Kazakhstan: Good revenue administration is a vital source of good government

November 15, 2011

A country’s tax administration is one of the few public sector organizations which touches the lives of a country’s citizens and businesses on a daily basis and, arguably has the greatest impact on their livelihood. Tax administration employees are amongst the most frequently contacted government officials and often represent to the public what is right or wrong about their government.

The Russian version of new World Bank publication “Risk-Based Tax Audits: Approaches and Country Experiences” introducing risk management tools for tax practitioners was presented to the general public on November 3 in the Public Information Center located in the National Academic Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Astana. The Public Information Center is jointly established by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the UN office in Kazakhstan.

“I would not surprise you saying that the main task of the modern tax administration system is not just to collect taxes. Policy makers around the globe are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of policies that will promote business development and create an environment conducive to voluntary compliance. This requires an environment where a vast majority of taxpayers comply with their tax obligations without intervention from tax officials”, said in her welcoming remarks Sebnem Akkaya, World Bank Country Manager for Kazakhstan.

The publication introduces country specific case studies of different stages for selection of taxpayers based on risk assessment provided by the very sophisticated systems of UK, Sweden, and the Netherlands to those who have developed the system recently, like Bulgaria and the new entrants in this area like Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

“Risk management is a modern tool in compliance management used in most developed tax systems and aims at focusing compliance efforts on high risk taxpayers while facilitating honest taxpayers”, said  Munawer Sultan Khwaja, the World Bank Senior Public Sector Management Specialist, one of the authors of the publication,  during the presentation event. “First the book was published in July in English. Due to favorable comments received from tax authorities around the CIS countries and requests for its Russian translation, now we have obtained the Russian version. We hope this will be of interest to policymakers in developing and transition countries, researchers, and other development agencies looking for ideas on how to support good governance”.

The presented publication highlights key concepts of risk based audit selection, the specificities of treatment for different segments of taxpayers, and details on implementation matters such as the requirement for data management tools, software, and hardware which should prove handy for countries that are in the process of implementing risk management in revenue administration. The authors of the publication are practitioners and international experts in the area of tax administration reform in their respective countries, among them are representatives of Kazakhstan Tax Committee.

Daulet Yergozhin, Chairman of the Tax Committee of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Finance, noted that in Kazakhstan risk management is being widely introduced in many public agencies in order to improve business climate and ease doing business in the country, as well as to promote voluntary taxpayer compliance with tax regulations and to increase administrative efficiency. 

Risk-Based Tax Audits: Approaches and Country Experiences in both English and Russian edition are available at the Public Information Center located in the National Academic Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan Country office of the World Bank in Astana.