Step-by-Step: How to Prepare and Submit Your Corporate Tax Returns in the UAE (2024)

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Filing corporate tax returns can seem like a big task, but with a clear plan, you can do it smoothly. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the process for preparing and submitting your corporate tax returns is straightforward if you follow each step carefully. This guide will take you through each part of the process, making it easy to understand and follow.

Understanding Corporate Tax in the UAE

What is Corporate Tax?

Corporate tax returns in UAE is a tax on the profits of companies. In the UAE, this tax is relatively new compared to other countries. It was introduced to diversify the country’s revenue sources and reduce dependency on oil. This tax applies to both local and foreign companies operating in the UAE.

Why is Corporate Tax Important?

Corporate tax is important for several reasons:

  • It helps fund public services and infrastructure.
  • It ensures that companies contribute to the economy.
  • It creates a fair business environment.
Step-by-Step: How to Prepare and Submit Your Corporate Tax Returns in the UAE (2024)

Step 1: Know the Filing Deadline

When Do You Need to File?

The first step in preparing your corporate tax return is knowing the deadline. In the UAE, the corporate tax year typically follows the calendar year. This means that the tax return for the year 2023 should be filed by the end of March 2024. It’s crucial to mark this date on your calendar to avoid any penalties for late submission.

What Happens if You Miss the Deadline?

If you miss the filing deadline, you may face fines and interest charges on the unpaid tax. This can add up quickly, so it’s best to file on time. In some cases, you might be able to request an extension, but this is not guaranteed.

Step 2: Gather All Necessary Documents

Financial Statements

You will need to prepare your financial statements for the tax year. These statements include:

  • Income Statement: Shows your company’s revenue and expenses.
  • Balance Sheet: Shows your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity.
  • Cash Flow Statement: Shows how cash flows in and out of your company.

Supporting Documents

In addition to your financial statements, you will need to gather supporting documents, such as:

  • Invoices and receipts
  • Bank statements
  • Payroll records
  • Any other documents that support your financial statements

Step 3: Calculate Your Taxable Income

What is Taxable Income?

Taxable income is the amount of your income that is subject to tax. To calculate your taxable income, you will need to:

  1. Add up all your income.
  2. Subtract any allowable deductions.

Allowable Deductions

Allowable deductions can reduce your taxable income and lower your tax bill. Common deductions include:

  • Business expenses (rent, utilities, supplies)
  • Depreciation on assets
  • Salaries and wages

Step 4: Fill Out the Tax Return Form

Where to Get the Form

The tax return form can be obtained from the UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) website. Make sure to download the latest version of the form to avoid any issues.

How to Fill Out the Form

The form will require you to provide detailed information about your company, including:

  • Company name and address
  • Tax registration number
  • Income and expenses
  • Calculated tax payable

Take your time to fill out the form accurately. Double-check all figures and ensure that you have included all required information.

Step 5: Submit the Tax Return

Online Submission

In the UAE, you can submit your tax return online through the FTA’s e-services portal. This is the most efficient way to file your return. You will need to create an account on the portal if you don’t already have one.

What Happens After Submission?

Once you have submitted your tax return, the FTA will review it. If there are any issues or if additional information is needed, they will contact you. If everything is in order, they will process your return and issue a tax assessment.

Step 6: Pay Any Tax Due

How to Pay

If your tax return shows that you owe tax, you will need to pay it by the due date. Payments can be made online through the FTA’s portal. It’s important to pay on time to avoid interest and penalties.

What if You Can’t Pay?

If you are unable to pay the full amount by the due date, contact the FTA as soon as possible. They may be able to arrange a payment plan or provide other assistance.

Step 7: Keep Records

Why Keep Records?

Keeping accurate records is crucial for several reasons:

  • It helps you prepare future tax returns.
  • It provides documentation in case of an audit.
  • It helps you track your company’s financial performance.

What Records to Keep

You should keep all documents related to your tax return, including:

  • Financial statements
  • Supporting documents
  • Copies of the tax return form
  • Confirmation of submission
  • Proof of payment

Step 8: Understand Post-Filing Obligations

Responding to FTA Queries

After filing, you might receive queries or requests for additional information from the FTA. It’s important to respond promptly and provide any requested documentation to avoid delays or penalties.

Preparing for Audits

The FTA may audit your tax return to ensure accuracy. During an audit, they will review your records and may ask for additional information. Be prepared for this by keeping your records organized and easily accessible.

Tips for a Smooth Filing Process

Start Early

Begin preparing your tax return well in advance of the deadline. This will give you ample time to gather documents, fill out the form, and address any issues that arise.

Use Professional Help

Consider hiring a tax professional or accountant to assist with your tax return. They can provide valuable expertise and ensure that your return is accurate and complete.

Stay Informed

Tax laws and regulations can change, so it’s important to stay informed about any updates that may affect your tax return. The FTA website is a good resource for the latest information.


Filing your corporate tax return in the UAE doesn’t have to be stressful. By following these steps, you can ensure that your tax return is accurate and submitted on time. Remember to start early, keep detailed records, and seek professional help if needed. With careful preparation, you can navigate the process smoothly and avoid any issues with the FTA.

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