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Tax Compliances and Advice for Direct and Indirect Taxes

Tax Compliances and Guidance for Direct and Indirect Taxes in the UAE Taxes largely influence every nation's economic growth. UAE is not an exception. The Federal Tax Authority oversees the nation's well-established taxation structure (FTA). Compliance with tax rules and regulations is essential for companies conducting business in the UAE. This piece will discuss tax compliance requirements and suggestions for direct and indirect taxes in the United Arab Emirates.

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Overview of the different types of taxes in the UAE

For businesses operating in the UAE, it's essential to comply with all applicable tax laws and regulations. It may include registering for VAT, filing tax returns, and maintaining accurate records. Seeking the advice of a tax professional can help businesses stay compliant and minimize their tax liabilities.

Direct and indirect taxes are both a part of the UAE taxation structure. Direct taxes are imposed on people and businesses based on earnings or revenue. On the other hand, the consumption of products and services is subject to indirect taxes. VAT and excise duty are the two main categories of indirect taxes in the United Arab Emirates.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

In January 2018, the UAE implemented VAT, an indirect tax that applies to most goods and services at a standard rate of 5%. Some products and services are either VAT exempt or have a zero charge.

Corporate Tax

There is no corporate tax in the UAE, which makes it an attractive location for businesses. However, companies may be subject to taxes in other jurisdictions.

Personal Income Tax

The UAE does not impose a personal income tax, which makes it a desirable spot for those looking to work or invest in the area.

Customs Duties

Import duties may apply to goods imported into the UAE. The type of goods and the nation of origin affect the customs duty rate.

Excise Tax

An excise tax is a fee on items harmful to the environment or human health, such as tobacco products, energy drinks, and sugary beverages. Depending on the sort of product, there are different excise tax rates.


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Direct Tax Cooperation

The UAE has implemented several measures to improve international and domestic direct tax cooperation. To oversee the execution of taxes, such as VAT and excise duty, the UAE has set up a Federal Tax Authority (FTA). The FTA is responsible for enforcing tax laws and regulations, collecting taxes, and conducting audits to ensure compliance.

The UAE has signed many agreements to promote direct tax cooperation with other countries globally. For instance, the UAE has signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) with numerous nations to avoid double taxation on the same income. The UAE has also struck agreements for exchanging information with other countries to prevent tax evasion and maintain compliance with tax legislation.

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Types of Direct taxes applicable in the UAE

Corporation Revenue Tax (CIT)

CIT is irrelevant to most UAE businesses except oil and gas companies and foreign bank branches.

To meet tax laws and regulations, businesses must keep accurate books of accounts and financial statements.

Withholding Duty

Dividends, interest, and fees given to non-residents are subject to withholding tax.

Withholding tax returns from businesses must be submitted regularly.

Personal Income Tax (PIT)

Except for foreigners who work for the government, PIT is irrelevant to most people in the UAE.

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Indirect Tax Compliances

VAT was introduced in the UAE on January 1, 2018, at a standard rate of 5%. Registered businesses must charge and remit the VAT collected to the (FA) on taxable supplies of goods and services. Companies with an annual turnover of AED 187,500 to AED 375,000 can register voluntarily, while those with an annual turnover of AED 375,000 worst register. VAT-registered businesses must maintain accurate records or transactions, issue tax invoices, and file VAT returns with the FTA regularly.

Excise Tax applies to goods considered harmful to human health or the environment, such as tobacco, energy, and carbonated drinks. The rate of Excise Tax varies depending on the product, ranging from 50% for tobacco products to 100% for energy drinks. Businesses that import, produce, or stockpile excise goods must register with the FTA and comply with Excise Tax regulations, including maintaining accurate records and filing tax returns.

Implementing indirect taxes in the UAE has required businesses to adapt to new tax compliance obligations. However, the UAE's tax regime remains relatively simple compared to other jurisdictions, with low tax rates and no other central indirect taxes, such as sales tax.

Types of Direct taxes applicable in the UAE

Value-Added Tax (VAT)

  • In the UAE, VAT is assessed on providing products and services.
  • Businesses with a taxable turnover of AED 375,000 or more must register for VAT.
  • Must submit VAT return quarterly.

Excise Tax

  • Companies that import or manufacture goods subject to excise tax must register.
  • Excise tax is levied on consuming particular goods, such as tobacco and sugary beverages.
  • Monthly excise tax report filing is required.