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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Tax treatment of seafarers: deduction for provision of own food

Sections 337, 338 and 367 ITEPA 2003

A seafarer who is engaged under an agreement which requires that he or she should “find own food” is entitled to a food deduction of the full expense necessarily incurred in connection with board, etc. while living away from home.

Circumstances vary from port to port and so it is not possible to agree a national flat-rate deduction. However, Areas may, in worthwhile cases, negotiate a local flat-rate deduction covering a particular group of employees, see EIM32725.

In negotiating such a deduction, pay regard to the average expenditure for each day of duty aboard, after taking account of leave absences, public holidays, and periods when the vessel is in dry dock, etc.

No deductions can be permitted to seafarers whose rates of pay are on a “food found basis”.