With the implementation of corporate tax for mainland companies in 2023 and value-added tax (VAT) in 2018 and a huge expatriate community , the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a variety of opportunities for tax consulting with its complex tax landscape.
The UAE offers a range of opportunities for tax consulting, particularly in the areas of VAT compliance, cross-border transactions, tax planning and optimization, corporate restructuring, and expatriate tax services. With the right skills, experience, and qualifications, tax consultants can build successful businesses that provide valuable services to clients in the UAE.
This article covers key opportunities for tax consulting in the UAE:
Since VAT was implemented in 2018, businesses in the UAE have had to abide by the new tax laws. Businesses must make sure they are adhering to the rules and paying the correct amount of VAT on their transactions now that there is VAT in the UAE. This includes registering for VAT, collecting and remitting VAT, and filing VAT returns.
VAT consultancy services in the UAE can assist companies with VAT registration and reclaiming tax levied abroad, offer insightful advice and support to make sure they abide by the rules and avoid penalties, and assist with VAT planning and optimization.
The UAE is a hub for international trade, and many businesses engage in cross-border transactions. Tax consultants can assist businesses in navigating the complex tax implications of cross-border transactions, including issues related to customs duties, and import/export taxes. Transfer pricing, double taxation, and CFC are important areas that require tax consulting in cross-border transactions.
Transfer Pricing : Businesses that engage in cross-border transactions may need to comply with transfer pricing regulations to ensure that they are not shifting profits between entities to reduce their tax liabilities. Transfer pricing consulting services can help businesses develop and implement transfer pricing policies that comply with local regulations and optimize their tax position.
Double Taxation Treaties : The UAE has signed double taxation treaties with a number of countries, which aim to prevent individuals and businesses from being taxed twice on the same income in two different countries. These treaties typically provide for tax credits or exemptions to prevent double taxation rules.
Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) : The UAE has introduced CFC rules, which are aimed at preventing UAE companies from shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions. Under the CFC rules, UAE companies that have subsidiaries in low-tax jurisdictions may be required to pay tax on the profits of those subsidiaries.
Tax consultants in the UAE can work with businesses to develop tax planning strategies that minimize their tax liabilities while remaining compliant with tax laws and regulations. This can involve identifying tax incentives and exemptions, optimizing tax structures, and implementing tax-efficient transfer pricing policies.
Customs and excise tax consultancy : Businesses that import or export goods may need to comply with customs and excise tax regulations. Customs and excise tax consultancy services can help businesses comply with regulations, minimize their customs duties, and optimize their supply chain processes.
International tax consultancy : Businesses that operate in multiple countries may need to comply with different tax regulations in each country. International tax consultancy services can help businesses navigate the complex tax implications of cross-border transactions, and develop tax planning strategies that comply with local regulations and optimize their tax position.
As businesses grow and evolve, they may need to restructure their operations for tax purposes. Tax consultants in the UAE can provide guidance and support to businesses in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, and reorganizations.
The UAE has a large expatriate population, and tax consultants can provide valuable services to these individuals and their employers. This may include assisting with tax compliance for expatriate employees, advising on the tax implications of international assignments, and providing guidance on the tax implications of immigration and visa issues.
Personal tax consultancy : While there is no personal income tax in the UAE, expatriates may have tax obligations in their home countries. Personal tax consultancy services can help individuals with tax planning and compliance for their home country taxes.
While there was no federal corporate tax in the UAE earlier, it has been announced by the UAE authorities that corporate tax will be implemented on Mainland companies starting on June 1, 2023. According to the law, any business or individual subject to taxation will be required to pay a 9% corporate tax, which will be effective from the beginning of their initial financial year, starting on or after the said date.Free Zone companies in the UAE are exempt from corporate taxes. It is important for businesses to start preparing for the introduction of corporate tax well in advance, as the new regulations will have implications for their financial statements, tax planning strategies, and cross-border operations.
The UAE government has emphasized that the new tax will be applied in a way that is fair and transparent, with exemptions and deductions available to businesses that meet certain criteria. The introduction of corporate tax in the UAE is expected to create a demand for tax consultants who can assist businesses in understanding the new regulations, optimizing their tax position, and ensuring compliance.
Depending on the particular area of tax consulting, the ideal qualifications for tax consultants in the UAE will vary, but the following are some that can be helpful:
Bachelor's or Master's degree in accounting or finance : A degree in accounting or finance provides a solid foundation in financial accounting, tax laws, and regulations. Many tax consulting firms in the UAE require their consultants to have a degree in accounting or finance.
Professional Accounting qualification : Professional accounting qualifications such as ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), CPA (Certified Public Accountant), or CA (Chartered Accountant) can be advantageous for tax consultants. These qualifications demonstrate a deep understanding of accounting principles and tax regulations, and are often required by employers.
VAT certification : As VAT is a relatively new tax in the UAE, many businesses and individuals require assistance with VAT compliance. VAT certification programs, such as the VAT Compliance Diploma offered by the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), provide training in VAT laws and regulations, and can be beneficial for tax consultants who specialize in VAT.
Transfer Pricing certification : For tax consultants who specialize in transfer pricing, transfer pricing certification programs such as the Transfer Pricing Certificate offered by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) can provide in-depth training in transfer pricing policies and regulations.
Continuing Professional Development : Tax regulations and policies are constantly evolving, and it is essential for tax consultants to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. Continuing professional development (CPD) programs, such as those offered by professional accounting bodies, can help tax consultants maintain their knowledge and skills.
Overall, a combination of academic qualifications and professional certifications can be beneficial for tax consultants in the UAE. It is also important for tax consultants to keep abreast of the latest developments in tax regulations and policies, and to continually update their skills through CPD programs.
If you are starting your tax consultancy in the UAE, the best step would be to get a consultancy license from UAQ FTZ. If your office is located in the Free Zone, you also get the benefit of being exempt from the newly introduced corporate taxes in the UAE.
The Free Zone, which has around 9000+ investors, is a great business location as it is strategically located, offers great financial benefits, a wide variety of office options starting from flexidesks, and other world-class infrastructure at affordable rates.