In order to create an appropriate tax framework for inclusion of local companies in the maritime industry, the adoption of Law on flat rate tonnage taxation systems is announced for the first quarter of 2015.
Establishing and promoting a stimulating tax policy by adoption of Law on flat rate tonnage taxation system is an integral part of the policy on fiscal stimulation in the most member states of the European Union, and was first introduced in the Netherlands and Greece in 1957.
To date this system is established in: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Malta, Cyprus, Spain, Ireland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, as well as Norway, Australia, India, South Africa, Singapore and others.
The aim of this system is to provide favorable tax treatment for domestic shipping companies and thus assure, in the case of the Republic of Serbia, the creation of a naval fleet under the national flag. This system is in accordance with Art. 107-109 of the Treaty on the functioning of the EU and the Community guidelines on State aid to maritime transport (2004/C 13/03).
Tax on the tonnage of the ship is a special way of paying taxes according to which the amount of tax payable by the maritime shipping company is directly related to the tonnage that is used, thus the amount of tax does not depend on its actual income or expense.
It is calculated by applying the corporate income tax rate on the presumed profit of the shipping company, which is calculated according to the tonnage of the ship. This type of tax represents ”standard tax” and one of the basic measures for the creation and improvement of naval fleets, which is of great importance for national economy.
The provision of Art. 3 par. 4 of the Law on Corporate Income Tax already prescribes the possibility that if the taxpayer elects to pay tax on the income in accordance with the special law governing the taxation of tax on the tonnage of the ship, for that part of the profit, it is not a taxpayer in accordance with the Law on Corporate Income Tax.