Saudi companies with five or fewer employees exempt from new expat fees

The new levy comes into force on January 1, forcing most firms to pay extra fees for expat workers



Saudi businesses employing five people or fewer will be exempt from the new monthly expat levy, according to the kingdom’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development.

The new tax will come into force on Monday January 1, 2018, with companies due to pay fees relating to the number of expat workers they employ.

Firms employing up to nine foreigners will pay the levy for the number of workers more than five, as long as the owner is a full-time employee, the ministry explained during a Q&A on its Twitter page.

The ministry added that expats working in branch offices of general recruitment firms and offices for hiring domestic help are also exempted,  and that the tax will not apply to citizens of GCC countries, spouses of Saudi citizens, and non-Saudi children of Saudi women.

Officials had previously said that all expatriates liable for the levy would pay it at the time of issuance or renewal of their work permit.

A ministry statement also confirmed that companies with a Saudi workforce of 50 per cent or more must pay SAR300 ($80)  per month per expatriate worker in 2018. Those employing more expatriates than Saudis will pay SAR400 ($107) for the year – rising to SAR500 ($133) and SRA600 ($160), respectively and in 2020 it will reach SR700 ($187) and SR800 ($213), respectively.