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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,
I am writing up stories of the ships I sailed on in the 70s and 80s I have some photographs of a holiday in the Isle of Man and I remember I went there, for a couple of weeks, in 1987, for tax reasons. My memory has gone with what tax concessions we received as Merchant Seaman I think in the 70s only half our wages were taxable and this was reduced until in the late 80s there were no concessions.
I would appreciate if anyone who can remember this would let me now.

John
 

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I think we normally got a 25% reduction in tax in the 70s and a full 100% reduction if we did a "tax year"------sailed foriegn going continuously from April 5th until April 6th the following year.
 

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You used to get relief once you had done over 30 days out, but this was abused but buisness types. So it was stopped maybe 83/84 ish. Then went to the full tax year for a few years, there was a huge response to government, folk writing to mps etc. Then the 62 days and 1/6 came in
 

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# 2&3 are both correct, the only problem was the company that you worked for deducted the tax from your pay and you then had to claim it back from H.M. revenue collectors. I tried to claim through the N.U.S .Which was my union at the time they had a free service for members, I gave them 3 pay off slips to process from my 3 previous ships expecting a nest egg. They managed to lose the slips and I got sweet nothing. There was a company that started up at the time called Sea Tax based in Doncaster, that several seamen I knew used and they all got money back and spoke very highly of the company. The company is still going and maybe a polite enquiry to them might give you the exact details of taxation at the time.
All I can add to the thread is that I spent about 15 years on either foreign flag ships or in shoreside jobs in the 80s/90s where no tax was payable at source. The U.K. tax man still wanted his share and unlike normal law you are guilty until you prove your innocence. I had one period of about 6 years where the tax man made a demand for £67,000 I then spent a lot of money ,time and energy on an accountant to prove that I had not spent any more than 63 ? days in the U.K. (Your annual allowance) You had to verify by keeping air plane tickets hotel bills etc. where you had been and for how long. The tax man would not accept Visa entries in your passport they said that it was to easy to get forgeries or to bribe officials to add the wrong dates etc. Add to that the fact that Immigration in this country do not and will not stamp your passport on entry/exit and it made bloody hard work to keep what was rightfully yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Johnny,
I know Seatax very well as I used them for about tens years, in the 90s and 00s that is my next port of call. I used them when I was working abroad on a dollar contract so there were no deductions. Also kept all the flight boarding passes and any other receipts I could get I still have a drawer full of these stapled to sheets of A4 paper and marked up in date order. Later it changed to 90 days max in the UK and this was averaged over a five year period, Seatax were great with this and monitored it telling me if the was going to be any problems.
 

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I first went away in 1970 and I cannot recall receiving, being told about, or anyone discussing any tax concessions. The only time I had anything like that was when I was working in Mocambique and out of the UK for over 12 months at a time.
 

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Bit hazy so dont take this as gospel - would welcome being corrected and set right.

I agree that back in the early 70s seafarers got a 25% reduction in tax if trading foreign for a minimum period out of the country (30 days seems to ring a bell). As previously noted this was screwed by other business types jumping on the band wagon and using the system.

It then changed to tax free provided you were out of the country (outside the 12 mile limit foreign going) for not less than 180 (or maybe it was 183 days?) days of the year - I think this still may be the case?

Seem to remember that the cross channel ferry boys used this by careful use of their rotations and ocasional hollidays overseas (holiday in Boulogne????). Day leaving the country was a day out, day arring was a day in so if they sailed just before midnight that was a day out, the next return day was a day in!!! The rig crews also benefit provided the rig was outside the 12 mile limit.

n this system seafarers were 'classed as resident for tax purposes but not taxed'. This opened an intriguing benefit in that beign resident for tax you could still then claim mortage and penions relief . Money for nothing!

Sometime in the ealy 90s(?) there was jiggering around with the system which tightened it up - rules for fixed and mobile offshore units and ferries etc - but I had lost interest by then and not sure on what the changes were. Whatever I am sure it miffed a lot of people.

I
 

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You used to get relief once you had done over 30 days out, but this was abused but buisness types. So it was stopped maybe 83/84 ish. Then went to the full tax year for a few years, there was a huge response to government, folk writing to mps etc. Then the 62 days and 1/6 came in
Yes, I agree, but suggest you find a tame accountant to present your case to the Revenue
 

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Hi Guys,
I am writing up stories of the ships I sailed on in the 70s and 80s I have some photographs of a holiday in the Isle of Man and I remember I went there, for a couple of weeks, in 1987, for tax reasons. My memory has gone with what tax concessions we received as Merchant Seaman I think in the 70s only half our wages were taxable and this was reduced until in the late 80s there were no concessions.
I would appreciate if anyone who can remember this would let me now.

John
If memory is correct it was 183 days foreign,back in the 70's. I was cruising the Caribbean then and got 100% tax refund after filing
 

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I recollect, It WAS along time ago. That if you where signed on F-G, even on R-A. it counted as being out of country. Provided you had 183? days in the TAX year, (April to April) you qualified for a refund of tax for those "qualifying" days. When, as it was, the Tax was as much as 34% it could be a tidy sum. Which "management" usually had a "project" for!!. The most I ever got was for a voyage 10month 27 days.

Pete
 

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After joining foreign flag outfit, all gross pay, one of the vessels discharged in Middlesboro, (never expected any of the arab owned ships to be anywhere near UK) spoke to 2 guys who were on it at the time and both had been called in to Cardiff tax office for errors in tax form. Taxman said vessel was in for longer than you stated, one guy said oh, sorry and had to pay years tax bill, other guy denied it and taxman produced copy of bridge logbook! He had to pay his years tax plus the same again as punishment.
 

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Only ever joined left overseas, was allowed 90 days MAX in the UK, if it got close like 88 days used to go to Jersey and fly out from there. Only ever got questioned once by the Bank, the last months pay was from a whaling company.

But never ever really came near the 90 days unless it was a slip up, too busy earning the house.
 
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