Oman scraps expat tax plan

Published:  6 Jan at 12 PM
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Tagged: USA, India
The Gulf state of Oman has abandoned plans to levy a tax on remittances sent home by expat workers, reports local media.

Last November, the country’s Shura Council said that the government tax on remittances foreign employees sent to their families should be set at two per cent in order to ease the mounting pressure on the troubled state budget. However, the Economic Committee of Oman’s State Council has rejected the proposal.

Economic Committee chief Salim bin Said Al Ghatami explained that now was not the time to impose a new tax solely for foreign workers, noting that expert committees would have to thoroughly examine the proposal before it could get the go ahead. He went on to say that such a move would also violate the terms of some of Oman’s international agreements and could have a negative effect in terms of the Gulf state’s investment prospects.

There are currently around 1.5 million expatriate workers in Oman, the majority of whom come from South Asia countries like Pakistan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. There is also a sizeable community from Southeast Asia, with thousands of Indonesians and Filipinos working in the country.

In 2012, expatriate workers sent around US$8bn back home, which, under the guidelines of the proposed tax, would have resulted in US$16m in annual tax revenue.
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