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Government of India accepts NUSI demand

Victory Victory Victory

Government of India accepts NUSI demand for Income Tax relief for seafarers 20 years NUSI effort is successful Seafarers and their families are very Happy

You are all aware that NUSI has been trying for the past 20 years to get Income tax relief for our seafarers working on the Indian flags ships.

  • In the last 20 years NUSI has consistently made representation with the Government of India that seafarers working on Indian flag ships should get relief on payment of Income tax.
  • NUSI has demanded every time that the whole period of service of foreign going Indian flagships whether on the Indian coast or in foreign waters should be taken as period in foreign waters and there should not be any income tax on salary.
  • NUSI had demanded that even the coastal period of seafarers working on Indian flags ships which are going in foreign waters should also be considered as non-resident period.
  • NUSI has been taking up this matter for all Indian seafarers with the Government of India and also with the various departments of the Ministry of Shipping, Director General of Shipping, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Labour.
  • NUSI has been consistently taking up the matter with the Ministry of Shipping at the statutory National Shipping Board and National Welfare Board and also in the various interactions with the Honourable Minister of Shipping.
  • NUSI had also given legal opinion and also comparative statements of the Income Tax benefits given by countries like Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Curacao, Cyprus, Ghana, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Portugal, Singapore, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Korea, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom to the their citizens who are seafarers.
  • NUSI has appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on Direct Tax Code Bill, 2010 to strongly present the case for Income tax relief for Indian seafarers working on Indian flagships.
  • NUSI organized thousands of petitions from all seafarers working on board Indian flagships demanding relief of income tax on salary. The petitions were effectively presented by NUSI to the Government of India.
  • NUSI has passed resolutions in every General Body meeting demanding tax relief for seafarers working on Indian flag ships.
  • NUSI had also taken up this matter with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) to seek support.
  • NUSI had also taken up this matter strongly with the Government of India
  • NUSI also represented the matter personally with Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping on the occasion of “Day of the Seafarers” on 25th June, 2014.
  • NUSI alongwith the Maritime Union of India (MUI) met Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping in New Delhi to seek relief for seafarers working on Indian flag ships.
  • Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping had assured NUSI, MUI and all Indian seafarers that he will do justice to the seafarers and that he will personally take up the matter with the Ministry of Finance.
  • NUSI and MUI also represented the case before the Committee of Income Tax Authorities who had come from New Delhi seeking clarifications.
  • For the first time in February, 2015 in the Budget speech of the Hon. Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, the reference of granting relief to seafarers working on Indian flag ships was mentioned. This was a great victory. The matter was referred to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for framing the rules for granting exemptions to seafarers working on Indian flag ships.
  • WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE ALL OUR SEAFARERS, THEIR FAMILIES AND THE WHOLE SHIPPING FRATERNITY THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA HAS FINALLY GRANTED RELIEF TO ALL SEAFARERS WHO ARE WORKING ON INDIAN FLAG SHIPS. EVEN THE SERVICE IN THE INDIAN COAST WILL NOW BE ADDED TO THE SERVICE IN FOREIGN WATERS. THIS WILL BENEFIT THOUSANDS OF SEAFARERS TO GET THE NON-RESIDENT STATUS. THIS IS A BIG BIG RELIEF OF INCOME TAX FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
  • WE will continue our fight for getting income tax relief for exclusive coastal ships also which are not going in foreign waters.
  • WE THANK the Government of India under the Prime Ministership of Hon. Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon. Minister of Finance, Ministry of Shipping and Directorate General of Shipping.
  • WE ALSO THANK the shipowners (foreign and Indian) and particularly the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA).
  • WE ALSO THANK the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), London and all ITF affiliates throughout the world who helped us compile important data to present our case strongly and all seafarers who supported us in our demand for Income Tax relief.
  • Any seafarer who wants guidance on this issue can get in touch with NUSI and we will be happy to provide any assistance.
  • This notification is effective from 1st Day of April, 2015 which means that the Income tax return has to be filed before 31stAugust, 2015 to get the benefit of the period from 1st April, 2014 to 31st March, 2015.

Given below is the text of the Gazzette Notification dated 17th August, 2015

[TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE OF INDIA, EXTRAORDINARY, PART II, SECTION 3, SUB-SECTION (ii)] GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF FINANCE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE [CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES] INCOME-TAX Notification New Delhi, the 17th August,

2015 S.O. 2240(E).-

In exercise of the powers conferred by Explanation 2 to clause (1) of section 6 read with section 295 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), the Central Board of Direct Taxes hereby makes the following rules further to amend the Income-tax Rules, 1962, namely:-

1. (1) These rules may be called the Income-tax (Twelfth Amendment) Rules, 2015.

(2) They shall come into force with retrospective effect from the 1st day of April, 2015.

2. In the Income-tax Rules, 1962, in Part XV, after rule 125, the following rule shall be inserted, namely:-

‘126. Computation of period of stay in India in certain cases. –

(1). For the purposes of clause (1) of section 6, in case of an individual, being a citizen of India and a member of the crew of a ship, the period or periods of stay in India shall, in respect of an eligible voyage, not include the period computed in accordance with sub-rule (2).

(2). The period referred to in sub-rule (1) shall be the period beginning on the date entered into the Continuous Discharge Certificate in respect of joining the ship by the said individual for the eligible voyage and ending on the date entered into the Continuous Discharge Certificate in respect of signing off by that individual from the ship in respect of such voyage.

Explanation: For the purposes of this rule,-

(a) “Continuous Discharge Certificate” shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Merchant Shipping (Continuous Discharge Certificate-cumSeafarer’s Identity Document) Rules, 2001 made under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958);

(b) “eligible voyage” shall mean a voyage undertaken by a ship engaged in the carriage of passengers or freight in international traffic where-

(i) for the voyage having originated from any port in India, has as its destination any port outside India; and

(ii) for the voyage having originated from any port outside India, has as its destination any port in India.’.

[Notification No. 70/2015/ F.No.142 /12/2015-TPL]

(Amit Katoch)

Under Secretary (Tax Policy and Legislation)

Note. - The principal rules were published vide notification S.O. 969 (E), dated the 26th March, 1962 and last amended vide notification S.O. 2155(E), dated the 7th August, 2015.

With warm regards,

Abdulgani Y. Serang

General Secretary-cum-Treasurer

National Union of Seafarers of India

Vice-Chair - ITF Seafarers Section - Asia Pacific Region

Vice-Chair - ITF Asia Pacific Region