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bigduckontax
bigduckontax, Accountant
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I need some advice about whether I am eligible farers

Customer Question

I need some advice about whether I am eligible for sea farers advice
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and happy to help you with your question.
Seafarers Allowance is an Income Tax relief generally available as follows [source Gov UK web site]:
'If you’re an employee and work at sea, you may be able to reduce your tax bill by getting the Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction.
To get the deduction you must have:
worked on a ship
worked outside of the UK long enough to qualify for the deduction
been resident in the UK or resident for tax purposes in a European Economic Area (EEA) State (other than the UK)
You can’t get the deduction if you were:
a Crown employee (eg a Royal Navy sailor)
not a UK resident
not a resident of an EEA State (other then the UK)
If you had more than one job you will still get the deduction against your seafarer pay if you meet all the conditions.'
'To get the deduction from your seafarer earnings you must have an ‘eligible period’ of at least 365 days that is made up mainly of days when you were absent from the UK.' [same source]
Full details can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/seafarers-earnings-deduction-tax-relief-if-you-work-on-a-ship
I do hope that I have been able to shed some light on this valuable tax concession for you. However if you are an oil rig worker I cannot assist you as HMRC require each person to put their individual circumstances to that department for a ruling.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for that info but it was information I had already from the website. I should have been more specific with my question. I am self employed and worked for Celebrity cruises on land from 7/4/2014 to 2/5/2014 and at sea from 3rd May to 1st November 2014. No tax was taken by Celebrity as will be shown on my self assessment 14/15. I had a contract with Celebrity but not specifically a seafarers contract. I am now employed by Cunard and from 02/11/2014 to 09/01/2015 I was in the UK leaving on 10/1/2015 on a cruise which will end on 15/09/2015. I have a seafarers contract with Cunard and tax is being deducted by them. My specific question is does the Celebrity contract qualify for seafarers. If not when can I start claiming sea farers? Also my tax code for Cunard is currently WWLW1M1.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
A tax code of WWLW1M! is not a code listed by HMRC as a valid code although the M1 indicator shows that tax ix being deducted on a monthly basis with no accumulative aspects taken into account. You should ask your tax office to issue Cunard with a valid code.
Whether you had a seafarers contract with an employer whilst being employed at sea is an irrelevance; for tax purposes you would be a seafarer. I cannot imagine why Celebrity is using such contracts as when you sign on aboard a ship you place yourself under the various Merchant Shipping Regulations and subject yourself to lawful commands by the vessel's captain and his officers.
I would emphasise that to claim Seafarers Earnings Deduction you must:
'To get the deduction from your seafarer earnings you must have an ‘eligible period’ of at least 365 days that is made up mainly of days when you were absent from the UK.' [source Gov UK web site]
From your question you only aggregate some 69 + 247 = 316 days so you would appear not to qualify for the deduction unless you go to sea again after your Cunard contract.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much for your reply which has been very helpful and the rules are so confusing. However I note from the HMRC website the following:


An ‘eligible period’ is made up mainly of days when you are absent from the


UK. You are absent from the UK on a particular day if you are outside the


UK at midnight at the end of that day. Non-work days spent outside the UK


may be counted as days of absence. A return visit to the UK can also count


towards the eligible period if:


• no single return visit lasts for more than 183 consecutive days, and


• the total number of days you have spent in the UK is not more than


one-half of the total number of days from your first day abroad to the last

day of the period you spent abroad after that return visit.

Given that I comply with the above does this not make me eligible. This is from HELP SHEET 205, sea farers earnings deductions.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Then you would appear to be eligible for the deduction for the 14/15 tax year and should claim using the following form:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/366962/r43m.pdf
Your 15/16 tax position will depend upon your sea faring service post September when your Cunard cruise terminates.
bigduckontax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your support.