Dubai is the seventh emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The population currently stands at 1.5 million however 82% of the population are expatriates. Arabic is the office language however English is the business language. Dubai is the undisputed business hub of the Middle East.
The Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone is a Dubai based, state owned Economic Zone and is one of the biggest, most service driven, customer centric Free Zones in the world. Regulations were passed in 2003 establishing the basis for Jebel Ali Free Zone Offshore Companies which operate under the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA). Such companies enjoy all the advantages of other international offshore companies but have the added benefit of Dubai’s reputation for business transparency. It is worth noting however that the a Dubai Offshore Company is not allowed to carry out business within the UAE or the Free Trade Zones.
Key benefits of UAE:
- A Dubai Offshore Company is not a tax haven company; it is not on any black list. The UAE is considered a Schedule 3 FATP jurisdiction and complies with relevant anti-money laundering regulations.
- No Corporate or Personal Taxes payable. Only banks and companies active in the oil sector are subject to corporate taxes.
- Offers a high degree of anonymity. Directors and Shareholders information is not kept on public record.
- Dubai is not a signatory to any international exchange of information agreements. This status is not expected to change as Dubai has no taxation gain from the participation of such treaties.
- The UAE has entered into some mutual assistance / double tax treaties with relevant jurisdictions such as Malayisa, Hong Kong and the UK. More will follow.
Bank Account Opening:
Bank Accounts can be opened in a number of international banks located in Dubai however a personal visit is required and the process can take a number of weeks to complete.
OECD publishes compliance review for all non-compliant jurisdictions
The OECDs global tax transparency initiative was launched last year in April 2016, with the purpose of encouraging every jurisdiction across the world to commit to implementation of a CRS (Common Reporting Standard) for automatic exchange of information by 2018, and to sign the Multilateral Convention on the exchanging of tax data. A forum on behalf of the OECD has released the results of its review for jurisdictions it considers to be non-compliant.
EU Parliament Committee release findings & recommendations for current offshore taxation measures
A formal enquiry into the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has been launched by the European Parliament's Committee, which found gaps in beneficial ownership transparency for trusts and fiduciaries and didn’t meet the EU standard.
2017 G20 summit: Enforcement of taxation highest priority
The 2017 G20 leaders’ summit took place in Hamburg last week where the European Commission Council and leaders discussed the priorities and primary projects for the upcoming summit. EC President Jean-Claude Juncker has stated that advancing the global combat against tax evasion is top of the list.
The EC takes action against advocates promoting tax avoidance schemes
The European Commission has recommended the implementation of a new regulation regarding companies or intermediaries who promote or design cross-border tax planning schemes will going forward be required to provide full disclosure to the tax authorities of their relevant jurisdiction within five days of offering them to clients.
What are the new Beneficial Ownership reporting requirements for BVI companies?
Going forward, a new regulation will require certain British Virgin Islands companies to gather and retain details of Beneficial Owners with 25% or more of the company’s shareholding rights, with an ongoing requirement to keep the details up to date.
Russian citizens can gain Cyprus tax residency by staying only 60 days on island, whats the catch?
Cyprus is once again working to improve its economic desirability and will be able to increase its alternative business base for Russians with good creditworthiness.
Cyprus tax department releases new guidance on CRS deadlines and the online portal
The Cyprus Tax Department has released a notification to all Cyprus based Financial Institutions & Service Providers of the new guidance notes on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information and other information relating to the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
Hong Kong establishes AEOI agreement with Indonesia
Last week, Hong Kong finalised and signed an agreement with Indonesia to allow for the automatic exchange of financial information (AEOI) regarding all tax matters.