Click for Lurssen Click for Abeking Click for Northern Lights Click for Lurssen Click for Westport

Hiring Bahamian national on US flagged vessel?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Captain Jim, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Chasm

    Chasm Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Germany
    Probably, as I read the thread, it's rather simple.
    The US manning rules don't apply to a US yacht.
    The US employment laws still apply to a US yacht.

    So you can hire other nationals on a US yacht but must use US employment rules.
    You can't use the yacht in a way that voids the exemption.

    Since I don't play a lawyer on the Internet either everyone should hire their own. :D
  2. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    What is interesting and rather frustrating to me on the forum is I see things from a different perspective.

    The point Marmot was making is to manning, and legality as to registration as to manning. This follows my point from the overall perspective of extraterritorial nature of the boat, taxation and liability. They are not the same but related. If you are the Master or Skipper you are really worried about running things right to the rules, regulations and laws in operations. If you are looking from a ownership perspective you are looking from a taxation, executive management of the business aspects and overall liability. Simply, the skipper worries about the boat sinking and the crew doing their jobs, and importantly, the guests having a good time. The manager worries about money, taxes and liabilities. Apples and oranges. But both are needed for a nice fruit salad.

    Interestingly, the crew manning regulations as to hiring a foreign national on a privately used, never chartered and smaller yacht registered under the US Flag is one thing. But as to taxation and employment aspects much different. You could hire a foreign national legally from a registration standpoint on a US flagged boat. But at the same time be constrained by other regulations as to taxation, employment and immigration... were the person would have to hold a green card or right to work in the United State proper. Remember the comment about might as well be in Kansas. So this creates a problem for the management and the Skipper/Master as there responsibilities are usually quite different but overlap. From the Master's perspective it is OK to hire him but from the Manager's standpoint it is Verboten. Why is because their responsibilities are much different.

    A boat as here is bordering on the size where it might be owned by a person... or owned by a corporate entity. Admittedly it sounds like it is a privately owned by a living person boat. A private person owner is much different than a corporate owner. On larger boats there is usually no living owner... the boat is owned by a corporate entity. The person who most consider or refer to as the owner is more like a Chairman of the Board or perhaps a Managing Director of that entity, using a solely British concept. That person really owns nothing of the boat. He or she might control it but that is through a chain of intermediary hired parties of responsibility of various types... no one person makes all the decisions.

    One can see not only are the differing regulations confusing between various bureaucratic agencies... and the differing perspectives of those involved.

    It is a sad world that is so. But there are great opportunities too in such complex worlds... equally or perhaps exponentially more with complication... so it is not all bad but opportunity for great wealth and more interesting and inspiring boats to be had.
  3. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,314
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave
    There is no need to make this so complicated except to spend time on the web. It is so very simple for an American employer (owner or captain) to call the IRS and the Immigration people to obtain accurate and relevant information. Everything else is a keyboard wank and troll. By the time a captain has the license to take a yacht outside American waters he or she should have acquired the knowledge of regulations that apply to the job ... if not then the owner needs to take a long close look at his hiring standards.

    That is why an American owner or captain should not seek this kind of advice from foreign yachties, it only confuses both parties.

    "Nonresident employees performing services abroad are not subject to U.S. withholding because the source of income from services is where the services are performed (not where payment is made). Nonresident aliens are not subject to tax on foreign-source income. Employers should request that these employees document their foreign status on Form W-8BEN (no Taxpayer Identification Number required) and the location of the services in their contracts. Compensation paid to nonresident (and resident alien) employees working abroad is not subject to FUTA."
  4. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    Why so few? You think it will be locked after falling into serious political diatribe over whose fault it really is or what the price of Cote d'Agneau and a carafe of house red is at the Cambuse in Nice Market is ?
  5. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,314
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave
    You're right, probably another 3 or 4 pages of incredibly detailed descriptions of a dream someone had about Icelandic labor and tax laws.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,885
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I agree with this and would have no problems hiring the man. The only issues I would have is if the yacht is travelling to other countries and if any of them would have an issue with a Bahamian checking into that country. But all in all I don't think this is an issue.
  7. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    Frustrations Abound...

    Frustrations certainly abound here in this thread.
    There are many perspectives to look at this... and it seems even having a yacht for pleasureful enjoyment of life it gets complicated... and frustrating. But we all live in a world of "toxic bureaucracy"... that's my coining of the problems.

    Even the issue is mentioned about calling the IRS or some other agency for a determination. Sounds simple. Well that is not really the case. You will sadly find out the IRS will not stand behind their own recommendations from a phone call. That has no what they call no legal "standing" in tax court. The can provide general information but nothing you can take to the bank... figures the weasels!

    If you want an official determination from the IRS you will have to write them requesting that they provide an determination from your very specific details... and you make any deviation of those specifics in what you actually do, it essentially invalidates the determination.

    Of course, you can do the same with all the other agencies involved.

