Qualifying Public Benefit Entity UAE

A qualifying public benefit entity is an organization founded by private individuals, public agencies, or both to carry out socially beneficial activities, i.e., charity, culture, religion, or other public causes, as per Article 9 of the corporate tax UAE without trying to turn a profit for private investors. 

How do I qualify for corporate tax exemption as a public benefit entity in the UAE?

Certain businesses are subject to the UAE Corporate Tax Law, except charitable organizations, educational institutions, and professional associations, which are recognized for their vital role in serving society without pursuing personal gain. So long as qualifying public benefit entities follow specific guidelines and procedures, they are exempt from corporate tax under the Corporate Tax Law. An entity that provides public benefits might be either a natural person, like a sole proprietor, or a juridical person, like a foundation, society, or association. A public benefit entity may be founded and registered with a presence in the United Arab Emirates, following the laws of the UAE or foreign jurisdiction.

Some Examples of Qualifying Public Benefit Entities:

Subject to an exception from the Federal Tax Authority, a qualifying public benefit entity is not needed to file tax returns or pay taxes on its income or earnings. There are a few instances of UAE-based public benefit organizations. The UAE Qualifying Public Benefit Entities, as specified in Cabinet Decision No. 37 of 2023, that entities existing and operating for the wider public benefit are eligible for tax exemption. The Emirates Foundation, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the Emirates Red Crescent, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, and a foreign organization with a presence in the United Arab Emirates and fulfillment of the requirements may also qualify as a public benefit entity.

How Do Qualifying Public Benefit Entities Enjoy Exemption Under Corporate Tax in the UAE?

To enjoy exemption, a qualifying public benefit entity is required to satisfy the conditions outlined under Article 9 of corporate tax UAE  as stated below:

  • Qualifying Public Benefit Entity  Establishment and Operation:

A Qualifying Public Benefit An entity might be a professional group or chamber of commerce, a professional group, an advancement organization of social welfare issues, or an institution making efforts related to the environment, science, art, sports, education, religion, culture, and other issues related to humanitarianism. The conditions regarding establishment and operations should be satisfied. The objective of such organizations should be in line with the laws of the United Arab Emirates and all other applicable standards and regulations without any conflict. 

Some examples of qualifying a public benefit entity from an operation and establishment perspective are:

  • Relief Activities Organisation: such entities assist the forcibly displaced and refugees.
  • Culture Preservation Organisation: The Cultural Preservation Society is committed to protecting and advancing the legacy of the rich culture of the UAE.
  • Empowering Women Organisations: Such organizations are dedicated to empowering women and girls in the United Arab Emirates by promoting education.

Requirement for Business or Business Activity

An entity does business operations for benefits and gain. Still, a qualifying public benefit entity does business only if it is directly related to the objective that it was founded to pursue as per the Corporate Tax Law. Business operations are consistently carried out to achieve the objectives approved by law. The entity must show that it abstains from activities against the objectives and makes sure that its income goes towards the general welfare of the people rather than the personal benefits of its associates, members, or owners.

Instances of Commercial Operations:

  • Commercial activities can be conducted to achieve the objectives of the organization.
  • The entity may charge fees for entry or space rental for cultural purposes that equitably cover the costs.

How Does Any Entity Satisfy the Condition of the Assets or Income Requirement?

The resources of a qualifying public benefit entity can be utilized for the original objectives of the organization, restricted to the payment of necessary relevant expenses, by maintaining the accounts transparent and accountable in line with the purposes of public benefit.

Examples of Asset Use:

  • Financial support for operational expenses
  •  Expenses to enhance organizational goals.
  • Sponsorship funding for essential research activities 

How to meet the personal benefit condition?

The income and assets of a qualifying public benefit entity may only be used to support the objectives for which it was founded or to cover any related, reasonable, and necessary costs. This means that the organization must use all of its resources, including income, to achieve its public benefit objective or pay for any charges or expenses that are justly and reasonably incurred. For instance, the organisation might use its earnings or assets to pay staff or volunteers, finance programs or projects, maintain buildings and equipment, or fulfil legal obligations. It is also clarified that no assets or income of a qualifying public benefit entity can be used for the personal gain of the settlor, founder, trustee, shareholder, or member. For instance, the entity will not give such people salaries, commissions, bonuses, fees, loans, gifts, or other advantages unless they are fair and commensurate with the services they perform.

No individual associated with the organization can personally benefit from its earnings or assets unless they are also part of a qualifying public benefit entity or government-controlled entity. Transactions with individuals must adhere to fairness, market value, and arm's length principles.

Personal Benefits Don’t include

  • Staff salaries or benefits provided by a nonprofit.
  • Grants or scholarships, offered by a cultural organization.
  • Transactions between an educational institution based on market value principles. 

How to apply for the corporate tax exemption?

A public benefit organization that satisfies the aforementioned requirements should apply to the appropriate local or federal government agency with which it is registered to request the corporate tax exemption. The following data and files must be included in the application:

  • The name of the entity, complete address, and contact information.
  • The objectives and operations of the entity and their connection to the general welfare of humanity.
  • The legal status and structure of the entity, with registration details including duration and location. 
  • The governing papers of the entity, such as bylaws, articles of association, and memoranda of association (AOA) or MOA.
  • The financial statements and reports of the entity for a minimum of three years
  • The data relating to proprietors, members, trustees, and founders, such as identities, functions, and credentials,.
  • The identities, positions, and credentials of the staff, volunteers, or board members with their remuneration.
  • The revenue and expense sources
  • Detailed description of a business or business activity to achieve objectives.
  • Specify payments or transactions by adhering to the principles of arm's length, market value, and fairness standards.
  • Any further data or records demanded by competent authorities, including the FTA.

After reviewing the application, the competency authority may audit or examine the entity to make sure all requirements and conditions are satisfied as per the UAE Corporate Tax Law. The Ministry of Finance will be consulted to incorporate the matter into a Minister to Cabinet memo after their satisfaction. The Federal Tax Authority will incorporate the entity in the Cabinet decision list as a qualifying public benefit entity. Unless the Federal Tax Authority requires it differently, the entity will therefore be exempt from corporate tax. 

Contact us :

Address: IBIS Hotel Building – Office Entrance 5th Floor, Office No.: 5001, Rigga Road Dubai, P.O.Box 4647, U.A.E
WhatsApp (Messaging Only): +971 52 6922588
WhatsApp & Phone: +971 55 4828368
Landline: +971 4 2500251 (9AM - 7PM GMT+4 - Monday to Friday)
For Consultationinfo@corporatetaxuae.com
For Sales Enquiriessales@corporatetaxuae.com


© 2024 Corporate Tax UAE, All Rights Reserved.