A favourable maritime tax climate

Jumbo Shipping
A favourable maritime tax climate is important to shipping companies that operate worldwide. The Dutch tax system has many features that make the Netherlands an attractive location for businesses. Important elements include the way profits are considered, the participation exemption, the absence of withholding taxes on outgoing dividends, royalties and interest, the possibility to allow for accelerated depreciation schemes, the wage costs tax facility and the large number of bilateral tax conventions that the Netherlands is partner to.

Wage costs tax facility
Over and above the corporate tax option offered to the owners and operators of seagoing vessels, the government of the Netherlands offers another tax concession that can yield considerable savings to shipowners in wage costs, irrespective of the crew’s nationality.

In order to benefit from this tax concession, the crew must be registered on a ship flying the Dutch flag and the shipowners must be obliged to withhold Dutch wage tax and/or social security premiums on the salaries paid to the crew (Pay as you earn tax, PAYE tax).

Tonnage tax
In 1996, the Netherlands introduced a special tax facility for shipping enterprises. Dutch fiscal law allows shipping companies that are established in the Netherlands to choose between either the regular system of taxation on the basis of actual profits made or tonnage-based taxation: a low lump-sum tax based on the net tonnage of the ships operated by the shipping company, regardless of the actual profits made. This favourable tax regime, known as the tonnage-tax regime, has resulted in an effective tax rate comparable to that of open registers.

Brochure Netherlands Business Climate