Withholding Tax in the UAE

Understanding Withholding Tax in the UAE – Avyanco Auditing LLC


Understanding the implication of withholding tax within the context of corporate taxation for adherence with nationwide evolving tax regulations is a necessity for every business owner or entrepreneur in dubai. The UAE federal law authority took a significant step in December, 2022 and issued a decree that lays out the definite provisions with respect to withholding tax under the united arab emirate’s corporate tax framework

For instance, an amount of money which an employer pays on behalf of its employee or contractors, this amount is called withholding tax. As it is withheld, this amount is generally deducted at the source of the income. This withheld amount is the credit against the income tax obligations which an employee must pay during the year on his income. In case excess amount is withheld from the income of an employee or contractor over the course of year, a tax refund will be allowed. On the flip side, if an inadequate or insufficient amount is withheld, they would likely owe such an amount to tax authorities upon filing their tax return. Taxes are held around fifteen percent to twenty five percent globally. Many tax regimes levy this withholding tax on incomes received as dividends, interests payments and royalty earned in order to ensure governments receive their revenue on time. 

Withholding Tax Regulations in the UAE

The ministry of finance (mof) under which federal tax authority (fta) operates issued federal law decree no. 47 laying down provisions related to corporate tax in the UAE.This decree also lays down the guidelines relating to withholding tax. As per latest updates, currently following persons are subject to 0% withholding tax rate:

  • State sourced income earned by a non resident person in a way laid down in the decision issued by the cabinet where such income is not attributable to a permanent establishment of such non resident based in the uae.
  • Where a free zone person beneficially issues incomes like dividends or some other profits to shareholders in mainland are subject zero percent tax.
  • Where incomes from the mainland  are reaping advantages from zero percent corporate tax regime in free zones subject to they are not coming through an onshore branch.
  • Any other income specified by the cabinet.

The withholding tax payable as per clause 1 of article 45 of the federal decree law no. 47 shall be subtracted from the gross amount of payment and remitted to the authority in the form, timeline and manner as may be prescribed.

Withholding tax credit

  •  The highest amount of withholding tax credit shall be lower of the following:

(a) Amount of withholding tax deducted under clause 2 of article 45 of federal law decree no. 47

(b) Due amount of corporate tax under this decree

  • When a person becomes a taxable person in a tax period, corporate tax due under article 3 of federal law decree no. 47 may be reduced by amount of withholding tax credit for such tax period
  • In case of any excess amount of withholding tax credit for such tax period, that particular amount shall be refunded to the taxable person in the manner prescribed under article 49 of the decree.

Refund process

  1. An application may be made to the tax authority for refund in case where withholding tax credit exceeds the amount payable as corporate tax. 
  2. The tax authority shall process such application and issue notice of its decision in respect of application made.

Strategies for Managing Withholding Tax Obligations

Following steps which may be taken to manage the impact of withholding tax obligations:

  • Treaty benefits: Many countries sign tax treaties among themselves. Update yourself with such treaties as these treaties often provide for lower rates of withholding tax rates and certain exemptions.
  • Stay updated: Tax related rules and regulations often change from time to time with a dynamic environment which may impact withholding tax rates and exemption. Be well informed with such updates and minimize tax liabilities. 
  • Consultation with professionals: Seek professional advice by engaging tax advisors or legal experts as their suggestions will help to navigate complex tax issues effectively.
  • Timings of payment: make sure that the timings of the payment of tax align with the taxation rules and regulations and optimize cash flow.
  • Restructuring of transactions:  reflect on restructuring of transactions or operations in a tax efficient manner.

Team Expertise 

Mr Jashvantkumar Prajapati is the founder and CEO of Avyanco Group of Companies. He has gained recognition as a leading business personality in the United Arab Emirates thanks to his vast industry knowledge and broad range of business consulting skills, which he uses to support SMEs on their entrepreneurial journeys. With a diversified portfolio and core competencies in investment management, business consulting, business planning, market research, and other operational business domains, he hopes to assist prospective clients and investors in establishing their businesses in rapidly developing economies such as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In order to help committed investors with the necessary company formation procedures in Dubai, he launched Avyanco Auditing LLC, which quickly established itself as the most reputable company setup consultancy in the UAE, assisting investors in increasing profitability thanks to his extensive industry experience and skills.

Our team in action:

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The experienced team of auditors at Avyanco Auditing LLC with acute insights into industry-specific laws and best practices offers a strategic approach to auditing benefiting the organisation and ensuring minimal regulatory risks. Our promise of quality and accuracy assures audit findings are reliable and trustworthy.

Here are reasons why you must engage us for auditing services:

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Call to Action:

Choose the best auditing services in dubai offered by Avyanco Auditing LLC to transform your company. To guarantee compliance, optimize processes, and boost business performance, our knowledgeable staff contributes unmatched industry knowledge and strategic insights. Select Avyanco Auditing LLC for dependable, value-added auditing services in Dubai catered to your unique requirements. To book a consultation, contact us today.


1 – What is Witholding Tax? 

Withholding tax, also known as retention tax, is a government requirement where a payer deducts tax from payments made to a recipient and remits it directly to the government. It’s commonly applied to various types of income, such as interest, dividends, royalties, and payments for services rendered. In essence, it’s a way for governments to make sure that certain kinds of transactions or non-residents generate tax money for them. The rules established by the tax authorities in their different jurisdictions must be followed by both businesses and people who are subject to withholding tax. For companies that operate globally or conduct cross-border operations, understanding withholding tax is essential to avoiding fines and guaranteeing legal compliance.

2 – Is there a withholding tax in the UAE?

Since corporate revenue and profits in the UAE are subject to a 0% rate, businesses are not required to pay withholding taxes. For detailed information on exemptions that are relevant to your company, it is crucial to seek precise guidance from a corporate tax consultant or accountant.

3 – Are there any exemptions or reduced rates available for withholding tax in the UAE?

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there is generally no withholding tax imposed on most types of income, including dividends, interest, and royalties. This tax-efficient environment contributes to the attractiveness of the UAE as a business and investment destination. However, it’s essential to note that specific industries or transactions may be subject to different tax treatments, and exemptions or reduced rates could apply under certain circumstances. For example, the United Arab Emirates and numerous other countries have double taxation avoidance agreements (DTAs) that may offer exemptions or lower rates for withholding tax on specific categories of income. Incentives and exemptions may also be provided by UAE free zones as a part of their company setup packages. Companies and individuals that are thinking about operating in the United Arab Emirates should carefully assess their tax responsibilities and get expert guidance to maximize their tax positions while guaranteeing compliance with relevant rules and regulations.

4 – How does the UAE government enforce withholding tax regulations? 

The UAE government emphasizes compliance with tax regulations through audits, inspections, and penalties for non-compliance. The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) plays a key role in enforcing tax laws. 

5 –  What Income Types Incur Withholding Tax?

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), withholding tax is not typically imposed on most income types, including dividends, interest, and royalties. However, certain types of income, such as payments for services rendered by non-residents, may be subject to withholding tax. It’s crucial to review specific transactions and seek professional advice to understand any withholding tax obligations that may apply in particular circumstances.