Saudi chambers suggest changes in expat levy policy

February 20, 2018

Saudi Gazette report

— The Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) has proposed a few changes in the expat levy policy.

This came during a meeting of CSC heads with Minister of Labor and Social Development Ali Al-Ghafis, Al-Madina Arabic newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Al-Ghafis agreed to form a joint CSC and ministry committee to study the best strategies and policies to serve the private sector.

The Council made more than eight suggestions to help the private sector.

It called for extending the deadline for expatriate levy to 2025 from 2020.

It also called for exempting micro, small and medium businesses from expat levy in their first years.

From January this year, the government started collecting SR400 per month per expat worker for companies where expats outnumber Saudis and SR300 per month per expat worker for companies where expats and Saudis are in equal number.

This levy will increase to SR600 in 2019 and SR800 in 2020 for companies where expats outnumber Saudis.

But for companies where expats and Saudis are in equal number, the levy will increase to SR500 in 2019 and SR700 in 2020.

Hail Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Abdullah Adeem called for a study to assess the performance of businesses and implement Saudization policies accordingly rather than have a uniform job nationalization policy that may damage businesses in some areas.

Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Entrepreneurship Committee head Thamer Al-Farshouti said 25% to 30% of private establishments might shut down if no changes are made in the current policies.

He said the expatriate levy should be paid monthly instead of annually.

Majed Al-Ruwaili, of Al-Jouf Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said most of the private sector consists of small and medium enterprises which will be adversely affected by the cumulative tax bill the ministry plans to implement.

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