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Kuwait MPs submit proposal to impose fee on money transfers out of country

Kuwait MPs submit proposal to impose fee on money transfers out of country

Lawmakers have called for a 2.5 per cent fee on all money transfers out of the country

A draft law has been submitted in Kuwait calling to impose a 2.5 per cent fee on money transfers out of the country, local media reported.

The draft, submitted by five Kuwaiti MPs, aims to support the domestic economy and avoid capital leaving the country, Kuwait Times reported.

The report cited MP Osama Al-Shaheen as stating that roughly KD21bn has been transferred out of Kuwait in the past five years – averaging KD4.2bn every year. Based on these figures, some KD100m can be collected every year by imposing the fee, he said.

Lawmakers have submitted similar laws in the past, urging the imposition of a 5 per cent tax on expat remittances.

One of the bills, introduced in 2018, stated that foreign workers would be taxed on their money transfers abroad, on top of normal commissions and charges by banks and exchange houses, based on the amount sent.

Transfers of up to KD99 ($330) would be taxed at 1 per cent, transfers of KD100-299 ($334-$997) at 2 per cent and transfers of KD300-499 ($1,001-$1,664) at 3 per cent. Those of KD500 ($1678) and above would be taxed at 5 per cent.

However, it was rejected by the Kuwaiti government, the Central Bank and the assembly’s legal and legislative committee. They argued that it will adversely impact the economy and create a black market for transferring money.

Read: Kuwait central bank governor warns of negative impact of remittance taxes

Kuwait parliament committee rejects proposed remittance tax

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