Saudi Arabia’s new expat fees: What will it cost?

Updated 27 December 2016

Saudi Arabia’s new expat fees: What will it cost?

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia plans to introduce an “expat levy” from 2017, it was confirmed during Thursday’s budget announcement, with charges of up to SR800 per worker to be phased in by 2020.
Companies currently pay a levy of SR200 per month per expat employee, but only for expat employees that exceed the number of Saudi employees. 
But that will be gradually increased from next year, the government’s “Fiscal Balance Program – Balanced Budget 2020” document shows. 
From next year, the levy on expat workers will be gradually revised upwards, providing an additional impetus for employers to hire more Saudis. 
For companies in which expats do not exceed the number of Saudi or GCC employees, the fee will no longer be waived, but will be charged at a discounted rate. 
A fee on dependents of expatriate workers will also be levied. It will commence in July of 2017, in order to minimize impact on families with children enrolled in school. 
Currently, neither Saudi nationals nor foreign laborers pay income taxes, and this policy will remain in place, the government says.

Here is what the new expat levy will cost:

In 2017

• Dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR100, from July onwards

In 2018

• Dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR200, from July onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees is equal to or lower than the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR300 will apply from January onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees exceeds the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR400 will apply from January onwards

In 2019

• Dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR300, from July onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees is equal to or lower than the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR500 will apply from January onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees exceeds the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR600 will apply from January onwards

In 2020

• Dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR400, from July onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees is equal to or lower than the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR700 will apply from January onwards

• In companies where the number of foreign employees exceeds the number of Saudis, a monthly fee of SR800 will apply from January onwards

No income tax

• Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan told reporters in Riyadh on Thursday that these fees do not apply to domestic helpers, such as drivers and cleaners, but only to expats working in commercial entities.

• “There are two kinds of fees, the first is according to the number of family members an expat has in return for utilities used… this minimal amount will increase gradually every year,” the minister said in response to a question from Arab News.

• “The second is already imposed on companies which employ expat workers; this will increase gradually as well until 2020.”

• The finance minister ruled out income taxes on Saudi nationals, foreigners or company revenues.


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”