 5 tïın, 10 tïın, 20 tïın, 50 tïın, and 100 tïın
Large purchases, such as buying a house or a car, are sometimes also handled in US dollars.
Banking in Kazakhstan
Expats have a wide variety of banks to choose from, with many offering services specifically tailored for expats. The main local banks include Kazkommertsbank and Kalyk, while a number of international banks, including HSBC, CitiBank and Bank of China, have subsidiaries in Kazakhstan.
Banks are usually open every weekday from 9am to 6pm, with an hour lunch break, and are closed on weekends.
Opening a bank account
There are no restrictions on non-residents opening a bank account in Kazakhstan and expats are able to open a Kazakh account, in either the local or a foreign currency (usually US dollars, British pounds, or euros).
Expats will need their passport and an RNN number (Kazakh tax number), and in some cases a letter from their employer, to open a bank account in Kazakhstan. A minimum deposit will also be required.
Employers in Kazakhstan sometimes specify which bank they want their expat employees to use, so expats should seek the assistance of their company before opening an account.
ATMs and credit cards
ATMs are widely available in Kazakhstan’s main cities, but can be scarce in smaller locations. Most ATMs will accept foreign bank cards. Most machines only dispense cash in tenge, but some in the larger cities also stock US dollars.
All major credit cards are accepted in Kazakhstan.
Taxes in Kazakhstan
Although Kazakhstan’s tax system is relatively uncomplicated, it’s best for expats to employ the services of a qualified tax consultant to assist them in managing their taxes while in Kazakhstan.
Employment income is taxed at a flat rate of 10 percent in Kazakhstan. Tax residents are subject to personal tax on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed only on their income generated in Kazakhstan.