All you need to know about UAE’s new corporate tax

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has always been known for its tax-free business environment. However, the recent introduction of the new corporate tax has left many businesses in the UAE wondering about its impact. This move is set to change the landscape of taxation in a region that has not seen any significant taxes before. As a business owner or entrepreneur operating in the UAE, it’s essential to have an understanding of what this new corporate tax means for you and your company. In this blog post, we will delve into all you need to know about UAE’s new corporate tax, including how it will affect businesses, who will be liable for it, and how companies can prepare themselves for these changes. Let’s dive right in!

What is the UAE’s new corporate tax?

The UAE’s new corporate tax is a federal-level taxation system that was introduced in 2020. It requires businesses to pay a 15% tax on their profits, which is set to come into effect from January 1st, 2022. This move is part of the government’s efforts to diversify its sources of income and reduce reliance on oil revenues.

It’s worth noting that this tax only applies to certain types of companies operating in specific sectors. For instance, foreign banks and energy firms will be subject to the new corporate tax, while small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are exempted from paying it.

Another essential aspect of this new system is that businesses must register for VAT if they meet certain criteria. Companies with an annual turnover exceeding AED375,000 ($102,000) must register for VAT voluntarily or by law. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in penalties or fines.

The introduction of the new corporate tax marks a significant change in business operations within the UAE. While some businesses may face challenges adapting to these changes initially, it presents opportunities for growth and development as well as boosting revenue for the country’s economy over time.

How will it affect businesses in the UAE?

The new corporate tax in the UAE will have a significant impact on businesses operating within the country. Firstly, it’s important to note that only certain types of companies will be subject to the tax. Businesses engaged in oil and gas exploration or production are exempt from the tax, as are branches of foreign banks, and entities at least 51% owned by federal or local governments.

Those businesses that are liable for the tax, can expect a higher operational cost which could potentially impact their profitability. However, it is worth noting that the rate is set at a relatively low 5%, making it one of the lowest corporate taxes globally.

In order to prepare for this change, businesses should review their financial statements and make any necessary adjustments to account for this additional expense. It may also be wise to seek advice from legal and accounting professionals who have experience navigating such changes.

Ultimately, while there may be some short-term challenges associated with implementing this new tax policy, many experts believe that over time it will contribute positively towards building a more sustainable economy in the UAE.

Who will be liable for the new tax?

The UAE’s new corporate tax will affect businesses operating in the country. So, who will be liable for this tax? The short answer is that all companies and corporations registered in the UAE are required to pay the new corporate tax.

This means that both local and foreign entities conducting business within the UAE, whether onshore or offshore, will be subject to this new taxation policy. In addition, subsidiaries of foreign companies registered in free zones or special economic zones may also have to pay corporate tax if they conduct activities outside of their designated areas.

It should be noted that small businesses with an annual turnover below AED 375,000 are exempt from paying taxes under the law. Additionally, there are some sectors such as oil and gas production where existing agreements between governments could provide exemptions from certain aspects of taxation.

It is important for businesses operating in the UAE to familiarize themselves with the specifics of this new policy and seek professional advice when necessary. Understanding your liability under these regulations can help you avoid penalties while ensuring compliance with government directives.

When will the new tax come into effect?

The UAE’s new corporate tax is set to come into effect in January 2022. This means that businesses operating within the UAE will soon be required to pay a flat rate of 15% on their profits. It’s important for business owners and stakeholders to understand this timeline, as it allows them ample time to prepare themselves accordingly.

Initially, there was some speculation that the tax might be delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on global economies. However, these rumors were put to rest when it was confirmed that the implementation date would remain unchanged.

It’s worth noting that businesses may need additional time beyond January 2022 to adjust their financial systems and processes in order to comply with the new regulations. As such, they should begin preparing for this change well ahead of time.

The implementation of this new tax signals an important shift for businesses operating within the UAE. By understanding when it will take effect and what is required of them, organizations can start taking steps toward compliance and ensuring a smoother transition once the law goes into effect next year.

Are there any exceptions to the new tax?

The new corporate tax in the UAE has been a topic of discussion among business owners and investors. However, there are some exceptions to this tax that businesses should be aware of.

Firstly, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an annual turnover of less than AED 375,000 will not be subject to the new tax. This is good news for many SMEs as they can focus on growing their business without worrying about additional taxes.

Secondly, free zones in the UAE are exempt from paying corporate tax until at least 50 years after their establishment. However, companies operating within these free zones may still be subject to other taxes such as VAT.

Thirdly, branches of foreign companies in the UAE will only be taxed on income generated within the country. This means that if a branch generates all its income outside of the UAE, it will not have to pay any corporate tax here.

