Please note that social security contributions are applicable in the UAE only for UAE nationals. If UAE nationals are employed, then both the employer and the employee will be required to make social security contributions. Neither the employer of an expatriate nor the expatriate employee are required to make any social security contributions in the UAE.
There are currently no personal taxes applicable in the UAE.
Liability to social security
Social security contributions are applicable in the UAE only for UAE nationals. If UAE nationals are employed, then both the employer and the employee will be required to make social security contributions to the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA). A payment of 12.5 percent by the employer (15 percent if the employer is a public entity) and 5 percent by the employee are due for UAE nationals to the GPSSA.
The employers of an expatriate or an expatriate employee are not required to make any social security contributions in the UAE.
Employee compliance obligations
There are no employee compliance obligations in regards to taxes and social security in the UAE.
Employer reporting and withholding requirements
There are no employer reporting and withholding requirements in the UAE.
Double taxation treaties
The UAE has a wide network of tax treaties, with over 70 treaties signed and in force at this time, with several others in the pipeline.
However, the applicability of the respective tax treaties in the counter jurisdiction lies with the interpretation of the respective tax authorities if they view the UAE as a no-tax or a low-tax jurisdiction.
Permanent establishment implications
As corporate taxes are currently enforced on foreign oil companies engaged in the exploration and production of oil, and branches of foreign banks, the creation of a permanent establishment in the UAE and its related implications would be purely academic from a UAE tax perspective.
There are currently no indirect taxes applicable in the UAE, other than customs duty. A majority of the goods imported into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states attract a uniform customs duty of 5 percent, and this is levied at the point of first entry into the GCC. Further movements of goods within the GCC are free of customs duties.
Please note that the GCC countries are actively considering the introduction of a value-added tax (VAT) regime in the near future.
There are currently no transfer pricing rules applicable in the UAE.
Work permit/visa requirements
Employment visas are issued by the Ministry of Labour. In general, a business can recruit either expatriate or local staff, subject to certain requirements. Employers must apply to the Ministry for visas for individual members of staff, although certain categories of employer may obtain group visas that permit the employment of a specified number of staff.
Local data privacy requirements
There are no data privacy laws in the UAE.
There are no exchange controls in force in the UAE.
Nondeductible costs for assignees
There are no nondeductible costs for assignees in the UAE.