New UK tax could affect offshore maritime sector
Moore Stephens, an international accountant and shipping adviser, has pointed out that companies in the offshore maritime sector could be affected by a 25% diverted profits tax (DPT) charge under draft UK legislation, which is scheduled to enter force in April 2015.
The UK government published the draft legislation in December 2014. The new DPT could potentially apply to many UK companies transacting with overseas connected parties, basically wherever a UK company has entered into arrangements with connected parties involving enterprises or transactions with "insufficient economic substance".
Companies caught by the rules will be subject to a 25% tax charge. This will not usually apply to tonnage tax companies, because any transactions with related parties are unlikely to reduce the company’s tax liability, because this is based on the net tonnage of vessels owned or chartered in to the company. However, the new rules might affect many other enterprises, including those operating in the offshore sector.