The Tajikistan Government adopted a new Tax Code at the end of December which will provide increased benefits for NGOs. In particular, article 148 increases the amount of deductions businesses and individuals can take for their charitable contributions to NGOs from 2% to 5%. Article 145 assures that all noncommercial organizations are now exempt from paying any tax on all profit from grants, member’s fees, donations and transfers of property that are done as a gift (previously, these benefits were not specified in the tax code). Finally, the new Tax Code also contains language which more clearly defines what constitutes an NGO. ICNL legal consultants have been working with both chambers of Parliament, local initiative groups and NGO coalitions over the last several months to provide technical legal assistance.
ICNL initiated several meetings and a roundtable on the new draft amendments and this allowed NGO representatives and local government officials the opportunity to discuss their concerns on taxation and develop recommendations. ICNL legal consultants then summarized the participants concerns and recommendations developed during these sessions and passed them to the members of the working group on the new Tax Code in the Committees of the Majlisi Namoyandagon of the Majlisi Oli and to other interested government structures to help complete their work on finalizing this draft law. These new provisions should increase donations to the NGO community, stimulate development of corporate philanthropy, help avoid problems that NGOs have had with the tax authorities and also foster a more productive civil society sector.