Trade group highlights workers’ fiscal concerns

THE body which champions Britain’s subsea industry has met with HM Revenue and Customs to present the industry’s concerns over proposed changes to seafarers’ tax.

Subsea UK chief executive Alistair Birnie said: “We were able to fully explain the industry’s issues and help them gain a better understanding of the variety of multi-role vessels currently operating in the sector.

“HMRC did concede that their initial letter to those in the sector was misleading and that they did not intend to impose a blanket ruling on subsea vessels.”

Mr Birnie said HMRC was open to more consultation on the issue and would be seeking representations from the industry before coming to a confirmed definition of a seafarer and its decision on taxation of these workers.

He added this was likely to happen in February.

In September, maritime union Nautilus said new guidance from HMRC meant some vessels doing offshore work could no longer be classed as ships. The change would have affected workers in the dive-support and remotely operated vehicle industries, who might no longer qualify for seafaring income tax concessions.