Representatives to discuss tax on expat remittances . . .
Arab News 2016 reported that the Consultative (Shoura) Council of Saudi Arabia was expected to have a discussion last Sunday on a proposed tax on expatriate remittances. The proposal from the Council’s finance committee had been drafted by a member of the committee, according to the above mentioned local media. This comes in the wake of discussion in all GCC’s Expatriates Remittances Tax.
According to a Gulf Research Centre report released earlier this year, GCC countries are critical sources of global remittances, transferring billions of Dollars to mostly Asian countries.
The GCC countries were about 23% of the world’s $400 billion remittances in 2013 coming from the GCC region, representing nearly $90 billion, making Saudi Arabia the leading remitter not only in the GCC but also in the world.
This comes in the wake of discussions held in all GCC countries on this issue with some GCC countries are actively considering some taxation on expatriates remittances.
A GCC-wide VAT could be in place soon after the 6 countries have adopted a draft framework. In the meantime, the UAE has already announced a 5% VAT as of 2018 with other GCC countries following shortly.
In the wake of the global oil price fall, all GCC countries are experiencing a decline in state revenues that they are trying to mitigate through finding other sources of income.
This week, Saudi Arabia unveiled its ‘Vision 2030’ plan that includes exploring new revenue streams with a view to breaking its dependency on hydrocarbon semi-annuity type of economy. It is planning to adopt the path-breaking ‘Green Card’ but only in 5 years’ time.
Other topics that are being debated in Saudi Arabia include the annual performance reports of a number of government agencies. Also under discussion will be other topics that include topics on water, agriculture, and environment particularly concerning the new water and power tariff.
The council’s health committee’s report on regulations concerning pharmaceutical facilities, private health facilities, and health care professions were on the agenda with a particular look at those reports to be scrutinized as included in the Human Resources Development Fund submitted by the committee on management and human resources; the report of the committee on transportation, telecommunications, and information technology on the General Authority for Civil, and the committee on economy and energy report on the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals. We shall report on the outcome as soon as it is available.