UK Statutory Residence Test – HMRC
The first question you need to establish is whether you are a UK resident for the purposes of tax. The UK now uses a ‘Statutory Residency’ test to determine if you’re a UK tax resident or not. It’s important to note that even if you’re considered a tax resident elsewhere it doesn’t necessarily mean you are not also a tax resident in the UK.
In its most simple form to be treated as UK tax resident you must be physically present in the UK and if you are for 183 days or more in any given tax year, you will always be treated as a UK tax resident.
It should also be noted that there are other criteria that determine your resident status.
Leaving the UK to work abroad for at least a whole tax year and spending fewer than 16 days within the UK can result in your ceasing to be UK resident. Your domicile status will determine if you are potentially assessable for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and if you ‘must’ be assessed on your worldwide income or not.
If you are a UK Resident for Tax then to claim your Seafarers Earnings Deduction you must submit a self-assessed tax return. If you are not a UK Resident for Tax but reside within the European Economic Area then you can also claim you tax back by submitting form R43M(SED) – Repayment Claim – EEA resident merchant seafarer to HMRC. Further guidance on both of these processes can be found below.
If you are unsure of your residency status contact HMRC directly for further guidance.
HMRC Self Assessment Process – Registering For The First Time
If you are a UK tax resident you must submit a self assessment tax return in order to claim Seafarers Earnings Deduction. If this is the first time you’re making a claim then you must first register as a self assessed taxpayer. This process must also be completed if your previous claims have been submitted using an account. For guidance on how to complete this process follow the link below.
HMRC Self Assessment Process – Submitting Your Return
Once you have successfully registered your account the final step to claim back your tax is to complete submit a Self Assessment Tax Return to HMRC. This is a relatively straightforward process and there is a step by step guide available to assist you in this process.
EEA Resident Merchant Seafarer R43M(SED) – Repayment Claim
If you are not a UK Resident for Tax purposes and reside within the European Economic Area then you can also claim you tax back by submitting form R43M(SED) – Repayment Claim – EEA resident merchant seafarer to HMRC. This process if very simple and requires you to complete an online form which can be access by the link below.