Moore Stephens: HMRC May Rethink Tonnage Tax Changes

Monday, August 15, 2011
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.  It would therefore be excellent news if, as we understand to be the case, HMRC decides to consider the matter afresh, and to consult fully with the shipping industry. This would be seen as an indication that the government means to continue to act fairly and reasonably, not least by protecting shipowners who elected into the regime for a ten-year period based on the original HMRC rules and clearances.

“While no formal change to HMRC’s position has yet been confirmed, it is understood that any changes to the rules will now be assessed carefully. HMRC has warned that this re-examination may not result in any change in its position at all. But we are hopeful that HMRC and the UK government will let us have a more considered view.

“We have been working with the industry, and in particular the Chamber of Shipping, in campaigning for some time, and we are delighted at this positive development.”


Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping and insurance adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 638 offices of independent member firms in 97 countries, employing 20,588 people and generating revenues in 2010 of $2.151 billion.

 

Maritime Today


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

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

People & Company News

US Navy Tests Latest Aegis Weapon System

The U.S. Navy conducted a series of cooperative air defense test exercises with the Spanish navy that culminated in live missile firing events using the latest Aegis Weapon System baseline July 20-21.

Antwerp Port CEO Scoops Baron Title

After 25 years as CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, Eddy Bruyninckx has been raised to the nobility by H.M. the king of Belgium with the rank of baron. In Belgium

SENER Presents Two FORAN Papers at the Morintekh

In June, the SENER engineering and technology group participated in the 17th Morintekh – Praktik 2016 Scientific Conference, in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Finance

Asia-N.Europe Box Rates Fall 8.1 pct

Freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe fell 8.1 percent to $713 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday,

Unipec: U.S. ANS Destined for Sinopec

Arbitrage opens after ANS discount widen on ample supplies. Unipec, the trading arm of top Asian refiner Sinopec, has bought two U.S. crude cargoes, including

G6 Updates Asia-North America West Coast Service

Two services will be merged into one until further notice / Reason is change in market demand / All other services remain unchanged. Members of the G6 Alliance

 
 
Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.3062 sec (3 req/sec)