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Tonnage Tax

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 management tests that are fundamental to qualification for the tonnage tax regime. UK tonnage tax is widely credited with having helped increase the UK fleet substantially since its introduction in 2000, when it was regarded as a model of clarity and stability. Then, as now, there was the need for a stable UK tax regime to both support British business and to encourage international businesses to operate and stay in the UK. Under the reinterpretation of the rules, some groups would not have qualified for the UK regime, despite having previously received HMRC clearance, with the result that internationally mobile shipping groups could consider leaving the UK. Sue Bill, a tax partner with Moore Stephens, says, “HMRC’s reinterpretation of the rules created a lack of certainty and sent completely the wrong signals to international shipowners who had relocated to the UK to take advantage of its tonnage tax regime


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


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 $


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


American Club Reports Solid Performance

The American Club reported its results for 2002 at its annual meeting in New York. “The future is bright,” said Paul Sa (Standard Shipping Inc.), the club’s chairman, “and I am certain that the club will continue to enjoy success at the forefront of the global P&I industry over the years to come.” In addition to a further increase in entered tonnage, taking the club to a total of nearly 19m. gross tons, it also achieved a post-tax operating profit of $3.2m


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


When It Comes to Shipping, Norway Forks in the Road

Representing the new owners of Norwegian shipping company Bergesen, Andreas Sohmen-Pao delivered a clear message in his well received speech at the Annual Meeting of the NSA Tank and Bulkship Group last week. Sohmen-Pao told industry members, which had turned out in record numbers, that he thought Norway was at a crossroads when it came to shipping. Politicians had to decide whether to give the shipping industry equal treatment with that enjoyed by competitors internationally


Tonnage Numbers Steady at U.S. Ports

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U.S. ports continued to post positive tonnage numbers in October. The Seaway’s year-to-date total cargo shipments from March 22 to October 31 were 29 million metric tons, up 2 percent from the same period last year.   “With just two months left in the 2011 navigation season, the Seaway is on track to meet its projected seven percent improvement over last year’s tonnage performance,” says Rebecca Spruill


Georgia Ports Authority wins EPA Award

Christopher Grundler, director, office of transportation and air quality for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Stan Meiburg, acting regional administrator for the EPA’s Southeast Region, will visit the Port of Savannah on Friday, Jan


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


UK Budget 2014 Good News for Shipping: Analysts

Chancellor of the Exchequer: Rt Hon George Osborne MP: Official photo

The UK government’s Budget 2014, issued on 19 March 2014, is good news for UK shipping as it ensures the continuation of a stable UK tax regime for shipping, as has been the case for the past few years, according to international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens.


BG's Singapore Move Seen Cutting Big UK Tax Bill

BG Groups Methane Kari Elin delivers the first consignment of LNG to Singapores SLNG terminal. (Photo courtesy BG Group)

When BG Group Plc announced last week it was shifting the headquarters of its oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading operation to Singapore from Britain, it said the aim was to get closer to its customers. Analysts and consultants agreed that the growing importance of Japanese and Korean


Some UK Budget Good News for Shipping Industry

International accountant & shipping adviser Moore Stephens says the UK Budget 2013 contains generally good news for the shipping sector. Measures which will have an impact on the shipping industry include a reduction in the main rate of UK corporation tax from 23% for the year ended 31


Greek Shipowners Hit by Tax Changes

Greek shipowners must now pay tonnage tax on ships operating under flags other than the Greek flag which are managed by companies based in Greece, or offshore companies which have a branch in Greece, operating under Law 89 of the Greek constitution.


Security Deposit Interest Ring-fenced Under Tonnage Tax

International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens has welcomed a decision by the U.K. First Tax Tribunal that interest received on security deposits relating to loans taken out to buy ships within tonnage tax is not taxable. HMRC had argued that the interest income was outside


U.K. Shipping Minister Addresses Global Maritime Race

Shipping Minister Stephen Hammond

Shipping Minister Stephen Hammond MP has just returned from a Greek-British Shipping Forum where he addressed Greek businesses. Here he writes, exclusively for Maritime U.K., on the success of the event and the importance of Britain’s growing shipping industry.


Louisiana Ports: New Legislation Grants Tax Breaks

Governor signs tax bill: Photo credit: State of Louisiana

Governor Bobby Jindal has signed legislation that supports Louisiana’s ports by expanding a tax cargo credit for certain port projects. SB 122 — authored by Senator Norby Chabert— modifies the Investor Tax Credit (ITC) and the Import-Export Tax Credit (IETC) by expanding the


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


Georgia Port Tonnage, TEUs at All-time High

Photo: GPA

Records set in containers moved, total tonnage, and truck and intermodal moves made August an impressive month for the Georgia Ports Authority, Executive Director Curtis Foltz reported to the GPA board Monday. “Although we set new records in many categories during August


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






 
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