Saudi Arabia's New Rules To Raise Zakat For Some Banks

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Major banks in Saudi Arabia reached settlements worth a combined SAR 16.7 billion with the tax authority in December, ending a dispute over accounts stretching back as far as 2002 in some cases.

(Bloomberg) --Saudi Arabia set out new rules for the calculation of an Islamic tax on banks that’ll result in them paying between 10 per cent to 20 per cent of net profit.

The General Authority of Zakat & Tax set limits for the taxable asset base of between four times and eight times net profit.

Edmond Christou, the Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst, added that this is equivalent to a corridor of between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of net income.

Most of the kingdom’s major banks will end up paying the lower limit, he wrote in a note.

Saudi Arabia was in talks with local banks to increase the tax rate to as high as 20 per cent of net income, Bloomberg News reported this month.

The tax authority denied it had plans to raise the levy and the current rate is 10 per cent after deducting returns on government bonds.