Seafarer’s Earnings Deduction

Seafarer’s Earnings Deduction is a tax relief that allows people who work at sea to claim a 100% tax exemption on their foreign income.

To get it, you must have:

  • Worked on a ship
  • Worked outside of the UK long enough to qualify for the deduction – usually a minimum of 365 days
  • Be a tax resident in the UK or an EEA (European Economic Area)

You’ll also need a few documents like:

  • Travel receipts
  • Passport and visas
  • Seafarer’s discharge book and logs of the ships you worked on
  • A completed HS205 form

To claim the Seafarer’s Earnings Deduction, you’ll have to file a Self Assessment tax return within four years of the end of the tax year in which you earned your income.

You can also ask your employer to pay your salary without deducting tax.

In this case, you’ll get something called an NT tax code, but HMRC won’t issue one until after you’ve claimed Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction at least once.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long should I be storing my Tax Records?

    In the UK, you must keep your tax records for at least six years from the end of the relevant tax year. Accounting software can help you to digitally store your records without taking up space in your office!

  • What is the HS205 form?

    The HS205 Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction form allows you to calculate your eligible period and decide whether you qualify for the relief. For more information, visit the HMRC website.

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