According to a report published by Banque Saudi Fransi earlier this month, 670,000 expats are expected to leave Saudi Arabia by 2020. 

First reported by local Mecca Newspaper on July 5, the report's findings are continuing to make headlines and have resurfaced on social media. 

"There are approximately 11.7 million foreigners in Saudi Arabia; 7.4 million work and the remaining 4.3 million are companions," the newspaper wrote at the time. 

According to the latest study, the annual rate at which thousands of them are expected to leave the kingdom stands at 165,000, with their move mainly caused by the inability to keep up with rising expat levies

The recently imposed fees are set to bring in an annual $20 billion to the country's government, the report also found. 

Expat taxes... unaffordable for many

Authorities began collecting the new tax from expatriates and their dependents on July 1.  

Beginning at a monthly SAR100 ($26) for each individual, the tax is expected to increase gradually every year until 2020.

The fee is currently calculated and paid annually when a residence visa is sent for renewal or when a new visa is being issued. 

Last month, Stepfeed spoke to a few expats and asked them to share their thoughts on the introduction of expat taxes. 

While a few supported the idea, others expressed major concerns and said they wouldn't be able to afford them in the long run. 

These include A.F., a young accountant who has lived in Saudi Arabia for the past four years. 

"My problem isn't the amount we're going to have to pay this year or the next, but it's what we'll have to pay in three or four years from now. I heard that there's going to be a continuous, gradual increase in the amount of taxes imposed on expats in the future," he told us. 

"Paying an annual tax that's somewhere close to $319 per person is one thing, paying $1000 or more is another. I am worried they're going to keep increasing until we're driven to leave," he added

Changes in tax policies across the kingdom

Changes in tax policies in the kingdom this year come amid a plan to boost and strengthen the economy under the National Transformation Program 2020 and Vision 2030.

Earlier this year the country imposed a 100 percent "sin tax" on tobacco and energy drinks. The tax includes a 50 percent levy on soft drinks.

Just last week the kingdom's shura council also approved a five percent Value added tax (VAT), set to be implemented in 2018.