North Sea Workers face Tax Bills

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Bossdog, Sep 26, 2008.

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  1. North Sea workers face tax bills

    Unions have said the move could have a damaging impact on the industry

    Thousands of North Sea workers could be in line for large tax bills, BBC Scotland has learned.

    It follows a ruling by Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officials that some vessels involved in offshore work should no longer be classed as ships.

    As a result, workers on dive vessels and other vessels may no longer qualify for seafaring income tax concessions.

    Unions have criticised the move, but the HMRC said it had a duty to ensure the law is applied correctly.

    Jake Molloy, of the OILC/RMT union, said the new HMRC guidance on the law could cripple the dive support and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) industries.

    He added: "It could be a damning blow for the ROV and dive support industry, in that they were able to attract people of a seafaring background to work in the industry because of this provision.

    "Many of them now will see that attractiveness gone, and almost certainly we will see a move of many thousands of workers potentially moving back to other industries because they don't have to be away from home all this time to cover their tax."

    Peter McEwen, deputy general secretary of the maritime union Nautilus UK, said the decision was "outrageous" and called for an urgent meeting with treasury officials.

    Aberdeen South MP Anne Begg said she was seeking a meeting with the chancellor over the matter.
    It is too early for me to hold out any hope that this can be changed, but certainly I will be lobbying the chancellor as hard as possible
    Ms Begg said she had been "taken aback" when she learned of the ruling that various vessels were no longer classified as being ships after being contacted by several concerned constituents who work offshore.

    She added: "It is too early for me to hold out any hope that this can be changed, but certainly I will be lobbying the chancellor as hard as possible to get them to relook at it because I am fairly sure that this was not the intention of the government when the rules were set a few years ago."

    An HMRC spokesman said: "Revenue and customs need to make sure the law is applied correctly - this matter went before the special commissioners."

    The spokesman said Chancellor Alistair Darling would respond to the concerns in due course.
  2. THis is what happens when the government blows your money on sweets then gets desperate to find new cash.
  3. If it is just North sea workers then I do not think this will affect that many. The rules at present make it very difficult to claim seafarers allowance for vessels working out of the UK. Often boats are in and out of port quite regularly and this causes crews to fail on the half day rule.

    If they plan to get rid of the seafarers allowance altogether then it would be a huge blow and i know a lot of guys that would no longer work offshore.
  4. Too true. This government has spunked so much cash, not to mention the gold reserves p the wall.

    Now it needs more to fund its socially rigt on outreach programmes.
  5. msr

    msr LE

    As if anyone is going to be pleased to pay more tax :roll:

  6. There are two simple and equally effective solutions.

    The first option is to retrain as an MP. Most of an MP's income is tax free whether he works afloat, ashore or spends his time at his place in Portugal writing a book about Che Guavera.

    The second option is Indian citizenship. HMRC is generously offering blanket dispensations from all tax and national insurance to Indian contractors who come to the UK to work. Not content with Indian call centres, a number of British companies are undertaking mass redundancy programmes to get rid of their UK staff and replace them with tax free, VAT free, NI free Indians. It's the way ahead. You know it makes sense.
  7. Whether a worker should be entitled to the allowance is one thing, but it is absolutely inequitable if the tax liability has been back-dated to April 2007

    Change the rules, by the appropriate parliamentary means, but retrospectively? Disgraceful.
  8. They did the same with the car tax fiasco. Cars bought in 2001 are now liable for the increase

    Britain already has some of the tightest tax rules in Europe on overseas or offshore taxation.
  9. ZNL - If you are listening there is a simple solution on this front.

    "Stop Spending OUR money on sh1te"
  10. Ah, good ol' incentive. I'm wondering just what the hell it'll take to push people beyond the point of no return. I am... OUTRAGED! No... seriously... I really am. 8O
  11. My bold well that is certainly going to help the job market and growing unemployment ... its Sunday but i am a trigger away from a torrettes moment at the continuing job the New Liability are doing in creating jobs hence wealth hence fair tax receipts... :x

    do you have a link though to that little nutshell AM
  12. It would be intersesting to know if foreign aid is being cut back due to the current climate, or are we still pumping the same amount of dosh overseas??

    The UK pay out £4.25bn per year (and the US £10.3bn). Bad enough when we have a healthy economy, but should we really be rebuilding other countries after they've trashed themselves through internal wars & corruption when our own economy is in its current state?

    I'm not suggesting we should stand by and watch people starve to death, but maybe they need to tighten their belts a bit as well. After all, there are numerous domestic projects/developments being put on hold as a result of funding being frozen. How about putting some overseas projects on hold!!
  13. Charity starts at home!!!
  14. Not like I'd ever want to defend Labour.
    There was an article in private eye about a year back about oil companies staff on the rigs not paying certain taxes yet if there is an accident, The get flown into Aberdeen for medical treatment curtesy of the tax payer, Squaddies pay tax where ever they go, is there a reason these people shouldn't?
  15. All rigs workers* are liable for tax, even drill ships attract tax. So private eye has got it's facts wrong. Even if you work on a rig in a foreign country you are still liable to tax. (*if normally domicile/resident in UK)

    The seafarers tax is for those that work on any ship not just oil industry. To qualify you need to spend at least 182 days outside the UK. satisfy a very complicated 1/2 day rule and visit a foreign port.

    Because ships that work in the UK sector often call into port for more than 24 hours, most people in the oil industry will fail on the half day rule.