Kazakhstan’s banking sector is viewed as one of the most robust of the former Soviet states, and expats will find that managing their money and banking in Kazakhstan is relatively easy and straightforward.
Money in Kazakhstan
The local currency is the Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT), which is divided into 100 tiyn.
Notes: 200 KZT, 500 KZT, 1,000 KZT, 2,000 KZT, 5,000 KZT, 10,000 KZT and 20,000 KZT
Coins: 1 KZT, 2 KZT, 5 KZT, 10 KZT, 20 KZT, 50 KZT, 100 KZT and 200 KZT
Banking in Kazakhstan
Newcomers will have a wide variety of banks to choose from, with many offering services specifically tailored for expats. Banks are usually open every weekday from 9am to 6pm, with an hour lunch break, and are closed on weekends.
Opening a bank account
There are no restrictions on non-residents opening a bank account in Kazakhstan. Expats can open a local account, in either the local or a foreign currency (usually US dollars, British pounds or euros).
New arrivals will need their passport and an RNN number (Kazakh tax number), and in some cases a letter from their employer, to open a bank account in Kazakhstan. A minimum deposit will also be required.
Employers in the country sometimes specify which bank they want their expat employees to use, so expats should seek the assistance of their company before opening an account.
ATMs and credit cards
ATMs are widely available in Kazakhstan’s main cities, but can be scarce in smaller locations. Most ATMs will accept foreign bank cards. Most machines only dispense cash in tenge, but some in the larger cities also stock US dollars. All major credit cards are accepted in Kazakhstan.
Taxes in Kazakhstan
Although Kazakhstan’s tax system is relatively uncomplicated, expats should employ the services of a qualified tax consultant to assist them in managing their taxes while in the country.
Employment income is taxed at a flat rate of 10 percent in Kazakhstan. Tax residents, those who spend 183 days in Kazakhstan for a consecutive 12-month period, are subject to personal tax on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed only on their income generated in Kazakhstan.