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Wage tax deduction in favour of employers

100% wage tax deduction

According to § 41a, paragraph 4 of the German Income Tax Law, an employer of seafarers on German-flagged ships does not need to pay the tax office the wage tax due. Shipowners and employers deduct the full amount of wage tax from  their seafarers' wages, but they may keep this amount. This provision is intended to equate German shipowning companies with those of other flags that do not have to pay wage tax for their seafarers either.

The wage tax deduction is permitted for all seafarers on board a seagoing ship under the German flag, regardless of their nationality or their limited/unlimited tax liability.

The wage tax deduction is also an option when the seafarers' employer is not also the shipowner. In that case, the employer (e.g. a crew manager) must hold a share of the ship, with the sum involved not prescribed.

Neither advantages nor disadvantages for the seafarer

With regard to wage tax deduction seafarers are in the same position they would be in, if their employer had paid 100% of their tax to the tax office. Thus, seafarers have neither advantages nor disadvantages resulting from the wage tax deduction.

For further information please refer to fiscal law commentary on § 41a, paragraph 4 of the German Income Tax Law.

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