(Jan. 9, 2014) On December 27, 2013, the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, signed into law amendments to the nation’s tax code that entered into force on January 1, 2014. As reported by the Newsru.com information agency, these amendments aim to simplify the taxation system and lower the burden on business entities. (Veterans Lost Their Privileges in Uzbekistan [in Russian], NEWSRU.COM (Dec. 27, 2013)).
The new law eliminates a number of tax privileges that had previously existed for different categories of Uzbekistan’s populace, such as World War II veterans, police officers wounded in the course of duty, and personnel who served in the Soviet contingent in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. As a rule, these people and their families were exempt from property tax and paid only 50% of the regular income tax rate. Similar tax exemptions for women who have ten or more children and for those who participated in fighting the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster will also be eliminated as of April 1, 2014. (Id.)
These amendments appear to be in line with the Uzbekistan government’s policy to promote business and create favorable conditions for business development. Another set of amendments to the Tax Code was passed on September 23, 2013, introducing a number of tax incentives to domestic software developing companies. According to the presidential decree implementing these measures, companies included in the National Registry of Software Developers will be exempt from selected fees that are mandatory for other enterprises and from customs duties on equipment imported for the software companies’ professional purposes. (On Measures to Stimulate Domestic Software Developers [in Russian], Decree of the President of Uzbekistan (Sept. 23, 2013), Uzbekistan Presidency website.) These exemptions will be in force for the next three years, with the possibility of a two-year extension. (Id.)
Specific tax incentives for foreign investors were also introduced in Uzbekistan in 2013, under a separate set of amendments to the Tax Code. (Veterans Lost Their Privileges in Uzbekistan, supra.)