Sub: Budget 2020 - Finance Bill 2020 :
Income Tax implications for Seafarers Income Tax –
MUI demands are as under :
1. Retention of present rule for Seafarers to qualify as NRI (182 days in a financial year).
2. No payment of Income Tax under any criteria for those Seafarers who qualify as NRI.
MUI would like to draw attention of seafarers to the fact that we need to receive more petitions, which in turn would help to sustain our stand on the latest core income tax related issues.
We would also like to further elaborate as under :
1) The announcement during Budget 2020 stated that any Indian Non-Resident who does not pay tax in any other country, will be paying tax in India.
Not only this, our shipping industry is faced with the stark possibility of :
2) Number of NRI days being extended to 240 days in place of the current 182.
The Maritime Union of India has already fought an extremely difficult battle, when, alongwith National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) protested with unprecedented strength and succeeded in getting the NRI status declared non taxable through a circular from the Ministry of Finance in the year 2017.
We would like to emphasise that Seafarers should not be influenced by various messages on social media which are floating around at present. Comments from individuals, chartered accountants, income tax officers or other ‘experts’ at press conferences are not to be taken as being authentic interpretations applicable / not applicable to Seafarers.
MUI has already written to Honourable Finance Minister - Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman requesting for full and final clarification in the matter. In its letter to honourable Minister MUI has emphasised that a circular stating full and final clarification from the Ministry of Finance be issued. It is essential that absolute clarity is provided in the matter. There should be no ambiguity, resulting in interpretation issues at the end of assessing officers of various IT circles. MUI will be meeting the Honourable Minister very soon, for clarification and resolution of the issue.
We have received a large number of petitions. However, if you have not yet done so, we expect you to do so immediately. It is very important that Seafarers be proactive and play an active role by spreading the message by forwarding the petitions to them and requesting them to submit them from their side.
MUI would like to once again make an urgent request TO ALL SEAFARERS TO SEND IN PETITIONS TO ADD WEIGHTAGE TO OUR EFFORTS AND LEND SUPPORT TO OUR CAUSE. This will help us to strengthen our case and achieve favourable result.
Amar Singh Thakur