Governments across the Gulf have been planning fresh ways to raise money as low oil and gas prices open up big deficits in state budgets. In 2018, the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council plan to introduce value-added tax.
However, according to Younis Al Khoury, under-secretary of Finance Ministry, the UAE has no plans to impose new taxes on individuals and the government is not studying the introduction of more fees for services. Al Khoury’s remarks appeared to rule out, for now at least, the possibility of personal income tax in the UAE. Also, the approved federal budget for 2017 amounting to Dh48.7 billion ($13.3 billion) would not rely on new taxes or additional fees, or revenues from VAT. The budget will not be affected by changes in global oil prices, he added.
On corporate tax, Al Khoury did not elaborate on any possible changes but said that the ministry had for years been studying the social and economic impact of it, and was now taking those studies to the cabinet, with a view to building a comprehensive tax regime. Also, an initial step in developing the tax regime had been taken with President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s decree last week setting up a federal tax authority.