    Look at the bright side of things all the tax attorneys, managers, accountants and accountants... all get paid to make the world go around and keep the boat afloat. Jobs all kinds of well paying jobs to pay mortgages, nice lifestyles, keep the kids in school and the wife happy for each and every one. People got to live somehow... and most don't get any of the enjoyment of the boat or ever see the clear dawn on the water but stew behind desks with piles of paper!
    Bon Jour!
  8. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,314
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave
    You are the only one who seems to be seeking the dark side of things in this thread and appear to have less knowledge about American yachts than anyone else.

    If you want to express an anti-government rant there are better places to visit and post your frustrations. This thread was started because someone wanted to know if he could hire a foreign citizen to work on his private yacht outside the US. Period. I can't speak for others but I for one could care less what some grump in France thinks about American tax collectors or politicians, lawyers, and bankers in general.
  9. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    935
    Location:
    Palm Beach, FL
    Is that a sly way of saying you are not employed? So you are working when not in US waters, but when you come to the US you say you are a guest? Seems to involve a bit of deception. Questioned or not - if it involves deception you should be asking yourself if it's legal and the path you wish to travel down.
  10. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,314
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave
    Ah man ... there goes the whole day-worker industry in Fort Lauderdale!
  11. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    He was sailing as a steward so it's easy to be a special "guest" of the Owner.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,885
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    A steward is a job and a steward gets compensated to take care of the owners wishes and desires, while the owner is on and off the yacht.
  13. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    Marmot:
    I am very sorry to any that have found my posts offensive. I intended to educate to the best of my knowledge. Predominately I believe the information is accurate... if it is not I am sorry to misinform. It was not intended as either an anti-USA rant or anti-Government rant. Nor was I denigrating the professional services many legal, accounting or management people do. Simply, their jobs are part of the spectrum needed for yacht management, operations and ownership through they hardly ever get any of the benefits. I suppose my point is life is complicated and people need to know as much as possible so not to be caught out and made unhappy. I mean what I say about it being a sad state of affairs that the man needs a job, his work is needed and yet there are lots of hidden issues that might prevent his hiring. That is really my rant if any.

    Marmot, I am very sorry to have upset you or others in this.

    I know posting these things it my be frustrating to others. It is very easy to get to that place when you face the complications from a regulatory stand point. The posts were to provide general information or point point people in a direction from which they could learn more. In my personal experience, I have been caught out many times. And, learned sometimes expensive lessons. Other times the professionals educating me have had to take the brunt of my frustrations at times. It is not their fault... it is mine when the instigating situation had happened... now I listen quietly and simply try to to it right.

    A couple parting comments, Adm. Rickover once said, "bureaucracies never forget". Also, I have been often told more than once "You are the best gentleman to deal with but at the same time the biggest *******." So there you go I cannot help myself.
  14. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    935
    Location:
    Palm Beach, FL
    ...asking foreigners in the USA to obey the laws. I know in other countries US citizens are asked and expected to obey their laws. I'm not a fan of deception, bribery and if I want to skirt something it'll be in reference to the waist of my wife; not the law. :)
  15. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,584
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Aye Mate, you are saying, on a public forum, with thousands of readers, that your wife is ahem, Beamy....?:D

    If she reads the above, your arse may be Toast..;)
  16. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    I am lucky the love of my life does not read English... As far as I know!

    I would love to fly the Stars and Stripes... really... it's Bleu Blanc Rouge too!

    But a BEAMY reference would be the last straw... SHE has enough trouble with the boat addiction... once she stepped into the middle of a VAT issue... opened her purse... on the spot wrote a check out of her personal account... pay back... the really hard way... promises before God... make me wake up in a sweat.. sweet dreams all!
  17. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    935
    Location:
    Palm Beach, FL
    Nah, my wife is quite lovely and while beamy girls are supposedly lots of fun and the subject of numerous ballads she would not be upset if I wrote about her skirt. More to the subject I had to jump thru the govt. regulatory hoops to get a work permit in her native Panama while I worked there, and the same while I worked in Palau. Folks that flaunt federal laws here should get no quarter IMHO. The industry is difficult enough for young citizens to enter and stay in without competing against foreign nationals who disregard our laws.
  18. Captain Jim

    Captain Jim New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    S. Florida/S. Carolina
    Boss just got back aboard with word from his stateside maritime lawyer. This is based on our vessel being private use only, no charters, US flagged:

    Applicant needs valid passport with B1 and B2 visas.

    Can work aboard out of the US, no time limit, no US tax liability.

    Can work aboard in the US, must leave the US every 30 days, no US tax liability.

    Above stipulations from bosses Maritime lawyer. Tax liability is upon employee in his native country, which is Bahamas, which means not taxed. No US tax liability if he leaves US every 30 days and his home remains in the Bahamas.

    Thanks or all the input and friendly chatter....
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    13,885
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I've seen people able to stay up to 90 days in the US, if CBP allows it. However a round trip plane ticket to Nassau is pretty cheap. I think $150 on Bahamas air, last time I flew back for a part.
  20. Captain Jim

    Captain Jim New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    S. Florida/S. Carolina
    RT airfare back to the Bahamas every 30 days is definately cheaper than the 30% tax liability.