Provides references to local service providers and other professional associations.
Last Published: 4/17/2016
The Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. has developed a resource listing services available to facilitate investment, but it was last updated in 2009.  The guide can be found at this website: http://www.embassyofafghanistan.org/page/resource-guide.  The American Chamber of Commerce in Afghanistan is an excellent resource for local professional services as well and can be found at this website: www.amcham-af.org
 
Building Markets (formerly Peace Dividend Trust-PDT), a non-governmental organization (NGO), maintains a business portal with approximately 6,500 licensed, screened and verified Afghan-owned businesses.  PDT services also include business matchmaking activities; tender distribution by email, SMS alerts and office visits; training on procurement processes and market information and advocacy in support of the Afghan First Initiative.

 

Working as a Contractor

Afghan law stipulates broadly that any individual or company that earns income in Afghanistan must pay taxes in accordance with the law (see Article 42 of the Constitution and Article 2 of the 2009 Income Tax Law).  A number of bilateral agreements in place provide exemptions on some taxes for U.S. government personnel, contractors, and subcontractors. Regardless, U.S. government contractors operating in Afghanistan must follow applicable Afghan registration procedures.
 
Although the registration requirements are generally uniform for all entities operating in Afghanistan, tax exemptions based on bilateral agreements differ depending on which U.S. government department or agency is the contracting entity and whether there is an agreement with the Afghan government applicable to the activities of that USG department or agency.  The general information provided here is only a guide and cannot substitute for specific registration and tax advice pertaining to each firm.  The U.S. Embassy is prohibited from giving direct tax advice to private firms.  The U.S. government expects each of its implementing partners, including contractors and subcontractors, to obtain competent advice from appropriate sources regarding their obligations under Afghan law and to comply with those obligations.  It is important to note that no firm will be completely exempt from all tax-related requirements.  Even firms exempt from some forms of taxation under agreements pertaining to security and development assistance contracts must demonstrate to the Ministry of Finance their eligibility for the relevant exemption.
 
Non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Afghanistan may want to consider if Afghanistan’s NGO Law provides tax or other exemptions for their operations.  The NGO Department of the Ministry of Economy has responsibility for all NGOs operating in country.  Article 30 of the NGO Law relates to tax exemptions.
 
Questions related to tax exemptions and problems encountered with registration and the collection or payment of taxes when exemptions apply should be immediately brought to the attention of contracting officers.
 
Tax Exemptions for U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Contractors:  Article 17.3-6 of the BSA specifically exempts non-Afghan BSA contractors and subcontractors from paying “any tax or similar or related charges assessed by the Government of Afghanistan within the territory of Afghanistan on their activities, and associated income, relating to or on behalf of United States forces under a contract or subcontract with or in support of United States forces.”  According to the BSA, however, U.S. contractors “are subject to Afghan requirements regarding employer withholding of personal income tax from United States contractor employees who normally reside in Afghanistan and from United States contractor employees who are Afghan nationals for payment to Afghanistan as required by the laws and regulations of Afghanistan.”  DoD’s contractor taxation fact sheet can be found here.
 
The following are links to DOD websites to provide guidance on taxation to DoD contractors providing goods and services in Afghanistan:
 
Guidance for contractors on how to file for tax exempt status with the Ministry of Finance: https://www2.centcom.mil/sites/contracts/Pages/GCP.aspx
 
DoD’s guidance dated January 21, 2013 on tax exemptions under Dip Note 202 and the Military Technical Agreement for contractors and subcontractors can be found here.
 
DoD fact sheet for contractors concerning questions on taxation under the Status of Forces Agreements in Afghanistan and Iraq can be found here.
 
The following links are MoF guidance on how contractors who provide goods and services under our bilateral agreements should file for tax exempt status for their contracts, in addition to the 2009 Income Tax Law, tax forms, and other resources for potential tax payers can be found here.
 
2009 Income Tax Law, most recent law that covering taxation can be found here.
 
Various tax forms for contractors and businesses can be found here.
 
Tax Exemptions for USAID Contractors:  USAID has four over-arching Strategic Objective Grant Agreements (SOAGs) with the Government of Afghanistan that encompass all of the programs USAID finances in Afghanistan.  For detailed information on USAID-related tax policy, please see here.
 
Tax Exemptions for Department of State Contractors:  The Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) has negotiated agreements on tax exemption. Contractors should consult their contracting officer to determine applicable tax exemptions.

 

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Afghanistan Trade Development and Promotion