A Beginner’s Guide to UAE Corporate Tax

A Beginner’s Guide to UAE Corporate Tax


In the ever-evolving global landscape of business and finance, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made a monumental move. As part of its commitment to enhance its reputation as a leading commercial and investment destination, the UAE has introduced new corporate tax laws. For many, this new direction is seen as a step into unfamiliar territory. But fear not. This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of the UAE's corporate taxation system.

Understanding the Rationale Behind UAE's Corporate Tax

Taxes might not be the most thrilling subject for many, but understanding the 'why' behind them can make the concept more palatable. Here are some of the reasons the UAE has decided to tax corporate income:

  • ➤ Global Recognition: The UAE aims to boost its status as a prime commercial and investment hub at a global level.
  • ➤ Future Planning: By imposing taxes, the UAE seeks to accelerate its journey toward meeting strategic objectives.
  • ➤ Global Compliance: Adhering to international standards of tax transparency ensures the UAE stays on par with global best taxation practices.
  • ➤ Promoting Fair Play: The new regulations aim to weed out harmful tax practices.
  • ➤ Economic Diversification: Reducing its reliance on oil revenue, the UAE is diversifying its sources of income.

Comparison with Global Counterparts

It's always enlightening to place things in a global context. When you look at corporate taxes worldwide, the UAE boasts one of the lowest rates. With Australia taxing corporate income at 34%, the UK at 25%, and Singapore at 15%, the UAE's low taxation rate shines favourably in comparison.

Grasping the Basics

It is important to understand some basic facts as regards the new tax structure in the UAE.

  • ➤ Threshold: Only businesses with a taxable income exceeding AED 375,000 will be levied a corporate tax. This tax is set at a rate of 9%.
  • ➤ Platform: The UAE has embraced the digital revolution by launching Emara Tax, a user-friendly platform that serves as a one-stop solution for taxpayers to fulfil their tax obligations.
  • ➤ Scope: The new corporate tax will apply to entities incorporated or controlled in the UAE alone. Foreign entities with a permanent establishment here aren’t spared either. Additionally, individuals involved in business activities, either directly or through a sole proprietorship, will also come under its ambit.
  • ➤ Nationals & Entities: It's crucial to note that entities owned by UAE or GCC nationals are not exempt. Their taxable status is determined by their incorporation, residency, or presence of a permanent establishment in the UAE.
  • ➤ Free Zone Businesses: These entities can enjoy a 0% tax rate on qualifying income. However, for non-qualifying income, the 9% standard rate applies. But there's a catch. The 0% Free Zone CT regime doesn’t get applied automatically. Conditions set by the FTA determine eligibility.
  • ➤ Timelines: Mark your calendars for June 1, 2023, as that's when the corporate tax regime kicks off. Depending on your company’s fiscal year, the starting date and subsequent filing due dates vary.
  • ➤ Registration: From January to May 2023, certain companies will be invited for early registration on the Emara Tax platform. If your company's financial year starts on June 1, 2023, you’re likely to be at the front of the queue.

Leveraging Technology: Emara Tax Platform

In an era where digital transformation is paramount, the UAE's forward-thinking approach shines brightly with the introduction of the Emara Tax platform. Designed to streamline and simplify the tax submission and payment process, Emara Tax offers businesses a digital portal for all their tax-related needs. From settling tax obligations and obtaining refunds to accessing a suite of related services, the platform promises efficiency and security.

By integrating such technological solutions, the UAE not only eases the transition for businesses into the new tax regime but also solidifies its reputation as a country that blends tradition with modern innovation. This move underscores the importance of digital literacy for businesses and highlights the UAE’s commitment to fostering a tech-savvy business environment.

Balancing VAT and Corporate Tax

The introduction of corporate tax doesn't spell the end for VAT in the UAE. Both will run parallel. Companies registered for VAT will need to manage their obligations for both, ensuring timely payment.

Preparing for the Change

With the enforcement of the new corporate tax law, it's prudent for businesses to be proactive. To navigate this transition smoothly, it is advisable to adopt the following strategies:

  • ➤ Education: Take a deep dive into the Corporate Tax Law. Familiarize yourself with the minutiae, and consider enrolling in a Corporate Tax course to bolster your understanding.
  • ➤ Stay Updated: Regularly check the official channels of the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Authority for updates.
  • ➤ Documentation: Maintain comprehensive financial records to make the tax filing process seamless.
  • ➤ Engage Experts: Consider consulting tax professionals or attending CT-related knowledge events to address any concerns or questions.


While the shift towards corporate taxation in the UAE might seem daunting, with the right knowledge and preparation, businesses can navigate this change efficiently. The key lies in understanding, preparing, and staying informed. As always, when in doubt, seek guidance. The future of business in the UAE looks promising, and with these new tax laws, it seeks to establish itself as a responsible, forward-thinking, global commercial powerhouse.

Message from the Author

If you’re looking to enrol yourself in the UAE Corporate Tax Training in Dubai, get in touch with Learners Point Academy. To learn more, visit the website: https://learnerspoint.org/, give a call at +971 (04) 403 8000, or simply drop a message on WhatsApp.

Learners Point Academy is a KHDA and ISO 9001:2015 accredited training institute in Dubai.

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