Starting July, expatriates and their dependents in Saudi Arabia will be charged with a new levy aimed at augmenting state revenues.
In a report by Saudi Gazette, a monthly levy of SAR100 per dependent shall be collected within the first year. The amount will increase by SAR100 every year until the levy becomes SAR400 in 2020.
The new fees have been approved by the Council of Ministers as part of the Fiscal Balance Program enacted in December 2016.
While the program is expected to kick in by July, no mechanism has been officiall announced by relevant authorities, sources told Al-Riyadh newspaper.
Earlier this year, sources said that the fee would be linked to residency permits (muqeem identity cards) and collected in lump sum at the time of their annual renewal.
The Saudi government is also reportedly planning to raise the fees on expatriate workers in the Kingdom next year.
Minister of Finance Muhammad Al-Jadaan confirmed recently that there would be an increase in the fees levied on expatriates. The Saudi government is committed to its goal of attaining fiscal balance between revenues and expenditure by 2020, Reuters news agency quoted Al-Jadaan as saying.
Companies whose foreign employee number exceeds Saudis currently pay a monthly fee of SAR200 for every foreign worker. Such fee shall also be increased next year until 2020. However, companies whose foreign workers do not exceed the number of Saudi staff, fee will no longer be waived but will be charged at lower rate.
The fee will be imposed on expatriate workers who are more than the number of Saudi workers in 2018 in all sectors. The fee will be at the rate of SAR400 per month per expatriate worker. The monthly amount will double in 2020 to SAR800.
If the number of expatriate workers is equal to or less than the number of Saudis, the fee will be SR300 per month. The amount will double next year and it will be raised to SAR700 per month in 2020.
The lack of official release from the government regarding the mechanism has spawned confusion among expat community as contradicting pieces of information have been circulating on social media.
Various companies and institutions have started advising their workers about the new government fees and there are those that have reportedly warned their employees that the levy would be deducted from salaries.