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Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Old Sep 3rd 2010, 3:04 pm
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Default Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

My dad has just come back from Saudi-Arabia said it was cheap and that well there is no tax at all?

He has been asking businessmen and locals and said they did not pay any tax at all. He went for Ummrah and was in Medina.

Could anyone confirm this as true and explain further?
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Old Sep 3rd 2010, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

yes the middle east is tax free. but that doesnt mean to say that what you save in not paying tax you can put in your pocket. for eg in the uae it may be a tax free country, but you have to pay high amounts for rent, high amounts for "red tape", yes its cheaper for petrol, high amounts for food shopping, high amounts in traffic fines, high amounts for bad tv, high amounts for phone, high amounts for leisure facilties, high amounts for clothes as cost of living is generally more expensive.
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Old Sep 3rd 2010, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by CMOS View Post
My dad has just come back from Saudi-Arabia said it was cheap and that well there is no tax at all? He has been asking businessmen and locals and said they did not pay any tax at all. He went for Ummrah and was in Medina. Could anyone confirm this as true and explain further?
Surely as a Muslim you would know this?
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Old Sep 3rd 2010, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by lionheart View Post
Surely as a Muslim you would know this?
Sorry my knowledge of the middle east is poor.
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Old Sep 3rd 2010, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by lionheart View Post
Surely as a Muslim you would know this?
Why would anyone know tax rates per country because of their religion?
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Old Sep 3rd 2010, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

There is a form of Corporate tax in Saudi, and there is apparently also a law on the books for personal taxation - they have just thus far decided to not use it.
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Old Sep 3rd 2010, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by tieresias View Post
Why would anyone know tax rates per country because of their religion?
no but dont most people know that all the ME is tax free? (alledgely)
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Old Sep 3rd 2010, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by CMOS View Post
My dad has just come back from Saudi-Arabia said it was cheap and that well there is no tax at all?

He has been asking businessmen and locals and said they did not pay any tax at all. He went for Ummrah and was in Medina.

Could anyone confirm this as true and explain further?
You think your dad is telling porkies(oops mea culpa)?
Discuss it with your old boy...
Cheap in comparison to where?
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Old Sep 4th 2010, 1:57 am
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by lionheart View Post
Surely as a Muslim you would know this?
I may be a muslim but i was not aware the middle east was a tax free region as many people state.

I'am of Pakistani origin and if you read about Pakistan you'll find that even as a muslim country it has the highest tax rates of most countries, more so than the UK.

I would also like to know what types of Visa's are there available and i plan on doing business in Saudi Arabia, mind you i have sold my business in the UK and plan to do my business in Saudi Arabia. What type of visa would i need and would my family be also able to come? thanks
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Old Sep 4th 2010, 6:46 am
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by tieresias View Post
Why would anyone know tax rates per country because of their religion?
Shariah law and such like?
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Old Sep 4th 2010, 10:34 am
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Gambia, a Muslim country has:
Corporation Tax of 35%
Personal Tax of 35%
Import Duty
Sales Tax.

Not to do with religion or region (except for Zahkat which is applicable in KSA). Kuwait and UAE have been ploting to introduce a VAT.

The poster needs to be aware that the tax issue becomes relevant when remittances are made. Or employees in some circumstances. For Example, Brits, Americans and Australians are taxed on World Wide income. Brits in the region get a concession which has been widely discussed and even more wlidely interpreted.
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Old Sep 4th 2010, 11:25 am
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by busybee2 View Post
no but dont most people know that all the ME is tax free? (alledgely)
I'm glad you included the anagram of allegedly, because I hope most people don't know something which is not true.

Egypt, Jordan and Syria, for instance, all have versions of income tax and VAT and can fairly be described as being in the Middle East (and having Muslim majorities).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world
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Old Sep 4th 2010, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by CMOS View Post
I would also like to know what types of Visa's are there available and i plan on doing business in Saudi Arabia, mind you i have sold my business in the UK and plan to do my business in Saudi Arabia. What type of visa would i need and would my family be also able to come? thanks
CMOS,

I'm in the process of moving to KSA myself and the whole visa thing is a bit of a nightmare, not helped by it being Ramadan.

A list of (non-pilgrimage) visa types available from the Saudi embassy in London can be found here:
http://www.mofa.gov.sa/Detail.asp?In...teKey=Homepage

In general, foreigners need a Saudi sponsor to be able to get a visa.

In principle, I am supposed to be getting a Work visa (which allows me to be an employee of a specific employer to do a specific job - mobility of labour seems to be an unknown concept in KSA...). My employer-to-be is my sponsor. Then, when I'm in-country, my employer can apply for a Residence visa for me.

In practice, because lazy/incompetent HR have left it so late, I will actually go initially with a business visit visa. Again my future employer is my sponsor, but temporarily I will be "employed" by a company owned by the visa agency precisely to cope with this situation. Then, at some point, I will have to come back to the UK, take a medical and begin the application for a work visa...

If you are thinking of starting a business there, you may be able to visit with a "businessman visa" which requires no sponsor. I'm not sure what you would allowed to do though and I suspect you would still need work and residence visas if you wanted to stay for long.

As to your family - yes they could come (although again I suspect you would need residency if they were coming to stay).

If you're planning on setting up your own business, I came across this:
http://www.mofa.gov.sa/Detail.asp?In...wsItemID=28886

Section 2.6.5
"Self employed foreigners who are resident in Saudi Arabia are not taxed on income from non-Saudi sources but only on Saudi-source income. Foreign employees are not taxed on their wages and salaries." So, if you were self-employed, it seems you would pay income tax up to 30%.

If you're seriously thinking of setting up your own business, is it maybe worth taking a job for a couple of years, make some contacts, learn the ropes?

Last edited by tieresias; Sep 4th 2010 at 12:17 pm. Reason: Fix URLs
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Old Sep 5th 2010, 6:04 am
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by CMOS View Post
My dad has just come back from Saudi-Arabia said it was cheap and that well there is no tax at all?

He has been asking businessmen and locals and said they did not pay any tax at all. He went for Ummrah and was in Medina.

Could anyone confirm this as true and explain further?
KSA is not a cheap country to live, regardless of tax/no tax.
Only those things subsidised such as fuel, medicine etc are cheap.
Services are not cheap nor is health care and service delivery quality is generally poor.
It certainly has import duties and taxes.
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Old Sep 5th 2010, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: Is Saudi-Arabia a tax free country?

Originally Posted by prwatts View Post
KSA is not a cheap country to live, regardless of tax/no tax.
Only those things subsidised such as fuel, medicine etc are cheap.
Services are not cheap nor is health care and service delivery quality is generally poor.
It certainly has import duties and taxes.
In my honest opinion i don't think any country is anymore.
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