Who Will Be Subject To Corporate Tax In UAE? 

As businesses in the UAE gear up for a major tax shift, many are left wondering who will feel the impact of the new corporate tax. Started from June 2023, a significant change took place with the introduction of corporate tax.

This article promises to demystify who exactly falls under this new tax regime in the UAE, the tax purposes, and offer insights on navigating the changes smoothly. Read on to stay informed and proactive about who is subjected to federal corporate tax in your business’s fiscal responsibilities in the evolving UAE economic landscape. Without any further ado, let us read the detailed answer to the suspenseful question of who will be subject to corporate tax in the UAE:

Who Will be Subject to Corporate Tax in UAE: Understanding Corporate Tax in United Arab Emirates

Corporate tax is a new law in the UAE. Corporate tax is a form of tax wherein UAE companies have to pay 9% on their earnings after expenses. This tax treaty or law helps the country grow and keeps it as a top place for business. The Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Authority set this rule to help the economy.

The UAE corporate tax law says who has to pay and who does not. For example, if you make less than 375,000 AED a year, you do not need to pay the corporate income tax. Tax rules also say some groups like foreign investors or free zones might not have to pay either.

These rules are part of Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2022 about taxes in the UAE.

Businesses must comply with all regulatory requirements related to corporate tax starting on or after 1 June, 2023. They should check their net income or profit and loss accounts carefully because that’s what the federal tax authority will look at when they ask for tax money during the relevant tax period.

Determining Who is Subject to Corporate Tax in UAE

Now that we have a grasp on what corporate tax is in the UAE, let’s look at who needs to pay it. All businesses and individuals conducting economic activities in the UAE must prepare for this new tax regime.

It covers a wide range of entities including companies incorporated in the UAE and branches of foreign companies operating there.

Freelancers with a trade license must also take note. They too are facing these taxes if their earnings go beyond what’s considered personal income. Companies owned by both government and foreigners get treated equally under this law.

Remember, it’s key to know if your business falls into this category as soon as possible!

Rate of Corporate Tax in UAE

The UAE has set the corporate tax rate at 9%. This means that after corporate tax registration or registering for corporate tax, companies have to pay a profits tax above a certain amount. It is a different tax rate as compared to other forms of tax. Profits up to 375,000 AED won’t be taxed; this helps small businesses grow.

For profits over this limit, the 9% tax applies. It is lower than many other countries’ rates and aims to keep the UAE an attractive place for business.

Implementation Date for Corporate Tax in UAE

Corporate tax in UAE kicked off on 1st June 2023. Given the circumstances, the UAE CT regime will continue for a long time. If your business’s financial year starts after this date, you’ll start paying a 9% tax on profits from that day forward. Companies with a financial year matching the calendar year have started facing the new emirate level corporate taxation from January 1, 2024.

This major change affects all emirates, bringing a unified approach to taxation across the region. 

Businesses or Incomes Exempted from UAE Corporate Tax

Some businesses and types of income do not have to pay corporate tax in UAE. Here is a list of exemptions regarding who do not need to pay the corporate tax:

  • Natural resource companies are off the hook for corporate tax. This means if a company extracts oil or other resources, they won’t be taxed.
  • Qualifying shareholding investments dodge the tax too. If you make money from dividends or selling shares in certain companies, it’s tax-free.
  • Government-owned entities don’t pay corporate tax.
  • Charitable groups and public benefit organizations keep their money away from taxes.
  • Pension funds and social security funds also enjoy an exemption.
  • Investment funds that meet specific conditions get to skip on corporate tax.
  • People who own real estate as individuals do not need to pay this tax on those earnings.
  • Income like wages or bank interest is not becoming subjected to UAE corporate tax for individuals.
  • Businesses in Free Zones making certain types of income enjoy a 0% rate under some conditions.
  • Payments to foreign folks for work done in the UAE do not face any withholding taxes right now.

Calculating Corporate Tax in UAE

Calculating corporate tax in UAE involves understanding the financials of your business. Use these steps to figure out how much tax you owe.

