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Tonnage Tax

Moore Stephens to Make Representation on Tonnage Tax Changes

Sue Bill

International accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens is to make representation to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs in connection with recently issued draft revised guidance in respect of the U.K. tonnage tax regime, some of which it considers to be unhelpful.  Moore Stephens tax partner Sue Bill said, “None of the changes are fundamental. Indeed, some of them are helpful, for example the revised comments regarding the circumstances in which a tonnage tax company is regarded as only temporarily having ceased its activities and therefore eligible to be within the regime when it resumes activities. Such changes show that HMRC is prepared to be more flexible in certain circumstances. “There are, however, a couple of areas where the update is unhelpful. For example, HMRC has said that it does not regard the recent decision in Euroceanica (U.K.) Limited v HMRC (2013) UKFTT 313 as binding. In Euroceanica, the First Tier Tribunal, which hears appeals against HMRC decisions relating to tax, held that interest received on a security deposit which was required in order to take out bank loans to acquire ships in the tonnage tax regime was within the tonnage tax ring-fence, and that therefore no further tax was payable. However, HMRC has now said that, as a general principle, it does not accept that interest arising on such security deposits is within tonnage tax


Greece's Creditor Propose to Target Shipping Sector

Greece's shipping sector faces paying a higher tonnage tax, and a phase-out of the special tax allowances it has enjoyed, under the latest proposals presented by the country's creditors, according to documents seen by Reuters. Together with tourism, the shipping sector is a vital generator of income for Greece. According to an official document indicating steps Greece must take, its lenders say the country must "increase the rate of the tonnage tax and phase out special tax


Rising Profit Tide for Horizon

AP reported that Horizon Lines Inc. said its third-quarter profit rose, aided by a large tax benefit. For the quarter ended Sept. 24, the company reported net income of $52.9 million, or $1.57 per share, versus prior-year profit of $2.8 million, or 14 cents per share. Revenue rose to $304.7 million from $289.1 million in the year earlier period. Horizon elected to pay an alternative tonnage tax instead of federal corporate income tax on qualifying shipping activities


Moore Stephens: HMRC May Rethink Tonnage Tax Changes

Sue Bill, Moore Stephens

Moore Stephens, understands that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has agreed to re-examine, in consultation with the shipping industry, its earlier intention to unilaterally reinterpret the UK Tonnage Tax rules to the potential detriment of many shipowners. Widely disputed changes based on unspecified ‘legal advice’ were set out in HMRC’s tonnage tax manual in September 2009. These focused in particular on a reinterpretation of the strategic and commercial


Moore Stephens Rues Missed Opportunity

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International accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens says it is regrettable that changes announced for inclusion in the UK Finance Bill 2013 have failed to remove exchange rate distortions from the calculation of capital gains on ships.   Currently, all capital gains and losses subject to UK corporation tax are calculated by reference to sterling, with the result that capital gains and losses arising on non-sterling assets, including certain ships


Liberian Registry Launches Green Ship Initiative

Scott Bergeron (Photo courtesy: Liberian Registry)

“We have launched a new initiative to help shipowners improve their green credentials and meet other corporate social responsibilities," said Scott Bergeron, CEO of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the U.S.-based manager of the registry. "Our aim is to ensure that Liberia remains the greenest fleet afloat." He continued, “The Liberian administration welcomes any new technology and ship designs which improve operational efficiency


Shipping Income Tax Reform

Shipping income tax reform may be one of the key legislative initiatives in the U.S. Congress this year according to Michael G. Roberts, who holds down the Washington D.C. office of Crowley Maritime Corporation. Roberts noted it has been almost three years since the Maritime Security Act (MSP) was passed, giving 47 U.S.-flagged ships a new lease on life through a non-permanent operating subsidy program. Now, he says, something must be done about the threatened extinction of American shipping


Shipping Income Tax Reform

Shipping income tax reform may be one of the key legislative initiatives in the U.S. Congress this year according to Michael G. Roberts, who holds down the Washington D.C. office of Crowley Maritime Corporation. Roberts noted it has been almost three years since the Maritime Security Act (MSP) was passed, giving 47 U.S.-flagged ships a new lease on life through a non-permanent operating subsidy program. Now, he says, something must be done about the threatened extinction of American shipping


WW Posts 2005 Results

Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WW) posted its results for 2005. Net operating profit was $232 million, while total operating income came to $2.2 billion. Profit before taxes was $209 million. WW's net operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2005 came to $67 million, with total operating income at $608 million. Profit before taxes came to $21 million, compared with $45 million in the same period of 2004. This decline is entirely attributable to a repricing, without liquidity effect


