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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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I am not sure if I should fill in my self assessment

Customer Question

I am not sure if I should fill in my self assessment for 2014-15.
I earned income in April and May 2014 in the UK being self employed. I then got a full time contract to work on a cruise line with an American company in mid May 2014, consequently I spent 208 working days out of the UK at sea for the tax year 2014-15, so technically I was a non-resident?
Please direct me as to whether I should complete my 2014-15 self assessment with the income I earned in the UK in April & May 2014 or there is a different form I must complete to declare my earnings for 2014-15.
I am now an expat resident in Dubai as of feb 2015 and have registered my tax status with the tax office.
Thank you,
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Hello Clayton, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question. The one 'ni**er in the woodpile,' to use an old non PC expression, is your time at sea. Presumably you have taken Form P85 action to notify HMRC of your residence in Dubai? If you have not you should do so immediately. Fortunately there is no time limit as to its submission, it is available on the web and can be filed on line. On receipt HMRC will classify you as non resident for the tax year following your date of departure and furthermore split the year of leaving into two portions, one resident and the other non resident. There is some doubt as to your residential status when working on a cruise line as Seafarers' Earnings Deduction is only available providing that you are over 365 days on embarked. You could, of course, issue a P85 from the date you first started employment aboard. Presumably you did not touch UK after your time at sea. If you did then your emoluments on the cruise ship would definitely have to be declared on your self assessment tax return. I am so sorry to have to rain on your parade.