Seafarers Earnings Deduction: The Most Frequently Asked Questions - Answered!

Tax has always been an ugly word in the yachting industry, but for UK seafarers it needn’t be!

They are in the unique position of not having to pay any tax, but in order to facilitate this it is necessary to file an annual tax return.

Yet many seafarers still do not declare their income and this is due in part to them not being familiar with the process of filing a tax return:


What do you need to file a tax return under the SED?


1. Income

You will need to confirm how much money you have earned over the tax year (6th April – 5th April).

If you worked in a salaried position, which most of you do, then this figure is easily calculated.

2. Employer Details

You will need to be provide the name of your vessel and where possible the name and address of your employer or management company.

3. Days spent in the UK

A day in the UK is if you were there at midnight, so the day you land is counted as a day in.

It is important to keep an accurate count of the number of days you have spent in the UK.

You are allowed a maximum of 183.

Seafarers will often not submit a tax return, as they do not feel that they have the correct documentation to support it.


Do I need a seaman’s discharge book, payslips and flight stubs?


1. Seaman’s Discharge Book

This will record your time whilst on ship, but it will not record your time whilst on holiday out of the UK.

It is also not a requirement to have this for claiming the SED.

2. Pay slips

You are not required to provide pay slips when filing a tax return.

Bank Statements are also accepted as well as a formal statement of earnings.

3. Flight Stubs

In the days before the Internet, this was the only way to record international travel.

Most Airlines nowadays record your travel movements, removing the need to keep flight stubs.

If this article has hit a resounding note and you wish to file a tax return we are here to help.

Please click on the link below to contact us for more information:

Click here for advice

Any advice in this publication is not intended or written by Marine Accounts to be used by a client or entity for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party matters herein.

Back to previous page