The UAE Shifted the Deadlines of Registration for Corporate Tax

Registration corporate tax

The Federal Tax Service of the United Arab Emirates has informed of new registration deadlines for corporate income tax purposes. The relevant Decision No. 3 of 22 February 2024 has entered into force on 1 March 2024. The updated deadlines apply to all companies (existing and newly established, mainland and free zone, resident and non-resident) and sole traders.  

What has changed?

The UAE introduced a corporate tax on 1 June 2023. According to previous guidance, Emirati companies were required to register for corporate tax and obtain a taxpayer registration number before filing their first corporate tax return, specifically: 

  • Companies existing at the time of the introduction of corporate tax must submit their first corporate tax return by 28 February 2025;
  • Companies whose tax period is the 2024 calendar year file their first tax returns by 30 September 2025.

However, now the tax registration deadlines are attached not to the time for submitting tax returns but to a company’s incorporation and licensing date. As a result, for companies incorporated before 1 March 2024, tax registration becomes due within 2024. The other (new) companies are given three (3) months after the incorporation date to register for tax purposes. This may be explained by the desire to evenly spread the flow of tax registration applications before the tax return filing campaign starts.  

New tax registration deadlines for UAE companies

Resident companies incorporated in the UAE before 1 March 2024 must apply to register for corporate tax by the following timeframes:

Date of license issuance (irrespective of the year of issuance)Deadline for submitting a corporate tax registration application
1 January – 28/29 February31 May 2024
1 March – 30 April 30 June 2024
1 – 31 May 31 July 2024
1 – 30 June31 August 2024
1 – 31 July30 September 2024
1 August – 30 September 31 October 2024 
1 October – 30 November 30 November 2024
1 – 31 December 31 December 2024
If a company does not have a license at the effective date of the Decision (that is, 1 March 2024)3 (three) months from the effective date of the Decision.

Resident companies incorporated in the UAE (including free zone companies) on or after 1 March 2024 apply to register for corporate tax within 3 (three) months from the date of incorporation. 

How do you register for corporate tax in the UAE?

The application to register for corporate tax is submitted electronically through the EmaraTax platform, which is available 24/7. The registration process on the part of the tax authority may take up to 20 business days from the date of receipt of the application from the taxpayer (or a longer period in case of requesting additional documents and submitting a new application).

According to the UAE Federal Tax Authority, the application involves four steps and takes about 30 minutes. To log into the portal, taxpayers can use an existing account (if they previously registered for VAT) or create a new one (if they apply for tax registration for the first time). 

Penalty for failure to register for corporate tax

According to Cabinet Decision No. 10 of 2024, failure of the taxable person to submit a tax registration application within the timeframe specified by the Authority will result in an administrative penalty of AED 10,000 (about USD 2,700).

A taxpayer’s obligation is considered fulfilled upon applying for corporate tax registration and not upon the registration being finished. 

Conclusions and actions

Corporate tax registration deadlines for many companies will come earlier than originally planned. 

If your UAE company, including a free zone company, is not yet registered for corporate tax, we recommend: 

  • Find out the date and month of incorporation of the company and the issuance of a license;
  • Determine the deadline for registering for corporate tax according to the table above;
  • Submit a tax registration application through the electronic portal or ask our specialists for assistance. The latter will help you not only save time but also avoid mistakes when filling out the necessary data. 

It is essential to submit the application on time to avoid penalties.  

Company Formation in the UAE
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