Corporate tax overhaul


The UAE has finally enacted the UAE corporate tax law of 2022, which is expected to come into force in June 2023 (Corporate Tax Law). It will introduce the UAE’s first ever corporate tax regime at the introductory rate of 9%.


The Corporate Tax Law currently regards foundations and similar wealth consolidation structures as taxable entities by default, subject to certain exemptions.

However, the Corporate Tax Law allows a foundation established for a single family to make an application to the Federal Tax Authority to be treated as a transparent legal entity, meaning that the individuals connected to the foundation, namely the founder(s) and beneficiaries, rather than the Foundation itself, will be treated as taxable persons under the Corporate Tax Law. This allows for the possibility of the founder and beneficiaries to benefit from the general principle that personal income is not taxed. However, the underlying businesses owned by the foundation will be treated as separate entities and will therefore remain taxable under the new Corporate Tax Law.


As detailed above, the DIFC has enacted the FA Regulations, which replace the original Single Family Office Regulations.

The FA Regulations consolidate the registration requirements for SFOs and multi-family offices under a single regime, ease regulatory burdens and provide enhanced privacy to shareholders and ultimate beneficial owners.


The ADGM does not have a distinct set of regulations governing Family offices. However, there are structures that may be used to establish Family offices, including foundations, special purpose vehicles (SPVs) or holding companies. It is worth noting that, a SPV may either be incorporated as a private company limited by shares or, as a restricted scope company (RSC), which is subject to less onerous reporting requirements and must be wholly-owned, directly or indirectly, either by one or more individuals who are members of the same family. Unlike the DIFC, there are no minimum liquid asset requirements and for RSCs shareholder and director information is not publicly available.


The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) family office regime, introduced in 2021, includes the SFO Regulations and the Multi-Family Office Regulations (MFO Regulations).

A SFO must have a minimum of AED500,000 in liquid assets and be wholly-owned by members of the same family (but up to 49% may also be controlled by non-family members). The MFO Regulations target professional service providers and wealth management advisors who wish to provide services to multiple families under a single license.

Authored by: Sunita Singh-Dalal & Zain Satardien

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Zain Satardien

Counsel, Head of Tax & International Trade
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