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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Agency and temporary workers: agency legislation - provisions from 6 April 2014: oil and gas sector - certification scheme (6 April 2014 onwards)

Applicable from 6 April 2014

Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, section 689A

Income Tax (Pay As You Earn) Regulations 2003, regulations 84A - 84D

Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001, regulations 114 and 114A - D

From 6 April 2014, there will be a new certification scheme which will provide for the issue of certificates where an employer with no presence in the UK discharges the responsibility of licensees to operate PAYE (see ESM2053) for UK continental shelf workers. When a certificate is issued it will:

  • discharge the filing and payment responsibilities of the oil field licensee; and
  • ensure HMRC cannot pursue the oil field licensee for PAYE deductions whilst the certificate is in place.

When HMRC issues a certificate to an offshore employer, it will also issue a certificate to the oil or Gas field licensee. As long as that certificate is not withdrawn by HMRC, the licensee is not liable for PAYE and NICs.

HMRC will periodically check that PAYE and NICs is being paid correctly by the offshore employer. If it is not, the employer will be given a reasonable opportunity to comply. If non payment persists, the certificate will be withdrawn and the oil or Gas field licensee becomes responsible for the operation of PAYE and NICs.

The provisions detailing how to apply for a certificate and the associated obligations and responsibilities are contained in new Regulations 84A to 84D of the Income Tax (Pay As You Earn) Regulations 2003. There are similar provisions for NICs purposes; see the National Insurance Manual (NIM) for more details.

Applications for a certificate must be made in writing. There will be one combined application process to cover both income tax and NICs and only one combined certificate may be issued by HMRC in respect of both the PAYE responsibilities and those of the secondary contributor for NICs purposes.

Offshore employers can apply to HMRC for a certificate by writing to:

Oil and Gas Certificates Unit
Grayfield House
Bankhead Avenue
EH11 4UY.