As a British contractor working in the Middle East, you may feel you are entering a tax free paradise. And for most countries which use alot of British Contractors on projects, the tax rates are very low or zero. However there are a couple of things to watch out for - namely the differences in tax laws and the process of getting a work permit. Trying to handle everything on your own is difficult at best. Unless you fully understand the regulations for the area of the Middle East you'll be contracting in, you risk violating various laws and ending up with far less in your paycheck than you originally planned.
Work Permits in the Middle East
To get an Iqama (work permit) you'll need to be sponsored by a local company which has the appropriate license. As a contractor you most likely can't get sponsored by the end client and your recruiter is unlikely to have a local company with a sponsorship license. You can use a local umbrella company to sponsor your Iqama and subcontract you to the end client.
Tax Law in the Middle East
The area that can trip up contractors doing a stint in Dubai or Saudi is their tax residency status. If you still maintain property or business interests in the UK, if you spend large parts of the year there or if you are only in the Middle East for a short period, you may still be tax resident in Britain. This has huge implications on your taxable income. You need to make sure they get the right tax advice and support to avoid being classed as British resident even whilst working in the Middle East.
With the help of experts from recruitment and umbrella companies, British International Contractors can take advantage of the numerous contracting opportunities in the area without any stress and hassle. These companies understand the ins and outs of all areas of the Middle East so you can obtain an Iqama (work permit) easily and comply with all tax laws. All you need to do is focus on the work and they do the rest.
The administrative side for British contractors working in the Middle East is headache enough. With someone on your side, you're free to relax in your down time and enjoy the area. Plus, these companies help ensure you always get the highest portion of your income after tax and fees. So you will earn more whilst worrying less!