The United Arab Emirates allows foreign businesses to operate within free zones, where usually amongst others they benefit from 100 percent foreign ownership.

Although the free zones are intended to simplify business in the UAE, the introduction of value-added tax (VAT) has seen an increased complexity in commercial transactions with these free zones.

The UAE VAT Law does not specifically discuss free zones. Instead, it introduces the concept of designated zones. All designated zones are free zones but not all free fones are designated zones.

Filing VAT returns is a real-life test to see how well prepared these companies are. If the transaction mapping was overlooked, it is obvious how quick one could make mistakes in their tax treatment of certain transactions.

Aurifer and Thomson Reuters have partnered on this white paper to discuss about free zones in the UAE, the impact of VAT on companies working within these zones, and how you should better navigate these complexities and challenges. Thomson Reuters is the parent company of

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