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Kuwait revives debate of 5% expat tax on remittances

Kuwait revives debate of 5% expat tax on remittances

Talks to introduce a 5 percent tax on expat remittances have been revived, according to several media reports.

A member of parliament (MP) has started collecting signatures in a bid to table a motion on the issue before the National Assembly, according to a report by the Kuwait Times.

The proposal is aiming to implement the 5 percent tax on expat remittances of over 500 Kuwait dinars ($1,640).

Kuwait’s Central Bank and Finance Ministry have opposed similar proposals in the past.

Last summer Arabian Business reported that remittances sent home by expatriates in Kuwait rose 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 2018, to around $3.4 billion, according to figures from the Central Bank of Kuwait.

In 2017, total expat remittances from Kuwait fell 9.2 percent to 4.14 billion Kuwait Dinars ($13.69 billion), down from KD 4.56 billion ($15.08 billion) in 2016.

In April last year, the state-run Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) quoted a Kuwaiti MP, chairperson Salah Khorshed, as saying the tax on remittances could generate as much as $233 million each year for the government.