Saudi labour ministry denies income tax rumours

Social media posts had suggested the kingdom was about to introduce a tax on foreign workers’ salaries



Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development has denied social media rumours that the country is about to implement an income tax for foreign workers.

The rumours suggested the ministries of labour and finance and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority were coordinating to impose the 10 per cent tax, according to Saudi Gazette.

“There is no truth in these reports. There is no intention at all to impose new tax on expatriates,” ministry spokesman Khaled Aba Al-Khail was quoted as saying.

He also denied that the ministry was no longer issuing work permits to foreigners for 60 jobs roles.

To date, the kingdom has moved to restrict a number of sectors to citizens only including most recently roles in gold and jewellery shops and car rental offices.

Read: Saudi to ban foreigners from work in car rental offices

Al-Khail said only 19 roles were currently barred to foreigners.

The kingdom is expected to introduce an expat levy of SAR300 ($80) to SAR400 ($107) per worker on private sector companies this year depending on the percentage of Saudis in their workforce.

Through this and a new SAR100 monthly fee for the dependents of foreign workers introduced in July the kingdom is expecting to raise SAR24bn ($6.3bn) in 2018.

Read: Saudi government to raise $6.3bn from 2018 expat levy