Saudi considers self employment for foreigners if they pay tax

The plans would allow expats in certain professions to work without a sponsor



Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering plans to allow foreign workers to become self employed in return for paying taxes.

Under the plans, foreigners would would not need a sponsor after obtaining a license for professions including workshops, catering and contracting, according to Saudi daily Al-Eqtisadiah.

The government is reportedly studying procedures to impose two types of tax for those with self employed status, either based on financial statements of revenue, expenditure and profit or by estimated profits for their profession.

The second rate would apply for sectors where profit could not be easily verified and will range from 15 per cent for contractors to 25 per cent consultants, according to the publication.

Last month the country’s minister of commerce Majid Al-Qassabi said it was developing a study into solutions for concealed commercial activities, in which expats work in the name of Saudis, such as allowing foreigners to invest within regulations by paying tax.

An estimated 200,000 cases of ‘tassatur’, as the practice is known, have been discovered in recent years, according to Saudi Gazette, costing the national economy billions of riyals.

The proposal would form part of the kingdom’s National Transformation Plan 2020 to diversify the economy away from oil and raise find additional sources of revenue.

Saudi Arabia also recently introduced new fees for foreign worker dependents and raised rates for private sector firms with foreign staff in its 2017 budget.

Read: Saudi businessmen call for new expat dependents, foreign worker fees to be paid monthly

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