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Sigh of relief for expats as Saudi Finance Ministry rejects ‘fees on remittances’

“Saudi Arabia is committed to the principle of free movement of capital in and out of the kingdom, in line with international standards”

RIYADH: Contradicting with the Shaora Council’s decision, Finance Ministry on Sunday announced no fees will be applied on remittances out of the country.

The kingdom’s advisory Shoura Council was looking at a proposal to impose a 6 percent levy on expatriate remittances.

Not every proposal endorsed by the Shoura Council is adopted. The kingdom’s central bank governor and finance minister said that there were no plans to tax remittances or income.

“Saudi Arabia is committed to the principle of free movement of capital in and out of the kingdom, in line with international standards,” the ministry said on its official Twitter account.

Foreigners make around one third of 30 million population of Saudi Arabia. The absence of tax and higher pay than they can get at home attracts majority of them.

Since the country has been facing a terrible budget imbalance due to the deteriorating oil prices, it announced reform plans last year, which included a proposal to impose income tax on foreign workers.

To cover up the deteriorating financial status of the country, the government has already raised the cost of visas and introduced gradually rising monthly fees on expatriate workers and their dependents.