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.