Soon to be Riyadh

Old Aug 7th 2018, 11:32 pm
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Default Soon to be Riyadh

Morning one and all. I'm hoping to be moving out to Riyadh in the next month or so. Just a few questions please if you don't mind

1. Any tips for a first timer in Saudi? I understand the weather but anything else I should be weary of.
2. I'm going to be getting paid in Euros. Will this affect my tax? Should I get paid straight into UK bank?
3. Will my UK computer work in Saudi? PS4 or a PC?

Thanks
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Soon to be Riyadh

On the tax issue, you are and will remain liable for full UK Income Tax and National Insurance on your worldwide income, irrespective of where you earn it and in what currency it is paid, until you are confirmed UK Non-resident, which will be 6th April 2020 at the very earliest. However your tax-free status can be backdated to the day you left the UK, but only if you are confirmed UK Non-resident. Look into the Automatic Overseas Test, details of which are here. In summary, the quickest way to be confirmed UK Non-resident is to work full-time overseas for a full UK tax year and limit your days working in or visiting the UK.

There is a risk of course that your job in KSA doesn't work out and that you repatriate before completing a UK tax-year, so best to set enough money aside to settle any UK tax liability, just in case...
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 8:43 am
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Default Re: Soon to be Riyadh

Very important tip - get some proper tax advice. If you're coming from the UK, the currency of your salary has no effect on your UK tax liability.

This is stated in VERY general terms, but to avoid UK tax liability on your Saudi salary you will most likely try to either (i) rely on the "third automatic overseas test" described in HMRC's RDR3 guidance (google it) for people working full time overseas or (ii) stop being UK resident while relying on the Saudi UK double tax treaty.

If you will work in Saudi until the end of the next complete UK tax year (i.e. until 6 April 2020) and you are relying on the RDR3 third automatic overseas test you will most likely be able to stop paying UK tax on your Saudi salary from the day you start work overseas (even if you get paid direct into a UK bank account).

If you already paid UK tax this year under the PAYE system for a UK job, you will also likely be due a partial tax refund from HMRC at the end of the current tax year (6 April 2019).

You should notify HMRC that you are leaving and don't forget that you still need to pay UK tax on your UK source income while overseas (e.g. interest on savings in UK bank accounts or rent from a UK property) if you exceed the UK tax free allowance. You also need to keep extremely detailed records in some cases of your travel and overseas working hours. There are plenty of traps HMRC like to spring so definitely get a good tax accountant to do a detailed assessment of your specific position and get some guidance (and also critical to understand the rules and follow them carefully).

Failing to comply with the UK rules (or being unable to evidence that you have) might expose you to full UK tax on your entire Saudi salary.

This is only a general comment and not situation specific.

Last edited by FriendlyExpat; Aug 8th 2018 at 9:09 am.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 9:21 am
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Default Re: Soon to be Riyadh

Originally Posted by Ascom28 View Post
1. Any tips for a first timer in Saudi? I understand the weather but anything else I should be weary of.
Accommodation: try to get a compound allowance for a decent compound (160k SAR min for a flat, 220k ish for a house, some basic compounds can be cheaper e.g. Fal or Seder Village (in Riyadh). Living off compound much cheaper in rented house or "apartment hotel" (from 50k SAR / year) but off-compound might be lonely and less ideal if you have wife / kids.

Iqama: check the company will give you one and negotiate that they will continually have an entry/exit visa in place so you can come and go when you want.

Car: get a 4x4 if possible so you can go to the desert, basic ones start from around 60k SAR up to 150k SAR or more for the mini-house-on-wheels variety.

Originally Posted by Ascom28 View Post
3. Will my UK computer work in Saudi? PS4 or a PC?
Yes.

PS and welcome! Great time to be coming here, the country is really changing fast.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: Soon to be Riyadh

Originally Posted by Ascom28 View Post
Morning one and all. I'm hoping to be moving out to Riyadh in the next month or so. Just a few questions please if you don't mind

1. Any tips for a first timer in Saudi? I understand the weather but anything else I should be weary of.
2. I'm going to be getting paid in Euros. Will this affect my tax? Should I get paid straight into UK bank?
3. Will my UK computer work in Saudi? PS4 or a PC?

Thanks
1) travel light. No need to take a load of stuff that you probably won't need. Don't worry. You can get everything in Saudi anyway.
2) if you're going to be on an Iqama the law says you must be paid into a Saudi bank. Seeing how it's Euros your salary may change with exchange rates
3) yes. Might be worth bringing some adapters though. Plugs can be two pin, three pin, or strange shapes, 110 or 220. Bear that in mind.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: Soon to be Riyadh

Originally Posted by FriendlyExpat View Post
Accommodation: try to get a compound allowance for a decent compound (160k SAR min for a flat, 220k ish for a house, some basic compounds can be cheaper e.g. Fal or Seder Village (in Riyadh). Living off compound much cheaper in rented house or "apartment hotel" (from 50k SAR / year) but off-compound might be lonely and less ideal if you have wife / kids.

Iqama: check the company will give you one and negotiate that they will continually have an entry/exit visa in place so you can come and go when you want.

Car: get a 4x4 if possible so you can go to the desert, basic ones start from around 60k SAR up to 150k SAR or more for the mini-house-on-wheels variety.



Yes.

PS and welcome! Great time to be coming here, the country is really changing fast.
disagree with that last bit slightly. Yes things are changing fast, but as the saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same. Maybe I'm just a bit jaded by the place. I could write loads but I can't be bothered. I will say one thing though. It's only a few years ago my wife was physically attacked for not wearing a veil in public (not my fault she's smoking hot but anyway), it takes more than a couple of trips to the cinema to change that mindset.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Soon to be Riyadh

To everyone that replied I appreciate your responses.

Accommodation I am covered as that comes with the job, as does the car. I am slightly worried about the euro exchange rate especially with brexit potentially around the corner. Will wait and see. How easy is it to open a Saudi bank account and how easy is it to transfer back to UK account?

Thanks
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Old Aug 9th 2018, 4:12 am
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Default Re: Soon to be Riyadh

Originally Posted by Ascom28 View Post
To everyone that replied I appreciate your responses.

Accommodation I am covered as that comes with the job, as does the car. I am slightly worried about the euro exchange rate especially with brexit potentially around the corner. Will wait and see. How easy is it to open a Saudi bank account and how easy is it to transfer back to UK account?

Thanks
I can't see Brexit affecting the Riyal Euro exchange rate that much, although Euro to Pounds could see a lot of fluctuation.

very easy to open a bank account. You just need a letter from your employer and then fill out the forms at the bank.

I know you'll be tempted by SABB, because it's HSBC, but just don't. IME it's the worst one.

I'm currently with ANB who I find excellent.

Most of the time you'll hardly have to go into a branch anyway because you can do everything online.
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Old Aug 10th 2018, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Soon to be Riyadh

[QUOTE=nonthaburi;12544980]2) if you're going to be on an Iqama the law says you must be paid into a Saudi bank. Seeing how it's Euros your salary may change with exchange rates.

True, but some expats in Saudi get paid partly or completely overseas with a lower salary declared to the authorities.
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Old Aug 10th 2018, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: Soon to be Riyadh

Getting an iqama or a business visa can make differences in your life. Best to clarify what the deal is.
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