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Jamal Omar loses petition against zakat claim of $95m

Jamal Omar Jamal Omar
Jamal Omar, developer of the holy city of Mecca, listed zakat payments of less than half of the government’s calculation
  • Developer must pay SAR357m zakat
  • It listed payments far below government calculations

Jamal Omar Development, the company which has led construction in the holy city of Mecca, must pay Islamic alms (zakat) of SAR357 million ($95 million) for the years 2012-2018, after losing a complaint against the Saudi government tax authority. 

The building firm, which is listed on the Saudi stock exchange, made the petition after it lost an earlier appeal to the arbitration body of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority (ZATCA). 

Jamal Omar listed zakat payments of less than half of the government’s calculation for the period in question, at SAR133 million. 

Claims over miscalculated zakat – which is levied at a fixed rate of around 2.5 percent – account for 31 percent of complaints made to ZATCA since it was established in May 2021.

Merging previous zakat, tax and customs administrations, ZATCA manages value-added tax (VAT), which was trebled to 15 percent in 2020 during a period of low oil prices, but with promises to bring it down to 5-10 percent within five years.

The kingdom has said it has no plans to introduce income tax.

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