A few months back, a proposal to tax expat remittances has been passed by the Kuwait Parliament Financial Affairs and Economic Committee, imposing a tiered system of taxation according to the amount of remittances an expat is generating.
However, in recent news, the government has taken a different direction and has put more emphasis on the Value Added Tax bill, which supposedly should have taken effect early this year, but was shelved to push later towards the end of the year or by early 2019.
Proposal to Tax Expat Remittances Rejected by Kuwait Cabinet
According to well-informed sources, the government will be prioritizing the value added tax (VAT) bill for the incoming parliamentary term when it kicks off sometime in October.
The parliamentary finance committee is looking to receive the bill by September to review and scrutinize its provisions before it is passed for voting the following month. The voting session is expected to be held before the end of 2018.
The sources who requested to speak on the condition of anonymity, further added that the cabinet’s economic affairs committee was already performing the final review and edits on the VAT bill before it is submitted to the Fatwa and Legislation Department, where it will be organized to ensure compatibility with the Constitution prior its submission to the parliament.
The decision of the government to place the VAT bill on its priority list for the incoming parliamentary term aligns with its goal to achieve economic reforms suggested by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and to follow the direction taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in terms of their economic policies, the sources shared.
Also, as per the well-informed sources, the government had already notified the parliament that dismisses their demands to call off the decision to increase electricity, fuel, and water prices.
And finally, the cabinet rejects the proposal made to impose tax fees on expat remittances. Sources shared that the cabinet economic affairs committee believes that placing fees on expat remittances would do more harm than good to the overall economy as it would force specialized manpower out of the country and turn off potential foreign investments in Kuwait.