UAE announces corporate tax relief for small businesses, startups

April 2023 (Khaleej Times)

The UAE’s Ministry of Finance on Thursday announced relief for small and micro businesses, startups and freelancers under the corporate tax, which will come into effect from June 1, 2023.

The Ministerial Decision No. 73 of 2023 specifies that businesses and individuals with revenues of Dh3 million or
less can benefit from Small Business Relief initiative as it is intended to support start-ups and other small businesses by reducing their corporate tax burden and compliance costs.

The UAE government last year announced t

hat it would levy a nine per cent tax on the profits of companies exceeding Dh375,000.

The Ministry said the Dh3 million revenue threshold will apply to tax periods starting on or after June 1, 2023 and will only continue to apply to subsequent tax periods that end before or on December 31, 2026.

Under the initiative, taxable persons that are resident persons can claim Small Business Relief where their revenue in the relevant tax period and previous tax periods is below Dh3 million for each tax period.

It further explained that tax periods defined in the Ministerial Decision where businesses do not elect to apply for Small Business Relief, will be able to carry forward any incurred tax losses and any disallowed net interest expenditure from such tax periods, for use in future tax periods.

With regard to the artificial separation of business, if taxable persons have artificially separated their business or activity and the total revenue exceeds Dh3 million in any tax period and such persons have elected to apply for Small Business Relief, this would be considered an arrangement to obtain a Corporate Tax advantage under Clause (1) of Article 50 regarding the general anti-abuse rules of the Corporate Tax Law.

However, the ministry added that the relief will not be available to qualifying free zone persons or members of Multinational Enterprises Groups with operations in more than one country and consolidated group revenues of more than Dh3.15 billion.