Shipping: Tax Allowances

Treasury written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Anneliese Dodds Anneliese Dodds Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans his Department has to inform UK seafarers who have been unable to work due to covid-19 travel restrictions that they may face a tax bill as a result of not qualifying for the Seafarers Earnings Deduction.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Seafarers Earnings Deduction (SED) offers a 100 per cent reduction in income tax on maritime employment income for UK and EEA resident seafarers who have a qualifying period of time absent from the UK. The qualifying period must be made up of at least 365 days, but return visits to the UK during that time up to a maximum of 183 consecutive days can count towards the qualifying period. This is among the most generous reliefs available to seafarers worldwide.

In addition, the Government has introduced a broad range of support to help meet this challenge. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and mortgage holidays for homeowners and landlords.

Guidance is available on GOV.UK for seafarers to check whether they are eligible for SED and what steps they need to take to claim, including a worksheet which seafarers can use each year to determine their eligibility.

As with other areas of tax policy, the Government is keeping this under review in light of the pandemic.

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