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Understanding Recent UAE Corporate Tax Updates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a dynamic hub for businesses, but staying up-to-date with the ever-changing corporate tax landscape is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the recent UAE corporate tax updates, what they mean for your business, and how to ensure compliance.

Recent UAE Corporate Tax Updates

One of the most significant recent updates in the UAE relates to accounting standards. The authorities now mandate the use of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for maintaining accounting records. However, if your company’s revenue does not exceed AED 50 million, you have the option to apply the IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

What Counts as Accounting Records?

To comply with the new standards, it’s essential to understand what constitutes accounting records. This includes balance sheets, profit and loss accounts, cash flow statements, and records related to wages, salaries, assets, and inventory, among other financial documents.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to adhere to these accounting standards can result in significant penalties. For the first violation, you may face a penalty of AED 10,000, and for repeated violations, it can go up to AED 20,000. Avoiding these penalties should be a top priority for businesses in the UAE.

Penalties for Other Violations

Aside from accounting standards, the UAE tax authorities have prescribed penalties for various other violations. These include failure to file CT amendments (AED 1,000 for the first violation, AED 5,000 for repeated violations), late submission of annual tax returns, incorrect tax return submissions, and non-payment of owed taxes, among others. Being aware of these penalties is crucial for maintaining compliance.

Timeline for Voluntary Disclosures

If you need to file voluntary disclosures, remember that you have a 20-business day window to do so, from the date of being aware of the error. Timely action can help mitigate potential penalties.

Deregistration Process

Businesses considering deregistration under Corporate Tax (CT) should note that they must apply within 3 months of ceasing their operations. Following this procedure correctly is vital to avoid complications.

Qualifying Income for Free Zone Entities

Recent updates have clarified the criteria for what is qualifying income for free zone entities. To determine if income qualifies for preferential tax rates, factors such as the nature of the company’s activities and the source of its income must be considered. These factors, in conjunction with other criteria, will help establish eligibility for preferential tax treatment.

Tax Rates  Free Zone Entities which do not qualify for preferential tax rate

For entities that do not qualify for zero tax rates or have income that does not meet the criteria for qualifying income, standard tax provisions apply. Typically, this means a 0% tax rate for taxable income up to AED 375,000 and a 9% tax rate for taxable income exceeding AED 375,000. However, exploring options for small business relief is advisable in such cases.


Staying informed about these recent UAE corporate tax updates is vital for businesses operating in the region. Compliance with accounting standards and tax regulations not only helps avoid penalties but also ensures a smooth and sustainable business operation. Consulting with a qualified tax professional or legal advisor can provide further guidance and support in navigating these changes.