Workforce Payments Guide Kuwait

Last updated: Dec 18, 2023

Currency
Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)
Payroll Frequency
Monthly
Capital
Kuwait City
Fiscal Year
1 April - 31 March
Employer Taxes
12.00%
Employee Costs
11%
Central Bank
Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK)
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3rd Party Payments

Tax in Kuwait is payable in four equal installments on the 15th day of the fourth, sixth, ninth, and 12th months following the end of the tax period. If an extension is granted by the Department of Income Tax (DIT), all of the tax is payable upon the expiration date of the extension.

Taxpayers must submit a tax return, based on their accounting books within three months and 15 days from the end of the taxable period. Taxpayers can, in certain cases, request an extension of up to 60 days to file the tax return. If such an extension is granted, no tax payment is necessary until the tax declaration is filed, and payment must then be in one lump sum.

For Kuwaiti employees, contributions are payable monthly by both the employer and employee under the Social Security Law. There are no payroll taxes applicable in Kuwait.

Payments Coverage

Papaya Global is only able to support SWIFT payments.

Contractor Payments

Papaya Global supports payments to contractors in Kuwait. The payout currency may vary based on the receiver bank account setup when receiving foreign currencies. it is advised for contractors to reach out to their bank to confirm how foreign currencies are handled

IBAN

IBAN Example Kuwait KW87YLMO7129662248991695553629
IBAN in print KW87 YLMO 7129 6622 4899 1695 5536 29
Country Code KW
Digit Code 87
Bank Code YLMO
Bank Account Number 7129662248991695553629

KYC

Here are the key components of the KYC process:

Customer Acceptance Policy (CAP): This includes determining the risk threshold, exploring financial interactions, and outlining the eligibility criteria and necessary documents that should be provided by the customer during onboarding.

Customer Identification Procedure (CIP): This involves verifying a customer’s identity. The minimum required information includes the customer’s name, date of birth, address, and identification number. Documents such as a government-issued ID (driver’s license or passport) and public utility bills can be used for KYC verification.

Transaction Monitoring: This involves keeping track of the customer’s transactions to identify any suspicious activities.

Risk Management: This involves assessing the potential risks associated with the customer.

The exact practices of the KYC process can vary depending on the risk profile of the organization

Banking Regulations

In Kuwait, the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) has joined the GCC cross-border payment system (AFAQ) that connects Real Time Gross Settlement Systems (RTGSS) of GCC member states. This system aims to develop cross-border payments, enhance efficiency, provide cost-effective rates, and reduce the reliance on external financial systems and networks.

The CBK has also issued an updated version of the Instructions for Regulating the Electronic Payment of Funds. These instructions are under the umbrella of “Law No. 20 of 2014 for The Electronic Transactions,” which entrusts the CBK with full oversight and supervision of the electronic payment transactions.

Moreover, the Law No. 32 of 1968 concerning Currency, the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Regulation of Banking, and its Amendments, and The Law No. 106 of 2013 Concerning Anti-money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), amended by the Law No. 24 of 2016, are also relevant.

Opening a Bank Account

To open a company bank account in Kuwait, the following documents are typically required:

  • A filled-out application form
  • A valid commercial license
  • Company registration license
  • Identity proofs of company manager
  • Authorized signatures of company managers
  • Passport
  • Residence visa
  • Articles of incorporation

Please note that the requirements may vary depending on the bank. It’s always a good idea to check with the specific bank for their exact requirements.

The time it takes to open a company bank account can vary widely depending on the bank and the specific circumstances of the company. However, it generally takes between one to four weeks.

International Banks

Here are some of the major foreign banks that operate in Kuwait:

  • Bank of BNP Paribas
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi (Branch)
  • Qatar National Bank
  • Mashreq Bank
  • Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait
  • Bank of HSBC Middle-East
  • Citibank N.A. Kuwait (Subsidiary of Citibank Europe, Middle East & Africa)
  • Doha Bank
  • BankMuscat
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC)

Major Local Banks

Here are some of the major local banks that operate in Kuwait:

  • National Bank of Kuwait (K.S.C) (NBK)
  • Commercial Bank of Kuwait (K.S.C) (Al-Tijari CBK)
  • Gulf Bank (K.S.C) (GBK)
  • Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (K.S.C.P.) (ABK)
  • Burgan Bank (K.S.C) (Burgan)
  • Al Ahli United Bank (AUB)
  • Kuwait International Bank (K.S.C) (KIB)
  • Kuwait Finance House (KFH)
  • Boubyan Bank (K.S.C) (Boubyan)
  • Warba Bank (Warba)
  • The Industrial Bank of Kuwait (K.S.C) (IBK)

Payment Tools

In Kuwait, the B2C payment landscape is diverse and includes several methods. Here are some of the commonly used B2C payment tools:

  • Prepaid Cards: These are cards that are loaded with a set amount of money when purchased, which can then be used for various transactions until the balance is depleted.
  • E-Wallets: Digital wallets allow users to make electronic transactions, including online purchases. They can be linked to the user’s bank account or loaded with money as needed.
  • Credit Cards: Widely accepted, credit cards are a common method of payment for both online and offline transactions.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are not recognized for official commercial transactions in Kuwait. The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) prohibits the banking sector and companies under its control from trading in cryptocurrencies1. This prohibition includes the acceptance of cryptocurrency usage in e-payment transactions and mediation between the parties to cryptocurrency transactions.

In July 2023, to combat money laundering, Kuwait prohibited the use of crypto for payments or investment. The Capital Markets Authority also placed an “absolute” ban on all digital asset mining.

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