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France-UAE Double Tax Treaty, All You Need to Know

The double tax treaty signed between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the French Republic, effective from December 1, 1990, addresses issues of double taxation and fiscal evasion concerning taxes. It applies to residents of either or both countries and covers various taxes. In France, this includes income tax, corporation tax, social contributions on corporate profits, and similar taxes introduced after the treaty’s signing. Comprising 29 articles and a protocol, this comprehensive agreement seeks to resolve double taxation through mechanisms like tax credits or exemptions under specific conditions. Additionally, the treaty facilitates the exchange of information and cooperation between the competent authorities of both nations in tax-related matters, with the protocol providing clarification and modifications to certain treaty articles.

Read more: What Countries Are Part of the Dubai Double Tax Treaties

Key Provisions of France-UAE Double Tax Treaty

  • Capital Gains Tax Under France-UAE DTT

In France, capital gains from asset sales are taxed based on various criteria like property location and asset type. The France-UAE Double Tax Treaty determines taxation rights for immovable property and shares of real estate companies. Non-real estate asset gains are taxed in the seller’s domicile country. Specific rules apply to business property, intellectual property, ships, and aircraft. France imposes a 19% tax rate and 17.2% social charges, with allowances and exemptions based on asset type and ownership duration. The UAE typically does not levy capital gains tax except for certain entities

  • Dividends Under France-UAE Double Tax Treaty 

Within the French tax system, dividends signify the profits shared among a company’s shareholders, and they are subject to income tax and social charges. Additionally, they may encounter withholding tax in the source country, except when a double taxation agreement (DTA) steps in to reduce or eliminate this tax. The double tax agreement (DTA) between France and the UAE enforces a 0% withholding tax rate on dividends for residents of both countries. However, if French residents receive dividends from the UAE, they are still responsible for income tax and social charges in France, unless they qualify for specific exemptions or reduced rates.

  • Interest Under France-UAE Double Tax Treaty

In financial terms, it is the sum a borrower remits to a lender as compensation for using borrowed funds. France imposes income tax and social charges on interest income, which could also be subject to withholding tax in the source country unless a DTA lessens this tax burden. The France-UAE DTA sets a 0% withholding tax rate on interest payments exchanged between the two nations. Nevertheless, French residents getting interest income from UAE sources remain subject to income tax and social charges in France, provided they meet particular criteria for exemptions or reduced rates.

  • Comprehending Permanent Establishment (PE)

A Permanent Establishment (PE) signifies a legal construct wherein a foreign corporation falls within the scope of corporate taxation within the jurisdiction where it operates from a fixed place of business or conducts substantial activities. In the context of the UAE-France double tax treaty, the definition of a PE encompasses the following:

  • A PE incorporates a diverse range of entities, comprising branches, offices, factories, workshops, mines, oil or gas wells, quarries, and other facilities involved in the extraction of natural resources.
  • Additionally, it extends to cover construction sites, assembly projects, installation endeavours, or the supervision of such undertakings, as long as they persist for more than six months.
  • On the contrary, a PE excludes facilities primarily employed for storage, product display, delivery, procurement, data collection, advertising, scientific research, or other preliminary or auxiliary functions.
  • An exception applies when an agent, acting on behalf of the foreign company, is considered a PE if this agent has the authority to regularly conclude contracts on the company’s behalf in the host country.

Read More: Expansion of UAE Double Tax Treaty to Strengthen its Global Position

  • Impact Of Double Tax Treaty on Permanent Establishment 

The UAE-France double tax treaty delineates the allocation of tax rights concerning the profits of foreign corporations to the jurisdiction where a PE is established. The treaty mandates that the profits attributed to the PE are assessed as if it were an independent entity operating under similar conditions to the foreign corporation. The overarching objective of this treaty is to mitigate double taxation by providing avenues for tax credits or exemptions to residents of one nation for taxes paid in the other. Nonetheless, it’s imperative to recognize that these treaty provisions do not cover income that is already exempt from taxation according to the treaty.

  • Royalties under the Double Tax Treaty

Royalties denote payments associated with the utilization or licensing of intellectual property, encompassing elements such as patents, trademarks, and designs. In France, income tax and social charges are typically applied to these royalties. The country where these royalties originate typically enforces a withholding tax unless a double taxation treaty intervenes to reduce or nullify this tax. Significantly, in the context of the UAE-France treaty, a 0% withholding tax rate is imposed on royalties exchanged between the two nations. However, it’s crucial to note that French residents who receive royalties from sources in the UAE may still find themselves subject to income tax and social charges in France, provided they do not meet specific criteria that grant exemptions or reduced tax rates contingent on particular circumstances.

  • Important Provisions Under Double Tax Treaty- An Overview 

The double tax treaty includes articles that define important terms and principles. These cover topics like “resident” status, “permanent establishment,” income from various sources, and taxation of profits. Specific articles address dividends, interest, royalties, and gains from property sales. There are also provisions related to income from professional services and employment-related income. These articles serve to clarify taxation principles between the contracting states. For more details about the double tax treaty consult our tax consultant in Dubai.

Reference: https://mof.gov.ae/double-taxation-agreements/

Mostafa is a qualified Corporate Tax Consultant with over 5 years of experience gained in diverse intricate tax matters, he has high expertise in conducting tax negotiations and investigations with the Federal Tax Authority and other external Tax Bodies. He has vast experience in reviewing and drafting tax documents. Mostafa has also advised on a plethora of tax matters, he draws much attention to tax filing procedures and to offering professional investigations to underlining tax complexities. Read more