Tax proposed on expat money transfers – Rate up to 5% for transfers above KD 500

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KUWAIT CITY, May 1: MP Faisal Mohamed Al-Kandari has proposed imposing tax on money transfers of expatriates. In a press statement, Al-Kandari pointed out the State of Kuwait hosts about three million expatriates who transfer money to their countries, which reached KD 19 billion in the last five years and this amount is equivalent to the national budget of Kuwait for one year.

He said that imposing tax on such transfers will generate new income for the government, which will ensure better services for the expatriates and citizens. He disclosed the income from this tax will not be less than KD 20 million per year, taking into consideration the minimum amount transferred to other countries is about KD 2 billion per year.

He believes this will be a source of alternative income for the government, stressing this tax should be applied fairly and the income should go to the treasury of the government to improve services.

Article One of the law stipulates the need to impose tax on money transferred outside Kuwait.

Article Two stipulates the tax percentage as follows: two percent of the amount if the transfer is less than KD 100, four percent if the amount ranges from KD 100 to KD 499, and five percent for transfers above KD 500.

Article Three stipulates that collection of the tax will be through financial stamps from the Ministry of Finance which will be sent to the accredited exchange companies and banks for control and audit.

Article Four states the penalties include six months imprisonment and fine of not more than KD 10,000 on those who do not apply the law or those who do not transfer money through legal process.

Article Five mandates the Prime Minister and all concerned authorities to implement the law from the date of its publication in the official gazette.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee on Sunday unanimously approved a number of bills, including the proposal to amend the second paragraph of the second item of Article Five of Nationality Law No. 15/1959.

Article Five of the law states that, “Notwithstanding the provisions of the immediately preceding article, the following may be granted Kuwaiti nationality by Decree, upon the recommendation of the Minister of Interior:

1. Any person who has rendered valuable services to Kuwait;

2. Any person [upon his attaining his majority who was] born to a Kuwaiti mother and who has maintained his residence in Kuwait until reaching the age of majority and whose foreign father has irrevocably divorced his mother or has died. The Minister of Interior may afford to such children, being minors, the same treatment as that afforded to Kuwaiti nationals in all respects until they reach the age of majority;

3. An Arab belonging to an Arab country provided that he had resided in Kuwait since before 1945 and has maintained his residence there until the promulgation of the Decree providing for his naturalization;

4. A non-Arab provided that he had resided in Kuwait since before 1930 and has maintained his residence there until the promulgation of the Decree providing for his naturalization.

Ancestral residence shall be deemed complementary to the period of residence of descendants for the purposes of the application of the third and fourth paragraphs of this Article, provided that the descendant was born in and is residing in Kuwait. Proof of residence shall be effected according to the procedure prescribed by Article 21 of this Law.

The number of persons who may be naturalized in any one year in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article shall be decided by an Act.

The grant of Kuwaiti nationality in virtue of the provisions of this Article shall be further subject to the conditions laid down in paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of the Article immediately preceding.

Committee Chairman MP Mubarak Al- Harees disclosed they deliberated on several other proposals such as the amendment of Civil Service Law No. 15/1979 and Traffic Law No. 67/1976; adding new item (5) to the third paragraph of the first article of Law No. 110/ 2014 on the report about the bonuses of those covered by laws on social insurance, pension and retirement benefits for military personnel; amending some provisions of Housing Care Law No. 47/1993; and adding a paragraph to Article 15 of Law No. 21/ 1962 on the diplomatic and consular system. He affirmed all these bills were referred to the competent committees, adding that they rejected the suggestion to advance clocks by two hours during summer.

Moreover, the Priorities Committee looked into the program and action plan of the oil sector during its meeting Sunday in the presence of officials from the Oil Ministry and oil companies.

Committee Rapporteur MP Ahmed Lari revealed they discussed some existing projects, their completion dates, Kuwaiti link point for environmental projects, and demand of stakeholders from the oil sector regarding the rate of completed projects for submission to the Parliament since the committee has been instructed to follow up link point projects with an estimated total cost of KD 2.9 billion.

On the Domestic Workers Company, Lari confirmed Al-Shall Company has been mandated to carry out the final study for Kuwait Investment Authority and it has four weeks left to present the results of this study. He added the board of directors of the Domestic Workers Company will be formed later to signal the beginning of the company’s operations. He expects the board of directors to start working by the end of summer. Asked about the health insurance issue, Lari clarified this issue is still with the State Audit Bureau. He hopes the bureau will speed up completion of its work, especially since the issue concerns more than 400,000 people who need health care. He also enumerated the important issues for the committee as follows: completion of budgets, tenders, economic and financial reform documents, as well as the Municipality Law and the proposal to determine the number of people covered by the Naturalization Law.

Lastly, the Public Utilities Committee discussed the recommendations presented after MP Adel Al-Kharafi’s interpellation of former Minister of Public Works Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim. Incumbent minister Ali Al-Omair was supposed to attend the meeting but he was absent because he was busy with prior commitments.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

This news has been read 15541 times!

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