Income Tax Department of India started sending notices to seafarers asking them to pay taxes on income earned on both foreign and Indian flagged ships.
The notices were a result of a recent Income Tax tribunal judgement from Kolkata which required merchant navy personnel to pay taxes. According to the judgement, seafarers may have to pay around 30% tax on their income. Worse still, the IT department can raise a tax demand on income of last six years as well.
Until now, merchant navy personnel who spent more than six months at sea enjoyed similar benefits to non-resident Indians. These benefits have been received by seafarers for decades.
The judgement will affect thousands of merchant navy personnel, India being one of the largest suppliers of crew to global merchant navy fleet.
Maritime Union of India (MUI) and National Union of Seafarers Of India (NUSI) are challenging these decision and are asking seafarers to show strong support by sending a petition.
Credits: indiatimes.com/ Dnamone