UAE issues 9 pct corporate tax for firms exceeding $100,000 income

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The United Arab Emirates has issued a decree-law imposing a corporate tax at a 9 percent rate for taxable business income exceeding AED 375,000 ($102,000), the official news agency WAM said on Friday.

The tax will apply to all firms from June. 1 next year, it added.

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Profits up to and including the $102,000 threshold will be taxed at a 0 percent rate to support small businesses and start-ups.

The UAE’s Ministry of Finance confirmed the Federal Decree-Law on Taxation of Corporations and Businesses is an important milestone in building an integrated tax regime that supports the strategic objectives of the UAE and enhances its global economic competitiveness.

The ministry said that the Corporate Tax “has been designed in line with global best practice to both promote investment and ensure the principles included in the law are widely accepted and understood”, WAM reported.

The ministry added that the 0 percent threshold for taxable profits up to and including $102,000 has been included in recognition of the vital role of start-ups and small businesses in the UAE’s economy, and the 9 percent standard rate ensures that the Corporate Tax regime is among the most competitive in the world and will strengthen the UAE’s position as a global business and financial centre.

There are exemptions to the Corporate Tax.

Natural resource extraction activities in the country are exempt from Corporate Tax; however, they remain subject to existing local emirate-level taxation. Other exemptions are available to organizations such as government entities, pension funds, investment funds and public benefit organizations.

In recognition of the fundamental role of free trade zones in driving the nation’s economic transformation, the existing free zone entities will be eligible to benefit from a 0 percent Corporate Tax rate on qualifying income.

Under the provisions of the Corporate Tax Law, Corporate Tax will not be applied to salaries or other personal income from employment, whether it is earned from work in the government, semi-governmental or private sector.

Interest and other personal income earned from bank deposits or savings programs are also not subject to Corporate Tax, as well as investment in real estate by individuals in their personal capacity.

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