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Posted: Friday, September 2, 2011 3:05 PM
Joined: 09/01/2009
Posts: 9

Hello all I have been working on some yahcts and am now looking at how I am going to sort my UK tax out this year. My wages have been going into a British bank account, and I am thinking about doing a tax self-assessment, I believe you can earn 10,000GBP tax-free is one tax year. I have been in contact with a couple of accountants but they will charge a large sum to do the self assessment for me, has anyone done a self assessment before and what was there experience? Unfortunately I don’t qualify for seaman’s tax, as I haven’t been out of the county for enough days. Just wondering if anyone else has had experience with the matter and any advice they might be able to give. All the best and thanks in advance.
Posted: Saturday, September 3, 2011 9:15 AM
Joined: 01/08/2008
Posts: 14

im pretty sure your tax free allowance is based on your tax code and that is based on your total earnings. I have been at sea for 12 years and I have always used Seatax Ltd. It costs 190 quid a year but they know the rules for seafarers tax inside out and are a reputable company. If you do a self assessment and make a mistake you could end up getting investigated or worse, made to pay. I have a friend who got hit with at 29000 bill from the inland revenue last year. I say pay the fee and let the professionals sort it all out.
Posted: Saturday, September 3, 2011 9:31 AM
Joined: 02/04/2011
Posts: 4

Try or Both charge about £200 per annum and will sort it all out for you. They have been in business for years. Don't listen to the barrack room lawyers - go with the professionals.
Pippa Kirchmann
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:25 PM
Joined: 09/08/2011
Posts: 1

I have done a self assessment in the UK, and while it is a complete and utter HEADACHE it is certainly not impossible, or infact very difficult if you have someone who has done it before to help you! My boyfriend has been regestered self employed for years, working at sea but mostly in the UK (I don't know anything about seaman's tax) and he has no problems with his self assessment every year if he has kept good records. When he talked me through it, it all made sense however when I had tried to do it myself I got lost if nonsensical jargon and help books that spend a long time explaining nothing and wanted to scream! Likewise when I tried to get a hold of someone from the tax office to help me with something I didn't understand - 25 minutes on hold only for my battery to die just as I'd got through and it wasn't the first time I'd tried. In the UK of course we had the Citizens Advice Bureau where I'm sure they would help you could check over your assessment to make sure it's right or help you if you got stuck - I think that's what they're there for. Or at the very least to advise you if you should do the assessment to start with...

So if you are going to do it yourself, a few tips from someone who's been there:
-Keep good records! Without some of the information needed it is damn near impossible! (The tax man says by law you must keep all records for 6 years)
-Find someone whose done one to talk you through it.
-Don't file it late. After this year, the £100 fine for late assessments will apply even if you owe no tax - currently it is void if the late return turns out not to owe any tax, next year this will not be the case.
-The previous post is correct about your tax code, it is personal to you and is normally somewhere around the 6 grand mark, I think. It goes up every year and is more, for example if you have kids. National insurance is different and you have to pay that regardless of how much you earn, although there are different types of NI some you do have to pay, some you don't or are optional. I'm not so clear on that bit. But there is an exemption for small eanings you can apply for.
-If you earned under £10,000 that tax year you will only have to do what is called a "three line return" (which is by all accounts much easier although still a bit mind boggling when I tried it) stating nett earnings, expenditure and profit or loss. A full return is more complicated and needs much more detail and proof of expenditure, invoices for the income etc.
-One reason to think twice before regestering to do a self assessment is that, apparently, even if you unregister as self employed they will continue in some cases to send you an assessment form every year and you will have to submit it - complete from end to end with zeros! - or pay the fine. I don't know if this is always true, I hope not as I intend to unregister this year as I'm not in the country, but was the case for a Professor of mine at university, who told me it's a complete pain in the proverbial!

Well anyways, good luck and I hope that helps a little. Finally, for a sneak preview of what it's really going to be like trying to do your own tax return I'd like to share with you a snippet from the ingenious Black Books  -

Enjoy! :D

Ian Price
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011 11:54 AM
Joined: 27/04/2010
Posts: 5

Ensure that you register online early. It can take over 30 days for them to send you the security logon password. And they wouldn't send it to an overseas address last time I tried it for someone so you'll have to get it forwarded. SA is very straight forward these days. It does all the calculations for you and it does try to ensure you pay the minimum amount of tax. However, you have to have the right figures to enter in the first place and it does not guide you to tax saving methods such as the seamans tax allowance. I always do my own SA ( I have property to add to the mix so it's more complicated ) but for £200 the two companies sound a reasonable bet.
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:39 AM
Joined: 03/03/2011
Posts: 100

James I havent lived in the UK for a few years now but I can tell you a little about how it worked when I was last there. You get a tax free allowance, that is true. That allowance varies on individual circumstances but the best tax free earnings I ever saw on my returns was less than 5 grand a year. Above that, they have different bands of tax, depending on how much you earn. There is a link here for you that shows your current potential tax free earnings. It also shows the tax bands and percentages. It is important to remember that if you cross a higher band threshold, you dont pay that new percentage on your total earnings, you just pay that higher percentage on the money you earn above and beyond that salary threshold. hope you find the link useful - self assessment I have always found easy enough - I think you can even do it on line now
Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011 1:03 PM
Joined: 18/08/2011
Posts: 21

obviously this is not right but i was under the impression you could just get your pay paid into a offshore bank account and that was it.... i didnt realise you pay tax when you work on a yacht.... then i thought you just do your tax return with 00000 and thats it? for australia i mean.
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