Saudi Post-Oil Plan Weighs Income Tax on Expat Workers

Saudi Arabia is considering taxing millions of foreign residents as the kingdom seeks to reduce its reliance on oil revenue after the plunge in crude prices. The proposal was included in the country’s National Transformation Plan, an ambitious multi-year program released this week. But the tax element is only “an initiative that will be discussed,” Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said on Tuesday at a news conference in Jeddah. Economists said the proposal is unlikely to see the light soon because it could hamper the kingdom’s ability to attract the foreign investment it needs to revive growth hit by the oil slump. Still, raising the possibility of income tax in the blueprint  even if only on foreigners  shows the readiness of its architect, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to consider steps that past Saudi rulers have shunned.

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