Persons Exempt from Corporate Tax in UAE

INTRODUCTION: Persons Exempt from Corporate Tax in UAE

Exemptions from Corporate Tax are provided for categories of Persons where there are public interest and policy justifications for not subjecting these categories of Persons to taxation.

The exemption from Corporate Tax in UAE has been provided in two ways as mentioned below:

a) “Subject Exemption”, which excludes the relevant entity from being within the scope of Corporate Tax
b) “Object Exemption” that would only exempt specific types of income earned by an otherwise Taxable Person. Examples of object exemptions under the Corporate Tax Law are the Participation Exemption under Article 23 and the Foreign Permanent Establishment Exemption under Article 24.


The persons listed below are not subject to corporate tax.


Government Entities include the Federal Government, the Government of each Emirate, and any associated ministries, departments and other public bodies or agencies that are an integral part of the respective Government. Examples of Government Entities include the State’s ministries and federal authorities and the municipalities, departments, and agencies of each Local Government. These and other Government Entities are considered administrative bodies that carry out government functions under the control of the Federal Government or Local Government. Juridical persons that are used by Government Entities to carry out certain activities of the Federal or Local Governments under outsourcing and other arrangements shall not be considered Government Entities in their own right.

It is internationally common for a government to exempt its own activities from taxation, as those activities are generally conducted as part of the government’s duties.
Government Entities automatically qualify for an exemption, without needing to be listed in a Cabinet Decision or having to submit an application to the Authority.


A federal or local statute, decree, or resolution is often used to create a government controlled entity. A Government Controlled Entity additionally needs to be fully owned and under the control of one or more Government Entities.

The term “ownership” refers to the full legal and beneficial ownership of the shares or other ownership interests in the Government Controlled Entity, with unrestricted entitlement to profit and liquidation proceeds and other ownership entitlements.

One or more government entities may directly own a government controlled entity or may indirectly own a government controlled entity through one or more other government controlled entities.

The earnings of the Government Controlled Entity must ultimately be credited to the account of the Government, without a private Person having a claim or entitlement over the entity’s income, assets, or ownership interests by virtue of ownership or a beneficial interest in the entity.


Following conditions to be met, if Person shall be exempt from Corporate Tax in respect of activities related to its Extractive Business

The business or business activity of exploring, extracting, removing, or otherwise producing and exploiting the Natural Resources of the State or any interest therein is defined as Extractive Business. A person engaged in extractive business shall be exempt from Corporate Tax if person holds a license issued by a Local Government to undertake its Extractive Business and the person has made a notification to the Ministry in prescribed form and manner.


Non-Extractive Natural Resource Business means a business or business activity of separating, treating, refining, processing, storing, transporting, marketing or distributing the Natural Resources of the State.

A person engaged in non-extractive natural resource business shall be exempt from Corporate Tax if person holds a license issued by a Local Government to undertake its Non-Extractive Business. The income of the person is derived from a person who is conducting the business or business activity and the person has made a notification to the Ministry in prescribed form and manner.

If the person generate the income from both a Non-Extractive Natural Resource Business and any other Business activity that cover under corporate tax then the income derived from the Non-Extractive Natural Resource Business shall be calculated and taxed according to the applicable legislation of the Emirate and Income derived from the other Business shall be subject to the provisions of Corporate Tax, unless that other Business meets the conditions to be exempt from Corporate Tax. It is not to be treated that income is generated from any other Business where such other Business is ancillary or incidental to that Person’s Non-Extractive Natural Resource Business and the Revenue of such other Business in a Tax Period does not exceed 5% (five percent) of the total Revenue of the Person in the same Tax Period.


The entities formed for carrying out social, cultural, religious, charitable or other public benefit activities that meet the conditions specified in Article 9 can apply to the Ministry to be treated as a Qualifying Public Benefit Entity and be exempt from Corporate Tax. These entities helps to government for advancement of social and public welfare and communal or group interests.


