19 Facts on UAE Corporate Tax

The introduction of corporate tax within the UAE signifies a significant shift in the tax landscape for businesses, prompting a comprehensive understanding of compliance obligations and corporate tax considerations. In this article, we aim to delve into frequently asked questions (FAQs) to elucidate the nuances of corporate tax in the UAE. Our goal is to provide insights into various aspects of the corporate tax framework, assisting businesses in navigating and managing their corporate tax responsibilities effectively.

Let’s explore the questions and their detailed explanations:

1. What defines corporate tax in simple terms?

Corporate tax, in straightforward terms, refers to a tax levied on companies or corporations’ profits. It represents the tax imposed on a business’s income after deducting allowable expenses and deductions. This tax plays a pivotal role in a country’s tax structure, significantly impacting the overall economy.

2. How does the introduction of corporate tax impact businesses in the UAE?

The implementation of corporate tax in the UAE entails implications for businesses, including the need to comply with registration and filing requirements similar to VAT. Moreover, levying corporate tax on business profits leads to increased operating costs.

3. How can businesses determine their corporate tax obligations under the new policy?

Businesses must assess their corporate tax obligations by considering specific provisions applicable to their respective categories based on revenue thresholds. Additionally, they should evaluate these provisions concerning their legal status and other operational aspects.

4. What are the compliance requirements for businesses regarding corporate tax?

Apart from adhering to other relevant regulations, businesses are mandated to register for corporate tax, file annual tax returns, and settle any resulting liabilities promptly.

5. How does corporate tax impact financial reporting for companies?

Under corporate tax regulations, businesses must maintain meticulous accounting records in compliance with relevant accounting standards. This encompasses the preparation of income statements and balance sheets.

6. Are there specific sectors or industries exempt from corporate tax?

Indeed, certain sectors or incomes are exempt from corporate tax, such as entities engaged in extractive or non-extractive natural resource businesses. However, fulfilling conditions stipulated in the applicable tax laws is crucial. Seeking expert advice in this area is recommended.

7. What are the implications of the new corporate tax policy for foreign companies operating in the UAE?

Foreign or non-resident companies earning income in the UAE become subject to corporate tax if they possess a permanent establishment or nexus in the UAE or derive income from UAE sources.

8. How can businesses ensure effective tax planning and optimization within the new regulations?

Businesses should evaluate the impact of corporate tax on their operations, comprehending its applicability and compliance requisites. By understanding the nuances of corporate tax laws in the UAE and their ramifications, they can optimize their effective tax rates. Nevertheless, seeking professional advice for tax planning and optimization is prudent. Contact Creative Zone Tax Accounting for comprehensive tax solutions.

9. Do tax incentives or exemptions exist to mitigate corporate tax liability?

Indeed, UAE’s corporate tax system offers provisions to aid small businesses. Reliefs, like Small Business Relief, are available for small businesses. Moreover, entities in free zones and diverse industries might qualify for specific tax incentives, subject to meeting specific conditions.

10. What penalties are incurred for non-compliance with the new corporate tax policy?

Various penalties exist for non-compliance with corporate tax laws in the UAE. Nevertheless, penalties for breaching tax laws are subject to change. Hence, seeking updated information or consulting with an expert is recommended. For more insights into penalties, refer to this article on penalties.

11. How can businesses effectively oversee their tax obligations to avert legal issues?

To prevent legal entanglements, businesses must adhere to all applicable laws and regulations in a punctual and precise manner. Consult Creative Zone Tax Accounting to ensure effective tax management and avoid any legal complications.

12. Are there transitional provisions or grace periods for businesses to adapt to the new corporate tax regime?

Businesses have ample time to prepare for and adjust to the new corporate tax regime. Filing returns and settling taxes is due within nine months from the financial year’s closure.

13. How can companies navigate cross-border transactions and international tax implications under the new policy?

The law encompasses provisions for all kinds of transactions within and outside the UAE, involving both related and unrelated parties. Businesses need to evaluate the impact of corporate tax on their transactions in accordance with transfer pricing guidelines.

14. What documentation and record-keeping requisites exist for businesses concerning corporate tax?

Businesses must maintain meticulous accounting books, encompassing income statements, balance sheets, and equity statements, in compliance with applicable accounting standards. Entities are mandated to retain these records for at least 7 years post the financial year’s end.

15. Do specific guidelines or provisions cater to startups and small businesses regarding corporate tax?

Small businesses with revenues up to AED 3 million may benefit from Small Business Relief, exempting them from tax liabilities. However, small businesses must fulfill specific conditions to qualify for this relief.

16. How does the new corporate tax policy align with the UAE’s economic vision and goals?

The UAE boasts one of the world’s lowest corporate tax rates. The primary objective of the new corporate tax regime is to bolster the country’s economic progress while ensuring compliance with global tax policies aimed at combating tax evasion.

17. What support or resources are available for businesses seeking guidance on complying with the new corporate tax regulations?

Authorities have provided an explanatory guide elucidating the law’s provisions, with additional decisions being released to provide enhanced clarity. The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) offers detailed information on corporate tax on its website. Businesses can also seek assistance from tax and accounting advisors for comprehensive assessments and analyses.

18. How can companies ensure their tax planning strategies align with the new corporate tax policy while maximizing tax benefits?

Businesses can optimize their tax rates by complying with the law’s provisions, which encompass incentives, reliefs, and restructuring opportunities. However, designing tax planning strategies solely to evade tax without genuine commercial need may prompt authorities to enforce anti-abuse rules. Hence, businesses must familiarize themselves with all relevant laws and regulations concerning corporate tax.

19. What forthcoming developments or changes should businesses anticipate regarding corporate tax in the UAE?

Businesses should anticipate further clarifications on corporate tax for free zone entities and remain informed about the enforcement of these provisions. Complying with the rules and procedures will be critical for businesses of all sizes. Thus, entities must proactively stay abreast of updates in the corporate tax arena.


Understanding corporate tax in the UAE is imperative for businesses as it introduces a paradigm shift in the tax landscape. The implementation of corporate tax mirrors compliance requirements akin to VAT, emphasizing the necessity for businesses to remain updated on potential future changes. By proactively adhering to compliance measures, businesses can effectively manage their tax obligations, steering clear of legal ramifications and contributing to their overall success in the UAE.

How Can Abacus Tax & Accounting Assist?

At Abacus Tax & Accounting, we are seasoned tax experts proficient in resolving all your tax-related concerns. Whether it’s tax filing, planning, or optimization, we are dedicated to serving you. Additionally, we can assist in claiming suitable tax reliefs. Should you feel uncertain about any tax matters, seeking professional assistance is always advisable. Feel free to contact us at your convenience; we are just a call away.


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