Saudi Arabia Levies Tax on Expat Families


We’re all aware that most International Schools prefer not to hire ITs with kids and/or a trailing spouse, the obvious reason being the costs associated with relocating a family. Along this vein, Saudi Arabia has made teachers with dependents even less desirable by imposing a hefty “dependent tax” on family members accompanying expats working in the Kingdom. In other words, if you’re an expat working/teaching in Saudi Arabia you’ll pay a hefty, yearly tax to bring your family with you.

Here’s the skinny on the tax: As part of the government’s attempt to balance the budget, an expat working in the Kingdom with dependents will pay 1,200 Saudi riyal ($320 US dollars) per year, per dependent. Additionally, the “dependent tax” is set to increase yearly, reaching the equivalent $1296 US dollars yearly, per dependent. For a teacher with 3 dependents, $3888 is an astronomical yearly tax.

The future of the new “dependent tax” is uncertain, as many foreign workers have decided to send family members home, the consequence being that workers will most likely send money back home and not spend it in Saudi Arabia. It appears the plan may have unintended consequences and, as such, the tax may not be the answer to balancing a budget that’s been in suffering since the decline in oil prices.

ISR ask: What has been your experience with the new “dependent tax” and how are International Schools and teachers coping with this new expense? Are other countries targeting expats in an attempt to raise money?

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A Guide for Teachers Who Want to Go International

forum-pos-new-teachers66470527Just days ago we discovered an incredibly informative post on the ISR Forum. It begins like this: 

“My little sister is graduating from teacher’s college next year and wants to get into international teaching. I wrote this up for her, but I thought some new members here might find it useful (and edited the language to make it less personal). Feel free to share any comments/disagreements/improvements that you think should be changed.”

We won’t take time to tout all the excellent insights you’ll glean from this extensive ISR Forum post. We will say, however, that if you’re an educator thinking about going International for the first time and don’t know where to turn for answers, here’s just what you’ve been looking for. Many thanks to the author for taking the time to share their knowledge.

Go to ISR Forum post
(The ISR Forum is available to Site Members and Visitors alike)

Trailing Spouse Solutions

Teaching teams are tops & going it alone is fine, but recruiting with a non-teaching spouse poses its own unique set of circumstances. Travel, shipping, medical insurance, housing & visa procurement issues top the list of concerns  for any school recruiter considering a teacher with a trailing spouse.

Also to be considered is what will a non-teaching spouse do with their time? Will they be content to be on the sidelines of the school environment & collegiality? Can they seek employment within their profession? What happens if they feel like the odd-person-out in a foreign land & want to return home?

The ISR Trailing Spouse Blog offers candidates with a non-teaching spouse the opportunity to dialogue with each other, provide support, & brainstorm solutions/ideas for overcoming these potential obstacles to being hired.