02 Apr 2018 – 13:42

Kuwait parliament committee approves fees on remittance by expatriates

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The Peninsula Online

The parliamentary financial and economic affairs committee on Sunday approved bills imposing fees on expatriates’ remittances, Kuwait News Agency reported.

In a statement, committee chairperson, Salah Khorshed, said that the commission approved the bills with consent of two-third members, provided that the fee to be imposed on money transfers of low-income expatriates must be low.

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Kuwait newspaper Arab Times quoted Khorshed as saying that “the bills stipulate punishment in case of failure to comply and the executive authority shall play a role in this regard.”

According to the bills, one percent tax will be imposed on remittances ranging from KD 1 to KD 99, two percent for KD 100 to KD 200, three percent for KD 300 to KD 499 and five percent for KD 500 and above.

Penalties include fine of not more than KD 10,000 — whether individual or company; imprisonment of not more than five years and fine equal to twice the amount of remittance if the money is transferred through a channel other than the approved exchange companies and banks, Rapporteur of the committee, Saleh Ashour told Arab Times.

The committee forecast proceeds amounting to KD 70 million (USD 233 million) out of the fees on remittances estimated at KD 19 billion (USD 63 billion per year).

The bill must pass through the government for approval.

Arab Times quoted the committee official saying that the government has reservations over the proposals, especially the mechanism for imposing tax.

He said the government wants to impose tax on citizens and expatriates, but the committee insisted that tax will be imposed only on remittances of expatriates, the news report added.