Family Foundations

There are a number of different structures that are used to manage personal wealth and investments for asset protection, succession, philanthropic and other reasons. These include, for example, a contractual trust, a private trust company or a foundation to hold and manage personal assets and investments.

Whilst some of these structures and arrangements are by default treated as fiscally transparent for Corporate Tax purposes, some types of trusts and foundations have a separate legal personality, such as foundations established in ADGM or DIFC. These types of entities are treated the same as any other juridical person, with their income being within the scope of Corporate Tax. Where these types of entities are merely used to hold and manage personal assets and wealth on behalf and for the benefit of beneficiaries who are natural persons, this will result in an inconsistent Corporate Tax

treatment compared with if instead the natural persons were to hold and manage the assets directly.

Therefore, entities that are considered as “Family Foundations” for Corporate Tax purposes can, subject to meeting certain conditions, apply to the FTA to be treated as an Unincorporated Partnership (see Section 8.2.1).69 If the application is approved, the Family Foundation will be treated as tax transparent and the beneficiaries would be seen as directly owning or benefiting from the activities and assets of the Family Foundation. Where the FTA approves this application, the Family Foundation shall be treated as an Unincorporated Partnership effective from the commencement of the Tax Period in which the application is made, or from the commencement of a future Tax Period, or any other date determined by the Authority.


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