Economic Substance Regulation

The Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) was introduced in countries worldwide to find funding from major regulatory bodies situated in Europe and the United States. These regulations have been targeted at jurisdictions offering minimal tax obligations to companies and require certain entities running specific business tasks to demonstrate they have adequate financial substance inside that jurisdiction.

The regulations underscore the regular recording, tracking, and coverage of the financial activities performed by legal entities in the UAE, including companies, branches & subsidiaries, & those situated in any of their free zones in the UAE.

The Council of the European Union has laid out specific criteria that these jurisdictions will need to comply with as part of its efforts to promote transparency in cross-border trades and restrict harmful tax practices.

Should the European Union (EU) consider that a particular country does not have substantial economic chemical regulations, then that country can look on the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for taxation reasons, also called the EU tax haven blacklist?

An appraisal performed by the European Union around the taxation frame of this United Arab Emirates caused the country to term a non-cooperative tax authority and its inclusion on the EU blacklist.

On 30 April 20-19, the UAE Cabinet adopted new ESR in response to concerns voiced by the European Union Code of Conduct Group Concerning.  The tax framework of the UAE and its dedication to the anti-Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan suggested by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 

The UAE is now a portion of their BEPS Inclusive Framework (BEPS IF) that consists of over 130 countries and jurisdictions. As an Inclusive Framework member, the UAE is committed to implementing the minimum standards tracked by BEPS IF to boost tax-related transparency, which the BEPS thrusts upon itself.

The UAE has surfaced to employ a set of four minimum criteria laid out by BEPS:

  • Countering Harmful Tax Practices
  • Prevention of Granting Tax Treaty Benefits from Inappropriate Circumstances
  • Country-by-Country Reporting
  • Mutual Agreement Procedure

Organizations that can show that they’re performing substantial economic small business tasks within the region are considered essential and need to employ strategies in preparing for that telling and reporting requirements prescribed by their own relevant Regulatory Authority.

The UAE Ministry of Finance and the different Regulatory Authorities throughout the UAE have issued an Economic Substance Regulations Notification template. Legal entities have to complete, unless as prescribed differently by the relevant Licensing Authority. To inform and report for their own appropriate Regulatory Authority whether or not they tackle and make money out of the listing of suitable routines.

The Notification should file by the deadline set by their corresponding Licensing Authority, or they will risk fines and administrative obligations. Considering the current COVID-19 pandemic, a few Licensing Authorities extended the deadline for filing the Economic Substance Regulations Notification Center. The earliest financial substance return for the Financial Year 20-19 needs to be filed by 31 December 2020.

Who wants to submit a Financial Substance Notification?

  • Banking Business
  • Insurance Business
  • Investment Fund Management Business
  • Lease-Finance Business
  • Headquarter Business
  • Shipping Business
  • Holding Company Business
  • Intellectual Property Business
  • Supply and Service Centre Business

What is the Economic Substance Compliance Requirement?

All licensees (onshore, offshore, or in a free zone) must comply with the Economic Substance Notification & Yield Filing obligations. To show substantial economic substance, a company should review its corporate governance arrangements and managing models and create suitable changes where potential. The compliance requirements imposed on UAE companies beneath the Regulations are as follows:

  • The Business should perform its heart income-generating activities (CIGAs) in the UAE;
  • The Company needs to be directed and handled within the UAE regarding its business activity, evidencing that Provider holds board meetings and annual general meetings, using a quorum of directors and shareholders physically within the UAE;
  • The Business is needed to possess an adequate quantity of fulltime employees, incur operating expenditure, and possess physical assets for executing the applicable business activities in the UAE; and
  • The Business has to demonstrate it controls the execution of tasks that outsourced to third parties.

Economic Substance Regulations notification and Return filing

All UAE organizations (onshore, offshore or Free Zone) that hold a license and carry any one of the relevant Activities’ during the year need to submit a telling unless prescribed by the appropriate Licensing Authority, as per the template sanctioned by the relevant Licensing Authority.

The Legislation has prescribed what needs to go using a notification, and those are:

  • Whether or not the Company carries out related activities;
  • An outline of the type of relevant activities performed by the Company & the Kind of income from those activities;
  • When the earnings earned from center earnings producing activities (CIGAs) is taxable at a jurisdiction outside of the UAE;
  • When the licensee is a tax resident out of the UAE and if yes, where; and
  • If at least 51% of this Company is owned, directly or indirectly, by the Federal or Emirate Government, or even UAE Government body or Authority;
  • The very first reportable financial year the Company subject.

A business carrying out essential activities must submit an Economic Substance Report yearly to the Regulatory Authority, as a way to evidence that the Business fulfills the financial substance requirements.

The Economic Substance Report should include:

  • The location of these actions and also the home and equipment utilized to run the activities;
  • The number of employees, their qualifications, and the number of individuals responsible for running the actions; and
  • A disclosure is saying that the organization has met the economic substance requirements.

What Are the Penalties for Non-compliance?

Failure to comply with the ESR or even the provision of incomplete or incorrect information can lead to your Company levied having an administrative fine between AED 10,000-50,000 during the first year. It’s well worth noting that the Licensing Authorities could even suspend, revoke or deny renewal of one’s commercial license if the penalties are outstanding.

How Do Simply Solved Help?

If you have a business within the UAE and therefore cannot ascertain whether your Company conducts a relevant activity from an economic substance perspective, you ought to seek professional advice. Understanding the new Legislation and its consequences are all to ensuring you make the perfect decisions for the Business.

Simply Solved can help you evaluate if the Economic Substance Regulations are related to your Company and provide preliminary assessments of one’s Business’s latest compliance obligations. Assisted with filing and preparing their Economics Substance Notification into the required standards and restructuring your business operations to satisfy the economic substance evaluation


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