Horizon Lines Reports 2Q Results

Horizon Lines, Inc. reported solid earnings for the second quarter of 2007. Net income for the second quarter of 2007 was $9.6m or $.28 per diluted share compared to net income of $6.4m or $.19 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2006. After adjustment to exclude the non-recurring loss on extinguishment of debt in 2007 and secondary offering expenses in 2006, and to retroactively apply tonnage tax to 2006, adjusted net income was $10.0 million or $


Support to Cyprus Shipping Industry

Nicos Anastasiades (Picture by Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus)

Cyprus President  Nicos Anastasiades reiterated his Government’s strong support towards the shipping industry and determination to introduce those mechanisms necessary to further enhance it.  The Ministry of Communications and Works and the Department of Merchant Shipping


UK flag fleet Size Declines

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  According to UK's Department of Transport (DFT) the UK fleet size fell in 2014 from 16th place to 20th place, in terms of deadweight tonnage, decreasing by 17 per cent. Ships registered in the Crown Dependencies (primarily the Isle of Man) remained at 12th place despite tonnage decreasing


Greek Fleet (Still) Rules

Maran Gas Asclepius

Since ancient times, maritime trade has been a backbone of Greece’s economy with shipping playing the dominant role. Today, it is the second largest contributor to the national economy after tourism. It is the country’s geography with a coastline almost that of the U.S


Greece's Creditors Take Aim at Shipowners

Greek ports. Image: Polish Embassy in Athens

 Greece's international lenders are asking the debt-laden country to hike vessel tax, according to a report in the Financial Times. The shipping sector is a vital generator of income for Greece.   According to an official document indicating steps Greece must take


UK Government Shipping Policy to be Scrutinised

House of Commons Debate: Photo courtesy of Maritime London

Government shipping policy is set to come under intense scrutiny as The House of Commons Transport Committee calls for evidence on the government’s strategy for the maritime sector. The committee will take oral evidence in September, coinciding with London International Shipping Week


Train More MN Ratings Urges UK Chamber of Shipping

Kenneth MacLeod: Photo courtesy of UK Chamber of Shipping

President of the UK Chamber of Shipping, Kenneth MacLeod, has called for shipping companies in the UK’s Tonnage Tax system to be allowed to train Merchant Navy ratings, not only officers. Shipping companies can apply to be part of the Tonnage Tax regime – a system of taxation that


Moore Stephens Welcomes EC's State Aid Decision

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International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens has welcomed a decision by the European Commission to keep in place in their current form the guidelines relating to state aid to maritime transport, which include EU tonnage tax regimes


EU State Aid Guidelines Welcomed by Shipowners, Not by Union

The shipping industry has welcomed a decision by the European Commission to keep in place unchanged guidelines relating to state aid to maritime transport, which include tonnage tax regimes, but seafarers' union Nautilus sees it differently, according to the UK maritime industry's latest 'Maritime


At Least Viking Profitable for TransAtlantic in Q3 2013

Photo courtesy of Viking Supply Ships

In its interim financial report TransAtlantic states that the Group's liquidity situation is strained and it has been in breach with certain covenants during the third quarter, but it has received waivers from relevant banks. Third quarter highlights


Moore Stephens Urges Changes to UK Tonnage Tax

International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens has made representations to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about changing the way in which the written-down values of vessels are calculated under the U.K. tonnage tax rules


Scottish Independence Would Hurt Maritime Sector

Image courtesy of Moore Stephens

A vote for independence from the U.K. would have a negative effect on the Scottish shipping and offshore maritime sector, according to a survey by leading international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. The survey elicited the views of leading members of the international shipping


Moore Stephens Welcomes UK Tonnage Tax Training Initiative

Sue Bill

International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens has welcomed an initiative by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) which it says will encourage the training of ratings. The DfT is to pilot a change to the tonnage tax training commitment which will allow three ratings to be trained


New UK Tax Could Hit Offshore Sector

Sue Bill (Photo courtesy: Moore Stephens)

Companies in the offshore maritime sector could be among those hit by a 25 percent Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) charge under draft UK legislation scheduled to enter force in April 2015, international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens said.


Greek Shipping Fears Syriza Tax Plan

Image: Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association

Will the new government in Greece led by radical-left party Syriza levy higher taxes that the shipping industry can’t afford? A report in WSJ says that several owners in Greece’s important shipping sector are worried about this. 


Shippers Must Monitor Greek Government Changes

Michael Kotsapas (photo: Moore Stephens)

Moore Stephens says shipping must monitor developments in wake of Greek government change   International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says it is too soon to say whether the Syriza party’s victory in the country’s elections could, as some fear






 
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