Individuals are not taxed in the United Arab Emirates.
Inheritance / Estate Tax: Inheritance, in the absence of a will, is dealt with in accordance with Islamic Sheria principles.
Real Property Tax: A transfer charge of 2% is levied on the transfer of the real property, with the seller paying 0.5% and the buyer paying 1.5% on the sale value of the property.
Net Wealth / Net Worth Tax: There is no Net Wealth / Net Worth Tax in United Arab Emirates.
Capital Acquisitions Tax: There is no Capital Acquisitions Tax in UAE.
There are no taxes levied by the Federal Government on income or wealth of companies and individuals in United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, most emirates have issued tax decrees of general application. These impose income tax of up to 50% on taxable income of 'bodies corporate, wheresoever incorporated'. In practice, however, the enforcement of the decrees is limited to oil exporting companies and foreign banks.
Corporate income tax is imposed on foreign oil companies, i.e. companies dealing in oil or oil exploration rights. Although the tax rate applicable to oil companies is generally 55% of operating profits, the amount of tax actually paid by the oil companies is calculated on the basis of a rate agreed mutually on the basis of specific individual concessions between the company and the respective Emirate. The tax rate may range between 55% and 85%.
The tax of Foreign Banks is not enforced in all the emirates. Branches of foreign banks are taxed at 20% of their taxable income in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah. The basis of taxation does not differ significantly between the various Emirates. Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah have issued specific tax legislation for branches of foreign banks, while Abu Dhabi does not have a specific decree.
Special arrangements also exist for major government controlled joint venture companies and some foreign banks. No tax returns are requested or required of other businesses operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Further, there are no withholding taxes on outward remittance, whether of dividends, interest, royalties or fees for technical services, etc from the other businesses operating in the UAE.
In view of the above, detailed consideration is not given to the income tax decrees. Companies establishing major ventures in the UAE might, however, be well advised to seek formal tax exemptions from the respective Ruler in order to avoid future assessments. Arrangements may also, on occasion, be made by foreign companies wishing to pay tax (for example, where profits from foreign branches are not subject to home state taxation if foreign taxes are paid) for tax to be paid at less than the tax decree rates.
UAE free zones, which permit 100% foreign ownership, grant specific tax exemptions ranging from 15 to 50 years to companies operating in the free zones.
There are no consumption taxes or VAT (Value Added Tax) in the UAE, but individual Emirates may charge levies on certain products such as liquor and cigarettes and on certain services such as those provided in the hospitality industry.
For indirect taxes other than VAT, refer to 'Indirect Taxes in United Arab Emirates' section below.
Municipal taxes are charged in some of the Emirates. In Dubai a 10% municipal tax is charged on hotel revenues and entertainment. In all the Emirates, except Abu Dhabi, Income from renting commercial premises is taxed at a rate of 10 %, and from renting residential premises at a rate of 5%. Abu Dhabi does not levy a municipality tax on rented premises, but landlords are required to pay certain annual licence fees.
Customs (import) duties are levied generally at a rate of 5% but there are many items which are duty exempt, such as medicines, most food products, capital goods and raw material for industries etc. Imports by free zone companies are also exempted unless products move outside the zone. If the products are moved outside the zone, customs duty is levied at 5%.
After the introduction of the new uniform customs tariff on 1 January 2003, all non-Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) products, except for those exempted, are subject to 5% customs duty, while the product of GCC countries shall enter into each others' markets free of customs duties. Products are considered as originating in a GCC country if the value added to such product in the said country is more than 40% of the value of the product in question and if the factory that manufactured the product is at least 51% owned by GCC nationals.
In the event of re-export to non-GCC countries, a customs deposit has to be made and this will be refunded when proof of re-export is given to the authorities. In the event of re-export to GCC countries, customs duty at 5% will be levied at the first point of entry. The provisions of the GCC Customs Union have applied since 1 January 2003.
United Arab Emirates
Income Tax Rate
United Arab Emirates
Corporate Tax Rate
United Arab Emirates
Sales Tax / VAT Rate
Last Update: Nov 2010
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