UK Clamp Down on North Sea Drilling Tax Holiday

Posted by George Backwell
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
File image

A planned change in the way Britain taxes North Sea drillers exposes the loophole in a system that allowed an industry with annual revenues of 2 billion pounds to pay almost no corporation tax for two decades, prompting accusations that the UK tax authority is falling down on the job.

The change, announced by Finance Minister George Osborne in March, caps the amount a UK company can deduct from profit for leasing drilling rigs from an overseas unit in the same group. The rig-leasing units are typically based in countries where their income is taxed lightly or not at all.

A Reuters review of company accounts, shipping registers and other company statements, shows that such inter-company transactions - known as transfer pricing - have enabled drilling groups in the North Sea to operate almost tax free for 20 years or more, perfectly legally, and with the agreement of Britain's tax authority, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Companies that have benefited from the current rules include Ensco Plc, Rowan Companies Plc and Transocean Ltd, which collectively accounted for over 60 percent of the UK market in 2012.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by any of these companies, which declined to comment.

Osborne's change, which will limit the amount companies can deduct from profit for such lease payments to 7.5 percent of the historical cost of the rig, will replace generous deductions calculated on the market value of rigs, which has been soaring.

The amount of money the government expects the tax change to raise is equivalent to around 5 percent of total rig market revenues, which would have raised an additional $600 million from Transocean, Ensco and Rowan alone over the last 10 years. ($1 = 0.5938 British Pounds)

(By Tom Bergin)

 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter June 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

“Twiggy” Baker Wins BWT Puerto Escondido Challenge

Grant “Twiggy” Baker (ZAF) claimed victory today at the Puerto Escondido Challenge, besting a field of 24 of the world’s best big wave surfers in towering 20-to-35

Winners of International Seafarers' Welfare Awards

The winners of ISWAN's International Seafarers' Welfare Awards 2016 were announced on 24th June at a high-profile ceremony held in Manila, the Philippines. The

Maritime Needs More Women Power

United Nations  International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary- General Ki Tack Lim pushed for the increased involvement of women in the seafaring industry

Finance

VEB Guarantees $3 Bln of Yamal LNG Debt

Russian development bank VEB said on Friday it had provided a guarantee for $3 billion of debt to the Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, led by Russian gas firm Novatek.

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs after 3 Weeks of Additions

U.S. oil drillers cut rigs this week for a 20th week this year after three weeks of additions, according to a closely followed report on Friday, as crude prices

World Stocks Tumble as Britain Votes for EU Exit

Global capital markets reeled on Friday after Britain voted to leave the European Union, with $2 trillion in value wiped from equity bourses worldwide, while money

Government Update

Indonesia Bans Ships for Philippines

The Indonesian Government has banned vessels flying Indonesias flag from sailing to the Philippines following the latest hostage incident.   According to a report in AP,

Traffic Separation Schemes off Western Australia

On 1 December 2016 two new Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS) will come into effect off the south-west coast of Western Australia. Australia’s proposal to establish

Austal Delivers LCS 8 to US Navy

Austal Limited (Austal) (ASX:ASB) delivered the future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) to the U.S. Navy, during a ceremony held aboard the ship at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, USA on 23 June.

Offshore Energy

POSH Bags Shell FLNG Contract

Singapore’s offshore marine services provider PACC Offshore Services Holdings Ltd. (POSH) has been awarded a contract to support Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs after 3 Weeks of Additions

U.S. oil drillers cut rigs this week for a 20th week this year after three weeks of additions, according to a closely followed report on Friday, as crude prices

Ulstein Delivers for BS Offshore

The first of two service operation vessels (SOV) ordered in 2015 by Bernhard Schulte Offshore (BS Offshore) and its client Siemens from Ulstein Verft in is now completed,

Underwater Engineering

UK First to Accept Marine Geoengineering Amendments

The United Kingdom has become the first State to formally accept the 2013 marine geoengineering amendments to the 1996 “London Protocol”, the treaty covering dumping of wastes at sea.

Orca Energy ESS to Power Fish Farm Support Vessel

Grovfjord Mek. Verksted AS (GMV) has selected Corvus Energy as the supplier of the lithium ion based energy storage system (ESS) for a fish farm support vessel called GMV ZERO.

Viscometer Helps Coating Process

Oxfordshire based Chiltern Connections specialist is a provider of conformal coating machines and associated solutions for a wide range of industrial customers.

 
 
Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1214 sec (8 req/sec)