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Remittance tax back in play as Kuwaiti MPs submit bill
Kuwait- January 18, 2021:
The tax on expatriates’ money remittance is back in the news as Parliamentarians Osama Al-Shaheen, Hamad Al-Matar, Abdulaziz Al-Saqaabi, Shuaib Al- Al- Muwaizri and Khalid Al-Otaibi bring a new proposal on taxing remittances.
At present, the exchange companies are collecting fees for remittances, but the State gets nothing. The State will benefit from remittances through this bill, Al-Shaheen explained.
The Kuwaiti MP stated that roughly KD 21 bn has been transferred out of Kuwait in the past five years – averaging KD 4.2 bn every year. Based on these figures, some KD 100 m can be collected every year by imposing the fee. He disclosed that the draft submitted aims to enhance the public budget, support the domestic economy, generate more opportunities and avoid capital leaving the country.
This bill amends law number 32/1968 which regulates the currency, Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) and banking procedures. The article mandates the Central Bank of Kuwait to take the necessary steps to obligate local banks, branches of foreign banks and money exchange companies to collect tax on remittances – at a rate of 2.5 percent regardless of the currency. This tax will be added to the State treasury.
Money transfers related to agreements on investment protection and money transferred by the government are tax-exempt. The Central Bank must exempt Kuwaitis studying abroad, those undergoing treatment overseas treatment, and if the transferred amount is less than KD 10,000 per year from paying such tax.