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PIT for sailors


The Parliament adopted the amendment to the PIT Act concerning sailors. The purpose of the document adopted on 9 August this year is to exempt them from tax, if they performed work on seagoing ships for at least 183 days a year. The state budget will not lose because sailors no longer pay tax. The reason is obvious - most of the 120 Polish ships fly under the so-called comfortable flag, only 6 ships are registered in Poland. The official PIT exemption is to stop this unfortunable phenomenon and encourage them to fly under European flags, including the Polish one.

The Act, which will enter into force on 1 January 2020, implements the European Commission’s assessment concerning the coverage of sailors with the aid measure. The Commission agreed to PIT exemption, if it includes only seagoing ships registered in EU countries and the European Economic Area. Such enhancement is to ensure equal treatment and prevent discrimination against these countries. This solution is also used in other Member States. This means that sailors working not only on ships under the Polish flag, but also under the flags of EU and EEA countries will be able to obtain tax exemption. The new provisions also propose to change the minimum period of work on ships, conditioning the right to obtain tax exemption by replacing the term “period exceeding 183 days” with “at least 183 days”. The exemption shall be granted to sailors, provided that they work at least half a calendar year at sea, i.e. at least 183 days.

However, according to the justification to the proposed changes, sailors who spend most of the year abroad should, as a rule, settle in Poland. They have the so-called residence for tax purposes here, because this is where their families had stayed.

It will be also the condition that the ship is used to transport cargo or passengers in international shipping. Income from work on such units as platforms, cable-laying ships, specialized ships, e.g. research or seismic, will not be exempt from PIT. According to experts, only a few will benefit from the exemption. What is more – sailors who want to do it and will submit a relevant certificate to the tax office for this purpose, issued by the ship owner or the intermediary agency (this is another condition for exemption), will thus somehow make the notification on themselves and expose themselves to control.

According to the Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, Marek Grobarczyk, this is another step on the way back of ships under the Polish flag, which is one of the goals of both his ministry and the current government. He said that for this purpose, one last step, perhaps the most important one, is needed to prepare the draft law regulating social premiums for sailors. It is currently being prepared, and President Andrzej Duda announced his desire to register it as
a presidential initiative. Regulating the issue of premiums for sailors has been one of the main demands and activities of the Polish Association of Shipping Entrepreneurs (formerly: Polish Shipping Companies Association).

Article developed with Namiary na Morze i Handel magazine

phot. source: Namiary na Morze i Handel

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