Bloggers in Kazakhstan to be taxed

23 May 2023

The lower house of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Majilis) has adopted the bill “On Online Platforms and Online Advertising”. Members of the Majilis are discussing the introduction of the concept of “influencer” into the law. Importantly, influencers will be forced to pay taxes and label their content to warn users of the sponsored post:

“The bill will not concern users, but first of all the very concept of online advertising. Because, as we know, huge flows of financial resources, including advertisers’ money, flow into the Internet today. We know that legal relations and relationships in this area are mostly in the shadows or in the gray area. It is known that many active users receive money in envelopes and so on. They use the Internet to create financial pyramids, engage in illegal charity, etc.,” Mazhilis deputy Aidos Sarym commented on the bill.

In addition, the law also introduces concepts related directly to advertising:

“We are introducing the concepts of “native advertising”, “targeted advertising” and other things. That is, the money that flows there must be understandable and visible to our tax authorities. We are now introducing this into the legislation, and when the Tax Code comes, all these norms will sit in it,” said Sarym.

The draft law also introduces the concepts of “inaccurate information” and “illegal information”. The penalty for the dissemination of such information will be 2 MCI (Monthly Calculated Index) – 6900 tenge.

It is important to note that the Majilismen also touched upon the topic of automatic translation of content on online platforms into the Kazakh language:

“We want to continue our work. In what area – the first, the state language. We want to have systems for automatic translation of content into Kazakh. And so that the online platforms themselves can moderate content in the Kazakh language,” Sarym emphasized.

Online platforms with only a certain number of users are required to comply with the new rules:

“These rules apply to social networks, platforms with over 100,000 users. A number of social networks, Tik-Tok, for example, they are already imported to Kazakhstan. They are already creating representative offices. Our market is interesting for them. I want to remind some of our colleagues: two years ago there were discussions that all these social networks will run away, that Kazakhstan is a country that is not interesting for platforms. All these predictions did not come true,” the deputy summed up.

As representatives of the lower house of the Republic of Kazakhstan noted, all innovations are aimed at protecting the citizens of Kazakhstan in the Internet space.

Photo source: Aglaya Kovaleva