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Dubai Company Formation
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Corporate Tax in Dubai 2023



Corporate Tax in Dubai 2023

UAE Corporate Tax 2023 - Free zones exempted
The UAE began rolling out a 9% business tax in June, with exemptions for the many free zones which power its economy, as the formerly tax-free oil producer seeks to boost non-oil revenue and remain a regional commercial hub. The business tax follows a 5% value added tax (VAT) introduced in 2018, gradually eroding the United Arab Emirates' tax-free status that helped it carve out a role as an international trade and tourism hub and magnet for the ultra-rich.
The Ministry of Finance, in new regulations, said qualifying entities in the UAE's more than 30 free zones - which export tens of billions of dollars of goods to neighbouring states - will be subject to a 0% rate, even when dealing with the mainland on certain strategic activities such as manufacturing, goods processing and logistics services. The government has said it introduced the tax to align with international efforts to combat tax avoidance, as well as to address challenges arising from the digitalisation of the global economy. The UAE does not levy personal income taxes.
Companies will become liable for corporate tax when their financial years start, meaning tax returns will not fall due until 2025. The UAE tax coincides with a new global minimum corporate tax from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), signed by 136 signatories including the UAE, to ensure big companies pay a minimum 15% and make tax avoidance harder.
Exemptions From the Corporate Tax
Non-resident persons that do not have a permanent establishment (PE) in the UAE or earn UAE-sourced income not related to their PE may be subject to withholding Tax (WHT) at 0%. This implies that only non-residents with a PE in the UAE will be required to pay taxes.
Also, a non-resident person who is earning only state-sourced income will not be taxed in the UAE in the absence of a WHT. However, as WHT rates are expected to rise from 0% in the future, the WHT could become the final liability for non-residents.
The following persons are exempt from registration under corporate tax law:
A government entity
A government controlled entity
A person engaged in an extractive business
A person engaged in a non-extractive natural resource business
A non-resident person that derives only state-sourced income and does not have a PE in the UAE
The UAE’s move towards a global minimum tax on multinational corporations, endorsed by the G20, highlights its commitment to international tax reform and the readiness to work collaboratively with other countries to ensure a level playing field for all businesses. Overall, the introduction of corporate tax in the UAE is a significant milestone in the country’s economic development, and its successful implementation will have positive implications for the country’s future economic growth and prosperity. Nevertheless, the tax rates remain very moderate.

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