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A Comparison of Salary Taxation in the UAE, USA, and UK


When considering a job opportunity abroad, it’s crucial to understand the taxation system of the country you’ll be working in. Salaries and the associated tax obligations can vary significantly between different countries. In this blog post, we will compare the taxation of salaries in three popular destinations: the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United States of America (USA), and the United Kingdom (UK). Let’s explore how these countries differ when it comes to taxing salaries.


  1. UAE (United Arab Emirates):

In the UAE, individuals enjoy a unique advantage – there is no federal income tax on salaries. This means that the entirety of your salary can be utilized without any deductions for income tax purposes. However, it’s important to note that each emirate in the UAE may have its own regulations and fees, so it’s essential to consider those as well. But at the moment none of the emirates has any tax levying on the salary income of the individuals.


  1. USA (United States of America):

The United States has a well-established income tax system that applies to salaries. If you are planning to work in the USA, you will likely be subject to federal income tax, as well as state and local taxes, depending on your place of residence and work. Let’s take a closer look at an example to understand the taxation of salaries in the USA.


Example: Consider an individual earning an annual salary of $60,000 in California.

  • Federal Income Tax: The federal income tax rates are progressive, ranging from 10% to 37% based on income brackets. Assuming our example falls into the 22% tax bracket, they would pay $13,200 in federal income tax.
  • State Income Tax: California has its own income tax rates. Assuming the individual falls into the 9.3% tax bracket, they would pay $5,580 in state income tax.
  • Social Security and Medicare Taxes: In addition to income tax, employees in the USA also pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. Assuming our example is not self-employed, they would pay 7.65% in Social Security and Medicare taxes, amounting to $4,590.

Hence, the total tax burden in the USA for our example would be $23,370 ($13,200 federal income tax + $5,580 state income tax + $4,590 Social Security and Medicare taxes).


  1. UK (United Kingdom):

In the UK, salaries are subject to income tax. The taxation system in the UK is divided into different income tax brackets and also includes National Insurance contributions. Let’s examine the tax implications for an individual earning £60,000 annually in England.

  • Personal Allowance: The individual can earn up to £12,570 before paying income tax.
  • Basic Rate: Assuming our example’s salary falls within the basic rate tax band, which is up to £50,270, they would pay income tax at a rate of 20%. Consequently, they would pay £9,486 in income tax.
  • National Insurance Contributions: Employees in the UK are also required to pay National Insurance contributions. Assuming our example falls into the Class 1 NICs category, they would pay 12% on earnings between £9,568 and £50,270. This amounts to £5,975.

Therefore, the total tax liability in the UK for our example would be £15,461 (£9,486 income tax + £5,975).



Why Spectrum Auditing?

Being a pioneer in the field of auditing, accounting, taxation and advisory services, we ensure we keep track of all the changes that are taking place in the UAE with respect to the changes in laws, rules, regulations and keep our clients informed as well as sharing the same information through our blog section or social media handles regularly. Spectrum Auditing will guide you with the laws and regulations of UAE, be it Economic Substance Regulations (ESR), Corporate Tax (CT), Transfer Pricing (TP), Ultimate Beneficiary Owner (UBO), Anti Money Laundering (AML), etc  after reviewing your business.


Call us today for any kind of assistance at +971 4 2699329  or email [email protected] to get all your queries addressed. Spectrum is your partner in your success.


Disclaimer: This material and the information contained herein, prepared by SPECTRUM AUDITING, are intended for clients and professionals to provide updates and are not an exhaustive treatment of the subject. We are not, by means of this material, rendering any professional advice or services. It should not be solely relied upon as the basis for any decision which may affect you or your business. This update provides certain general information as well as specific information regarding SPECTRUM AUDITING. This update should not be regarded as comprehensive or sufficient for the purposes of any decision-making.




Balaram Vuchidi

Managing Director
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