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Kazakhstan: Tax Treaty Awaits Almaty Law Changes

Washington, 12 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. officials say a long-pending tax treaty with Kazakhstan will be ratified by the U.S. Senate once the Kazakh legislature approves changes in the country's banking laws.

The treaty, designed to prevent double-taxation for nationals of each country living and working in the other, was signed in October 1993 and ratified by Kazakhstan in June 1995.

But an U.S. Treasury Department spokesman says the U.S. held up ratification because of Kazakh banking laws that allow anonymous accounts. Tax treaties include an exchange of information, and Washington will not enter into new pacts with countries that keep critical banking information secret.

A U.S. State Department official says Kazakh officials have assured Washington that Almaty will have the provision for anonymous bank accounts removed from the law by the end of this month.

A spokeswoman for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- which must approve the treaty before it goes for a full vote of the U.S. Senate -- says the committee expects to take up the treaty within the next three weeks.