Dubai is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs looking to set up a business, offering several tax exemptions. Value-added tax (VAT) is set at 5%, and there is no need to pay income tax or corporate tax in Dubai, unless you are a foreign company that engages in gas and oil production or marketing, or a branch of a foreign bank. Legal entities based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will pay taxes on their global revenues, while individuals will only pay taxes on income earned from their business activities in the UAE. Certain income earned abroad may be exempt from paying corporate tax (CT), including revenues from foreign branches and qualifying foreign investments.
When income earned abroad is not exempt, income taxes paid in foreign jurisdictions can be credited to the CT payable in the UAE on relevant income to avoid double taxation. Starting June 2021, a 9% federal corporate tax on business profits will be introduced. The UAE is adjusting to international tax rules as large economies try to close loopholes in tax evasion. The country was one of 136 that signed a global pact last year, establishing a minimum tax rate of 15% for large multinational companies and requiring companies to pay taxes in the countries where they do business. In this case, the additional tax percentage would be 15%, assuming that there are no other taxes covered.
In the absence of the substance-based supplementary income exclusion tax, the supplementary tax would amount to 150,000 UAE dirhams. This allows multinational companies operating in the UAE to combine the results of low-tax and high-tax entities in the UAE when determining the jurisdictional effective tax rate (ETR).Dubai is aligned with valued international financial centers that offer the right environment for business development and many more. The introduction of international corporate taxation (ICT) in the UAE is logically due to its role as a member of the inclusive framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), particularly in light of debates on the global minimum tax proposed by Pillar II. Non-residents will be subject to UAE CT on taxable income (of an entity permanent establishment (EP) in the UAE) and originating in the UAE. The Federation is made up of seven Emirates, each with its own tax law, but only Abu Dhabi and Dubai currently apply income taxes in only a few sectors. Having access to a wide range of special free zones is not only beneficial for businesses but also provides an attractive environment with numerous incentives and benefits.
To register for VAT purposes in Dubai, you need your company's business license, a copy of its statutes, information about its bank account, and personal documents of its owners, managers, and representatives. The CT regime in the UAE proposes to use the accounting position of net profits (or losses) in a company's financial statements as a starting point for determining its tax base. The reduction in payroll is equivalent to 5% of an entity's eligible payroll costs for eligible employees who carry out activities for the multinational enterprise (MNE) Group in the jurisdiction, while the exclusion of tangible assets is equivalent to 5% of the book value of eligible tangible assets of an entity in a jurisdiction (subject to improved rates under transitional rules).In general, expenditure-based fiscal incentives are likely to benefit more under Pillar II, as they are more likely to lead to investments in tangible assets and payrolls that benefit from substance-based income exclusion. Individuals will not pay income tax as long as they do not conduct business or commercial activities in the UAE. Therefore, if an entity operating on mainland UAE had little income from Pillar II but a high substance-based exclusion amount, this would be offset by net revenues from Pillar II across all entities located in free zones. Corporate tax already exists in other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Chris Payne, chief economist at Dubai-based Peninsula Real Estate told CNBC.