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Exercise 2. Think and answer
1. Did you find any answers to the questions, you discussed before reading, in the text? Can you give more detailed answers now?
2. Did you come across the definition of “a tax”? Read the following definition taken from the dictionary of economic terms and translate it into English:
“Налоги – платежи, взимаемые государством с предприятий и организаций, населения. Являются одной из форм финансовых отношений, обеспечивающих распределение и перераспределение национального дохода в соответствии с задачами экономического и социального развития”.
Exercise 3. Say if the statements are true or false.
1. The distinction between direct and indirect taxes is very clear.
2. It is the final customer who bears tax burden.
3. A tax can be called productive if its collection cost is very low.
4. The principle of equity means that all people pay the same percentage in taxes.
5. The introduction of new taxes does only good to the country and its citizens.
6. A progressive tax can prevent people from having extra jobs.
Exercise 4. Talking Point
1. Pick up the main ideas and sum up the text
2. Find information and make a short report about taxes in Russia.
Exercise 5. Read the article
Kazakhstan’s New Oil Tax Regime
Two types of contracts
Mineral exploration and extraction activities are permitted only to those who
have an appropriate contract with the Republic of Kazakhstan, termed a subsurface user contract. The Tax Code offers alternative tax regimes for taxpayers involved in mineral exploration and extraction activities, which the legislation terms “subsurface users”.
Model 1 offers a regime under which the subsurface user is subject to all the
taxes which affect ordinary taxpayers (corporate income tax, social tax, vehicle tax, property tax, land tax, etc) and, in addition, certain specific taxes applicable to mineral extraction activities:
• Bonuses (both on signature of the contract and following a commercial discovery)
• Excess Profits Tax
• Rent Tax on Export of Crude Oil
Of these taxes, the first three existed prior to the 2004 tax changes, but the
reform package includes major changes to the way they operate which are described later in this article. The fourth, Rent Tax, is a completely new tax. This is also described in more detail below.
Royalties and Rent Tax apply to gross income and are deductible in calculating both corporate income tax ("CIT") and Excess Profits Tax. СГТ is deductible in computing Excess Profits Tax.
Model 2 offers a production sharing regime of the type familiar from other hydrocarbon provinces around the world. Though not explicitly confined to hydrocarbon extraction activities, the mechanism for allocating production between the State and the subsurface user is written with hydrocarbon liquid extraction activities in mind and may not be easily adapted to other kinds of minerals, including gas. Subsurface users which sign up to Production Sharing Agreements ("PSAs") are obliged to share production with the Republic in accordance with formulae set out in the PSA itself, and to the other taxes prescribed in tax legislation, excluding, however:
• Rent Tax on Export of Crude Oil
• Excise Tax on Crude Oil (including gas condensate)
• Excess Profits Tax
• Land Tax
• Property Tax
The gross income of the contractor for CIT purposes includes both cost recovery oil and the contractor's share of profit oil. The base for calculating the contractor's royalty obligation is the gross amount of crude oil produced before production sharing.
In 2003, the possibility of a third model was extensively discussed. This was to be based around a rent tax similar in concept to that discussed below, but the idea was abandoned, apparently following discussions with state oil company Kazmunaigaz.
The Tax Code continues to provide for 2 types of bonuses:
• Signature Bonus
• Commercial Discovery Bonus
The major change in respect of Signature Bonuses is an explicit statement that the amount will be set by competitive tender. The framework of the competitive tender is to be prescribed by a proposed new PSA law.
The calculation of the amount of Discovery Bonus continues to be based on the officially approved estimate of recoverable reserves. The rate is now fixed at0.1 percent of the value of recoverable reserves, rather than this figure being specified as the minimum amount as previously.
The most important change to the royalty regime is the introduction of a fixed
scale of royalty rates for oil production based on tons produced. In the past, royalty rates (except for those applicable to "commonly occurring useful minerals" which were specified in the Tax Code) have been subject to negotiation within broad parameters and in at least two cases have not been applied to a project on economic grounds.
Associated gas is to be converted to equivalent using a formula of 1,000 cu. m. equals 0.857 t.
The new rules provide that the Government may publish separately, rates for
solid minerals, but is completely silent on how the base for dry gas will be calculated. Presumably, one should apply the conversion factor specified for associated gas and then apply the sliding scale for oil, but this is not clearly stated anywhere. There is also considerable uncertainty about how the sliding scale should actually be applied.
For example, what rate would be applied if the amount extracted was exactly 2 min t? Once the production passes 5 min t in the year does the scale operate to subject all production, since the beginning of the year, to the 6-percent rate?
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