Saudi Arabia considering allowing expats to invest in entrepreneurship

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Saudi Arabia is heading in the direction of allowing expatriates to invest in entrepreneurship for an annual tax worth 20% after this field has been exclusive to the Saudis resulting in the “commercial cover-up” phenomenon which cost the national economy billions of riyals.

Relevant authorities are studying the measures for imposing tax which will be of two types. The first one is represented in the regular accounts which the expatriate will present in terms of revenues, costs and gains while the second one will include an estimate profit in the case when there are no gains and there will be specific percentages for each profession, Saudi daily Al-Eqtisadiah reported.

According to the report, the measures will allow expatriates to invest in businesses and transfer the sponsorships to themselves. They will therefore no longer need a sponsor once they attain an investment license in the sectors which are subject to regulations.

This harmonizes with the statements which Commerce and Investment Minister Majid al-Qasabi said in March as he commented on “commercial cover-up.”

Qasabi said this phenomenon was unhealthy as it harms the national economy, adding that the ministry prepared a comprehensive study about its causes.

He added that the study includes plans to address these causes and amend regulations in a manner that allows expatriates to invest within certain standards and restrictions so they can pay taxes without having to cover up their activity.

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