It’s important for businesses to note that while there are exceptions to this new tax law, it’s still crucial for them to understand how it may affect their operations and take necessary steps toward compliance.

How can businesses prepare for the new tax?

With the introduction of a new corporate tax in the UAE, businesses need to take steps to ensure they are prepared for its implementation. One way that businesses can prepare for the tax is by analyzing their financial records and determining how much they may be liable to pay.

It is also important for businesses to understand who within their organization is responsible for managing their taxes and ensuring compliance with government regulations. This could involve assigning a dedicated team or hiring an external consultant.

Another crucial step in preparation would be reviewing contracts, agreements, and legal documents as it will help determine any clauses that might require renegotiation due to changes brought about by the tax law.

In addition, companies should consider implementing internal policies and procedures related specifically to taxation in order to maintain accurate records on expenses related directly or indirectly to taxable income.

Staying up-to-date on changes made by relevant authorities regarding rules and regulations associated with this legislation can provide clarity on what needs attention from time to time at short notice which helps one stay fully compliant when needed most.

How will the new corporate tax affect businesses in the UAE?

The new corporate tax in the UAE is set to have a significant impact on many businesses across the country. For companies that were previously exempt from paying taxes, this will be a big change and could result in higher costs for operations.

One of the main ways that businesses will be affected by this tax is through their finances. Companies will need to carefully review their expenses and revenue streams to determine how they can offset any potential losses caused by increased taxation.

Another factor that may come into play with the new corporate tax is company morale. If employees see reduced benefits or bonuses due to increased taxation, it could lead to lower productivity levels or even staff turnover.

On the other hand, some companies may benefit from greater transparency in financial reporting and more oversight into business practices. This could increase investor confidence and ultimately boost profits for those firms that are able to adapt smoothly to these changes.

While there are certainly challenges ahead for many businesses as a result of this new tax regime, there are also opportunities for growth and innovation – particularly for those who recognize early on what needs adjusting in their financial planning strategies.

What are the pros and cons of the new corporate tax?

The new corporate tax in the UAE has been met with mixed reactions from businesses and individuals alike. While some argue that it will bring much-needed revenue to the government, others fear its impact on their bottom line.

One of the main benefits of the new corporate tax is increased revenue for the government. This could potentially lead to better public services, infrastructure development, and an overall improvement in the quality of life for residents.

Additionally, implementing a corporate tax could encourage companies to be more responsible and accountable. With a portion of their profits going towards taxes, businesses may become more aware of their social responsibilities and make efforts towards sustainability initiatives.

On the other hand, some argue that imposing a corporate tax may deter foreign investment in the country. Businesses may see this as an additional financial burden and choose to set up shop elsewhere where taxes are lower or non-existent.

Furthermore, smaller businesses without significant profit margins may struggle to absorb these new costs which could negatively impact their growth potential.

There are both pros and cons associated with the implementation of a new corporate tax in the UAE. It remains to be seen how this will affect individual companies and industries moving forward.

How will the new corporate tax impact the economy of the UAE?

The introduction of the new corporate tax in the UAE will undoubtedly have an impact on the economy. While some may argue that it could slow down economic growth, others believe that it could have a positive effect by increasing government revenue and encouraging foreign investment.

One possible consequence of this new tax is that businesses may decide to relocate to other countries with more favorable tax policies. This could lead to a decrease in job opportunities and hinder economic growth. However, proponents of the tax suggest that the additional revenue generated can be used for infrastructure development, education, and healthcare which would ultimately benefit society as a whole.

Another potential outcome is that foreign investors may view the UAE as being less attractive due to increased taxes resulting in less investment into industries such as real estate or tourism. The government has stated they will use these funds towards diversifying their economies away from oil exports by promoting high-tech industries like artificial intelligence, smart logistics, etc., thus ensuring sustainable long-term prosperity.

Only time will tell how exactly this new corporate tax policy will impact the UAE’s economy but overall there are both advantages & disadvantages associated with it. Ultimately though its implementation should help strengthen state finances while at the same time providing much-needed funds for vital public services- so we’ll just have to wait & see what happens!


The introduction of the new corporate tax in the UAE has sparked mixed reactions from businesses and stakeholders. While some are concerned about the potential impact on their operations, others believe it could be a step towards boosting government revenue and diversifying the economy.

Regardless of these differing views, it is clear that businesses must prepare for this upcoming change by reviewing their financial strategies and assessing how they can minimize any possible negative impacts. They should also seek professional advice to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.

While there may be some challenges ahead as companies adjust to this new reality, we should remain hopeful that the corporate tax will ultimately result in long-term benefits for both businesses and the economy at large. By embracing these changes proactively, UAE-based enterprises can continue to thrive amidst a rapidly evolving business environment.

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