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HMRC internal manual

Tonnage Tax Manual

Background Material: Seafarers


Resident employersAn employer is required to deduct tax in accordance with the PAYE regulations on making any payment of, or on account of, any income assessable to income. An employer for these purposes is defined as any person paying emoluments. The regulations apply to employers paying emoluments to seafarers in the same way as they apply to employers paying emoluments to any other category of employee.

Non-resident employersEmployers who are not resident in the UK are obliged to deduct tax if they have a presence in the UK. If the employer does not have a presence in the UK, then the obligation to deduct tax may in certain circumstances become the responsibility of the person for whom the seafarer is working. Some employers prefer to operate UK PAYE for the benefit of their UK employees even when there is strictly no obligation to do so. Employers in this position should contact the Specialist Marine Team (South Wales Compliance). That office will arrange for a PAYE scheme to be set up and will send out the relevant employers’ documentation.


Inland Revenue Offices TTM15410
Guidance for seafarers and employers TTM15300
DTAs and offshore activities TTM15400