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HMRC internal manual

National Insurance Manual

Class 2 National Insurance contributions: special cases: divers and diving supervisors

Section 2(1) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and Section 2(1) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992

Regulation 92 of the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001 No 1004)

For social security purposes, divers and diving supervisors are regarded as employed earners and are liable to pay Class 1 NICs. As such, they cannot fall into the category of self-employed earners (section 2(1) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (SSCBA)).

Such earners are, however, regarded as carrying on a trade for tax purposes and are chargeable on their profits from that trade under Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 (ITTOIA).  Such earners would usually incur a liability for Class 4 NICs under section 15 SSCBA 1992, but divers and diving supervisors are expressly excepted from Class 4 NICs liability under regulation 92 of the Social Security (Contributions) Regulations 2001.

Following the changes to Class 2 and 4 NICs from 6 April 2015, such earners will continue to not be liable for Class 2 NICs despite having profits chargeable to income tax under Chapter 2 of Part 2 ITTOIA 2005, as they are not considered to be self-employed earners for NICs purposes. For the same reason, divers and diving supervisors will not be entitled to pay Class 2 NICs voluntarily (should they wish to do so, for example, because they have insufficient Class 1 earnings to secure contributory benefit entitlement).