UAE looks to introduce new taxes

The United Arab Emirates government is looking at the possibility of new taxes over and above the new 5% value-added tax that passes into law next month, though the Ministry of Finance says that it has “no plans” to introduce an income tax.

“The UAE is exploring other tax options according to best international practices,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

“These options are still under analysis and study and it is unlikely they will be introduced in the near future. The UAE is not currently looking at introducing income tax.”

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are to impose VAT on January 1, making them the first jurisdictions among the Gulf Cooperation Council to do so.

It comes after the UAE imposed duty on tobacco and energy drinks of 100%, with 50% on fizzy drinks from October.

The way had been led by Saudi Arabia, which imposed similar levies in June.

It is part of a move in the region to address ever-decreasing government revenues from oil.

As International Investment reported in September, UAE’s finance ministry at the time put a positive spin on the announcement of the new VAT by describing it as one of the lowest of its kind in the world.

Oil and gold, it said, would be exempt, and zero rating would also apply when goods and services were being exported outside the GCC and to international transportation of passengers or goods, supplies of crude oil and natural gas and to education and health services.

Eugene Costello
Eugene Costello has been a journalist for some 20 years, and has written for a wide variety of UK and international newspapers and magazines.

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