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Moore Stephens says UK Budget is neutral for shipping and good for offshore

Posted on: 8 March 2017

International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says the UK Budget 2017 contained no unwelcome surprises for the shipping industry, and some good news for the offshore sector.

Moore Stephens tax partner Sue Bill says, “There are new rules, already announced, that will affect the deductions which a UK group can be claim for interest expenses. The new tax rules will restrict each group’s net deductions for interest to 30% of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) that are taxable in the UK. These rules should not affect tonnage tax companies, as those companies have no deduction for interest paid within the tonnage tax ring fence.

“There is also a reference to the government consulting later this year on legislative changes required following the announcement of the International Accounting Standard Board’s new leasing standard IRFS 16 Leases, which comes into effect from 1 January 2019. The government intends to maintain the current system of leased taxation by making legislative changes which enable the rules to continue to work as intended.

“HMRC has also confirmed that the new rules being introduced from April 2017 for non-UK domiciled individuals (‘non-doms’) will apply from 6 April 2017 for those who have been UK-resident for 15 out of the past 20 tax years.

“Improvements to the oil and gas regime, meanwhile, include an extension to investment and cluster area allowances, and tax for late-life oil and gas assets. These are aimed at improving the attractiveness of the North Sea as an area for investment.

“There have been no changes to the shipping rules, in particular those within the UK tonnage tax regime or in the taxation of non-resident shipping companies. Overall, this is probably a case of no news being good news for the shipping sector.”

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