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The regulations highlight the regular recording, tracking and reporting of all the economic activities carried out by legal entities in the UAE, including companies, branches and subsidiaries, as well as those based in any of the free zones in the UAE.

 

  • An assessment carried out by the European Union on the tax framework of the United Arab Emirates resulted in the country being deemed a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction and its inclusion on the EU blacklist.

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  • The new regulations were issued as part of the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 31 of 2019, concerning Economic Substance Regulations in the UAE. After the UAE implemented local substance regulations, the country was removed from the EU’s blacklist in October 2019.

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  • The UAE is now part of the BEPS Inclusive Framework (BEPS IF), which comprises of more than 130 countries and jurisdictions. As an Inclusive Framework member, the UAE is committed to implementing the minimum standards monitored by BEPS IF to increase tax-related transparency, something which the BEPS thrusts upon itself. 

  • On 10 August 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers issued Resolution No.57 of 2020 Concerning Economic Substance Regulations (“Resolution 57“).  Resolution 57 amends and repeals Resolution 31, Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 58 of 2019, and Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 7 of 2020.   Following the issuance of Resolution 57, H.E. the Minister of Finance issued new Guidance by way of Ministerial Decision No. 100 of 2020, which also includes an updated Relevant Activities Guide appended as Schedule 1 (“Ministerial Decision 100“).

 

  • The Regulations require UAE onshore and free zone companies and certain other business forms that carry out certain activities (Licensees – See Question 5) to maintain and demonstrate an adequate “economic presence” in the UAE relative to the activities they undertake. The purpose of the Regulations is to ensure that UAE entities report actual profits that are commensurate with the economic activity undertaken within the UAE.

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