Stock-UAE-Corporate Tax
In its latest corporate tax updates, UAE Ministry of Finance clarifies on taxable persons and what they should be doing. Image Credit: Vijith Pulikkal/Gulf News

Dubai: Under the UAE Corporate tax regime, taxable persons with revenues of Dh50 million plus are required to prepare and maintain audited financial statements, the Ministry of Finance has said in a new update.

Also required to do so are taxable persons who come under the terms of 'qualifying free zone persons'.

"Qualifying Free Zone Persons (QFZP) are required to maintain audited financial statements irrespective of their gross revenue or net profits," said Deepak Bansal from AskPankaj Tax Advisors. "Being entitled for 0% tax rate on their qualifying income, it is imperative free zones are not used as a route for tax evasion.

"A statutory audit of the financial statements will ensure that the business transactions are correctly reported and adequate records are maintained."

Extended stay by non-resident

The Ministry has also clarified the situation where a non-resident person could end up staying in the country due to unforeseen circumstances. The Ministerial Decision No. 83 of 2023 relates to situations where the presence of 'natural persons' in the UAE could or could not give rise to a permanent establishment for the non-resident. It accounts for a presence due to 'unforeseen temporary and exceptional circumstances, and where they have no intention of staying in the UAE once these circumstances cease'.

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"The decision further specifies what constitutes a temporary and exceptional presence in the UAE," The Ministry said in the statement. "It aims to provide clarity and prevent tax avoidance and double non-taxation, in alignment with global best practices."

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, Younis Haji Al Khouri, said “The decisions bring transparency, simplicity, and clarity to the UAE's Corporate Tax regime which facilitates compliance and minimizes risks of tax avoidance and double non-taxation, ensuring a fair and well-regulated tax environment for all.”

It is likely that the QFZPs may lose the benefit of 0% tax rate in entirety if they also earn ‘disqualifying income’. Maintaining audited statements will help tax authorities in their future verifications to ensure taxability. It becomes important for free zone companies now to evaluate the tax benefits of being QFZPs, or of relocating their operations into a free zone

- Deepak Bansal of AskPankaj Tax Advisors