UAE crackdown on tax-safe business ‘licences of convenience’

investigates false commercial licences

ABU DHABI 22 August 2017: The capital of the UAE is cracking down on ‘fake’ business licences that are used to conduct fraudulent activities or to allow residents to escape taxation in their own countries.

“It has been noted that various forms of false licences exist, in particular licensed companies, which do not engage in any formal, commercial activity and thus, use their licences for the purpose of ensuring a legal cover for their owners or partners, in order to ensure their residency in the UAE, said a statement from the Security, Justice, and Safety Committee of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi.

“This is in addition to licenced companies, formed with the aim of sparing their owners the payment of taxes in their home country, or fulfilling fraudulent purposes,” it added according to Wam.

Under the chairmanship of Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, the committee reviewed the latest updates on combating and countering the spread of false commercial licences and closed shops, as well as the results of the work team’s studies conducted in this respect.

It also referred to the dedicated work team, which was formed with the aim of investing the spread of false commercial licences and developing appropriate mechanisms to detect and tackle them. In this respect, the work team prepared a comprehensive, detailed study on the status and spread of false commercial licences and closed shops in various regions, as well as came up with appropriate solutions and suggestions to limit and ultimately, stop such practices.

This has been carried out based on a specific timetable and procedures, subject to periodic review in coordination with relevant partners, so as to cease any potential recurrence of similar cases in the future.

The work team also focuses on reducing the possibility of providing a legal cover for illegal practices of economic establishments and sponsored manpower. It includes representatives of local and federal government entities, including the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi, the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi, the Department of Municipal Affairs, as well as the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

The committee stressed the importance of strengthening dedicated mechanisms used in order to contribute to the improvement of the economic and investment environment and establishment of a safe and secure investment infrastructure that would support Abu Dhabi’s economic development process.

By Eudore R. Chand