When I first moved to Dubai many years ago, I asked myself the same question; is it true that there are no property taxes for Dubai homes? At the time I was very new to the area and had no idea what the answer would be. The whole city seemed very foreign to me at the time and I really didn’t know what to expect. Well, I was not surprised when I found out that there are no property taxes in Dubai. Here is why that is.
Dubai is a freeze. What that means is that the city is allowed to do whatever they want with the property that makes up the city. This includes building new structures on the land, using any land that was zoned before the free zone was created and even rezoning old properties. So while you may be paying property taxes in your home country, there may be no property taxes off plan property Dubai. You see, the government has re-zoned the land to use for business purposes.
Now the reason that I say this, is because the free zone really only serves to assist businesses in one way. That way is through a special type of tax called an oblique tax. This tax is completely separate from the property tax and only requires a yearly payment to the government. So if you are paying property tax, there may be no tax on the business owned equipment that you may use in your free area of the city. But if you are paying an oblique tax on your personal equipment, you will have to pay that tax every year regardless.
In addition to the oblique tax, there are other taxes that are charged when you buy property within the free zone. A business license tax is commonly levied on new businesses and they must pay this fee. And of course any increase in the size of your business must pay for an additional commercial tax. In addition to property taxes, businesses must also pay an employment tax which is charged at a rate of 5 percent above the rate of income tax. With all of these factors, it can be very expensive to start a business in Dubai.
Since all property and business taxes are based on revenue, it can be a good idea for business owners to save as much money as possible. One way to do this is to lease their equipment. Many property for sale in Dubai or property for rent in Dubai have become quite accustomed to this system where the new businessman leases office space to the existing business owner until the business turns a profit. The business owner then makes all of the necessary payments for the equipment, services, and furniture until the lease is completed. Then the business owner returns the equipment at the end of the lease period. This has been a popular option for many business owners to get into Dubai.
A second option is to hold property offshore. This is especially attractive to businessmen who wish to minimize their tax bill in Dubai. Holding property offshore is not illegal in the United Arab Emirates, and this is one of the reasons why property taxes are rarely levied on personal properties owned by individuals. However, it is important to remember that every individual has to pay property taxes regardless of whether he lives in Dubai or not.
One way to cut down on the amount of money that you need to pay to the government is to have as many employees as you can afford to hire. If your company consists of 30 employees, you may be able to get a discount on the tax bill. If you are thinking of expanding your business, consider sharing some of the profits with the government so that you will not need to pay for any increases in your tax bill. You can also ask the emirate to allow you to establish another business.
One final option that you have when it comes to avoiding paying property taxes in Dubai is to purchase an ISK-based Business Property in the city. An ISK is an individual savings account that may be used for purchasing real estate properties. By having your business investments insured through an ISK-based business property account, you may be able to circumvent some of the business property tax that you need to pay in Dubai. Since an ISK is available anywhere in the world, you may still be able to tap into the benefits of having one if you own a business abroad. If you need to learn more about obtaining an ISK-based account, you can contact the Dubai Commercial Estate and Investment Department.