  • Start with your company’s net profit from its financial statements. This is your net income after subtracting costs and expenses.
  • Take away any ineligible deductions to find the taxable income. These are usually specific costs that aren’t allowed under tax laws.
  • Apply the 9% tax rate to your taxable income in the UAE if it’s over 375,000 AED. For profits below that, no tax is charged, i.e., corporate tax rate of 0 is levied on them. 
  • Subtract any foreign tax credits if you’ve paid taxes on this income to other countries. This prevents double taxation.
  • Add back dividends or capital gains from qualifying shareholdings if they were initially removed from net profit. They’re usually exempt from corporate tax.
  • Adjust for any transfer pricing adjustments required by UAE law to ensure transactions with related parties are valued fairly.
  • Check for incentives or exemptions you may be eligible for like start – ups or certain industries which might lower your taxable base.
  • Calculate additional levies if applicable, such as those related to anti – avoidance rules imposed by the UAE government.

Impact on Businesses with Proposed Corporate Tax in UAE

The new corporate tax in UAE has affected many businesses. Companies are having to pay 9% on their profits if they earn more than 375,000 AED per year. This has changed how much money a business can spend or save.

Some companies are cutting costs or finding new ways to keep their profits high.

For big businesses, the corporate tax means less cash for growing their company. They might invest less in new projects or hiring people. Small and medium enterprises with lower earnings are not facing this tax, helping them compete against bigger companies. Businesses getting affected by the corporate tax regime should seek the help of corporate tax consultants regarding any issues related to taxation. Tax professionals can clear out any queries related to corporate tax or any other tax as well as help with any other tax-related issues. All businesses should plan carefully for this big change in UAE’s taxes that came into implementation last year.

Businesses Not Subject to Corporate Tax in UAE

In the UAE, some businesses won’t have to pay corporate tax. This includes a variety of sectors and activities.

  • Free Zone Companies: Businesses operating in UAE free zones that stick to their specific activities don’t pay corporate tax. In simpler words. Free zone businesses that comply with the regulations and stick to thier operational activities are exempt from paying any form of corporate tax. 
  • Natural Resource Firms: Companies that extract oil, gas, or other natural resources in the UAE get a special exemption.
  • Foreign-Owned and Operated Entities: If a business does not conduct any trade or business within mainland UAE and has no permanent establishment in the UAE, it may not fall under the corporate tax regime.
  • Investment Funds: Certain public investment funds that meet specific criteria are not subject to corporate tax.
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): REITs in the UAE typically do not have to pay corporate taxes on their income from property investments.


Businesses in the UAE, especially new ones, need to get ready for corporate tax. Started on June 1, 2023, the new tax system has started charging them 9% on their profits. It is a form of direct tax levied on the net income of UAE businesses. This change aims to help the country’s growth and meet global tax standards.

Small businesses with lower profits and certain other incomes earned by a UAE business won’t have to pay this tax. Companies should prepare now and check if they are included or exempt from this upcoming corporate tax.


1. What is a corporate tax in the UAE?

Corporate tax in the UAE is a federal tax that businesses must pay on their earnings, similar to income tax for companies.

2. Who has to pay this new tax?

All businesses operating inside the United Arab Emirates need to file a corporate tax return and pay corporate taxes according to rules set by the Ministry of Finance.

3. Will there be any exceptions or incentives available?

Yes, certain investment returns like dividend income and capital gains may qualify for participation exemption, reducing the overall tax base.

4. Do individual workers have to worry about corporate taxes?

No, personal income taxes are not currently being applied in the UAE; only companies are subject to this corporate income taxation.

5. How does this affect international companies working in Abu Dhabi or Dubai?

International firms active within Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or other emirates must adhere to or meet international standards for tax and include their earnings from the UAE when they report their global assets and balance sheet debts.

6. What’s being done against companies trying to avoid paying these taxes?

The government has introduced general anti-abuse rules as part of its commitment with organisations like Ernst & Young LLP and PwC for economic cooperation and development meant for tackling any attempts at evading due payment of taxes or preventing harmful tax practices.

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