There is a global concern with respect to companies who cannot demonstrate adequate economic substance coupled also with lack of transparency with respect to the beneficial owners, as such characteristics, can conceal the real purpose of the transactions and facilitate money laundering and tax avoidance.
Given the fact that UAE is included in the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, the UAE Government has recently issued the Resolutions by Cabinet of Ministers No. (31) of 2019 concerning Economic Substance.
The economic substance requirement will be applicable to all UAE entities and will reflect their level and type of activity. The economic substance requirements will be met by renting premises in UAE, hiring employees, having adequate expenses there and the entity to be managed from UAE.
The regulations also may be viewed as further aligning UAE’s legislative framework to the standards set out in the OECD base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project..
All UAE entities will need to examine whether they meet the “economic substance” requirements and consider how they will comply with the regulations.