According to the relevant laws and when it satisfies the requirements outlined in Article 10 of the Corporate Tax, a qualified entity is one whose primary activity is the issuance of investment interests to raise money, pool investor funds, or establish a joint investment fund with the goal of enabling the holder of such an investment interest to benefit from the profits or gains from the entity’s acquisition, holding, management, or disposal of investments.


There are various public pension and social security funds in the UAE that manage publicly mandated pensions and social security benefits for certain categories of Persons.

Given the importance and relevance of public pension and social security funds for the country and its population

The same Exempt Person status may be available to private pension or social security funds that are subject to regulatory oversight of a competent authority in the UAE such as the DIFC Dubai Financial Services Authority, and that meet any other conditions that may be prescribed by the Minister.


UAE juridical person that is wholly owned and controlled by an exempted Government Entity, Government Controlled Entity, Qualifying Investment Fund or a pension or social security fund to apply to the Authority for an exemption from Corporate Tax where its activities are limited to:

● Undertaking all or a portion of the exempt person’s activity to the extent that such activities are unrelated to the exempt person’s taxable business or business operations; and/or

● holding assets or investing funds for the benefit of the Exempt Person; and/or

● Activities that are ancillary to those that the Exempt Person performs.

Legal entities meeting the requirements above that are directly or indirectly wholly owned and controlled by the Exempt Person through one or more legal entities that have been granted Exempt Person status under this Clause are eligible for the exemption from corporate tax provided by this clause.


The Article 17 of the Federal Decree-Law No. 47 of 2022 (“Corporate Tax”) recognizes that natural persons use different structures to manage their personal wealth and investments for asset protection, succession and other reasons, which may include, for example, using a contractual trust, a private trust company or a foundation to hold and manage personal assets and investments.

Whilst some of these structures and arrangements will by default be treated as fiscally transparent for Corporate Tax purposes, trusts and foundations that have separate legal personality would in principle be treated as any other juridical person, with their income being subject to Corporate Tax. Such treatment would not be consistent from a policy perspective where the trust or foundation is merely used to hold and manage assets and wealth on behalf and for the benefit of beneficiaries who are natural persons. This is irrespective of whether the assets and wealth are managed by the relevant natural person or persons themselves, or by any other Person.

Thus, a Family Foundation to apply to the Authority to be treated as an Unincorporated Partnership, and hence not be subject to Corporate Tax. The below is summarized provisions of Family Foundation (Article 17):

A Family Foundation may request to be classified as an Unincorporated Partnership by submitting an application to the authority subject to following conditions:

a) It was established for the benefit of identified or identifiable natural persons or for the benefit of a public benefit entity, or both.

b) The principal activity of the family Foundation is to receive, hold, invest, disburse, or otherwise manage assets or funds associated with savings or investment.

c) The Family Foundation does not conduct any activity that would have constituted a business or business activity under Clause 6 of Article 11 of this Decree-Law had the activity been undertaken, or its assets been held, directly by its founder, settlor, or any of its beneficiaries.

d) The main or principal purpose of the Family Foundation is not the avoidance of Corporate Tax.

e) Any other condition as may be prescribed by the Minister.

Where the application is approved by the authorities the Family Foundation shall be treated as an Unincorporated Partnership.


The Cabinet Decision No. 49 of 2023 has described businesses or business activities conducted by a Natural Person that are subject to Corporate Tax.

The summary of Cabinet Decision No. 49 of 2023 is below:

1. The businesses or business activities, conducted by a resident or non-resident natural person, shall be subject to Corporate Tax only where the total Turnover derived from such Businesses or Business Activities exceeds AED 1,000,000 (one million United Arab Emirates dirhams) within a Gregorian calendar year.

2. The activities that give rise to Turnover from the following sources shall not be considered as Businesses or Business Activities conducted by a resident or non-resident natural person subject to Corporate Tax, regardless of the amount of Turnover derived from such activities:

a) Wage
b) Personal Investment income
c) Real Estate Investment income

3. The natural person that is not conducting a business or business activities shall not be required to register for Corporate Tax.

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