Over and above the tonnage tax scheme offered to the owners and operators of seagoing vessels, the government of the Netherlands offers another tax facility that can yield considerable savings in wage costs of seafarers (in casu captains, officers and ratings) working on board Dutch flagged vessels. Everyone on board who is engaged (¨aangemonsterd¨) is considered to be a seafarer under the Dutch Seafarers Act and thus eligible for the wage tax facilitation.
The employer of the seafarers is obliged to withhold Dutch wage tax on the salaries paid (Pay as you earn tax, PAYE tax). Being subject to Dutch wage tax depends on bilateral tax treaties; in most cases countries of domicile levy the wage tax.
The deduction for the employer of PAYE tax is 40 % of the fiscal income of seafarers who are residents of an EU or EEA country. For seafarers who are resident in other countries, shipowners may deduct 10% of the fiscal wage if seafarers are subject to wage tax or national insurance contributions in The Netherlands.
For more information on shipping taxation the following organizations can be of help: the Dutch tax authority, the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners, a specialist accountant or a maritime fiscal expert.