Understanding the HMRC’s Seafarer’s Earnings Deduction Rules

Earn tax free income at sea under HMRC’s SED exemption

Do you happen to be employed on a ship or offshore based profession and happen to be a citizen of the United Kingdom? If you answered yes this specialised article will share with you the highly important piece of tax legislation that lets you keep 100% of your earnings. Believe it or not, the HMRC has a program available known as The Seafarers Earnings Deduction.

It allows you to claim a complete tax exemption on all income earned in foreign waters. The HMRC created this tax legislation after 18 years of legal battle that created the final agreement as of the year 2012. Not all seafaring employees are entitled to this tax exemption and we aim to help you in understanding the Seafarers Earnings Deduction and if it applies to you.

The HMRC is known for being entangled with different rules, regulations, and definitions of what exactly a person employed as a seafarer is and whether or not he or she can use the exemption. Continue below as we try to remove any and all confusion and answer your potential concerns.

The beginning of the Seafarers Earnings Deduction first came into legislation during the 1988 Finance Act. It has since been adjusted and improved and the rules and regulations have changed. It has been updated as of 2012 and we will discuss the variables. To begin with, the Seafarers Earnings Deduction was created to help workers deal with the extremes of an incredibly fierce and competitive job market as well as providing a solution for the needs of national defence for the United Kingdom.

The tax exemption was designed to make working offshore more financially beneficial for UK citizens. Many people who work aboard ships including yachts do not completely understand the HMRC definition of what a seafarer is and how the exemption can apply to each individual. The HMRC provides resources in terms of information but truthfully it is like reading a foreign language which can and does prevent seafarers from claiming this deduction.

Working aboard a super-yacht means you can earn tax free wages. Image credit: FreeImages.com

To begin with, the HMRC has provided few details on who exactly qualifies as a Seafarer. What they do outline in their help sheet is that you must work on a ship. What their definition of a ship is varied however the HRMC has outlined what they do not outline as a ship. These include the following: flotels, mobile offshore drilling, and fixed production units, fixed production platforms as well as floating production platforms. If you work on one of these listed positions then the Seafarers Earnings Deduction will not apply to you, unfortunately.

Now some workers who are employed as Seafarers will typically do one of two things when it comes to filing taxes. The first type of employee will not declare anything which is a huge mistake. The government has an open information system set up. If you were to not declare your income you could get caught and penalised. Other individuals that are employed as a Seafarer may set up limited companies on shore or in other countries with less taxation. Ultimately if you meet the requirements of the Seafarers Earnings Deduction you have nothing to lose when you do not have to pay anything on your tax bill when it is time to fill your earnings for the year. This is a great benefit and should be utilised if it is available.

Sometimes people will not file their taxes properly because of the issued time you are allowed to spend in the UK. As a seafarer, you are allowed to spend no more than a 183 days per tax year inside the United Kingdom. You will need to be able to account for the days that you spent ashore. You will need to keep all paperwork and ticket stubs that provide the details and information outlining your time in the UK. If you are in the country as of midnight on a given day then it counts as a day. Be sure that you are honest with how many days you spent ashore and as we stated earlier be sure to have all records and paperwork that prove this.

As a Seafarer, you will have to disembark from a foreign port to be able to use this tax exemption. Your ability to  harness the tax exemption will also be determined by how many days that you spent outside of the United Kingdom working.

If the HMRC had made the law more understandable we believe that more people would use this specialised tax exemption. Not declaring your income is not a solution and will not provide you any benefits whether if the SED applies to you or not.


The author acknowledges use of material by way of links, text and imagery to the following third parties:

Landscape Design: Understanding It’s Importance in Society

Protecting our environmental futures

Interior design is a discipline that we all know about. Many people hire the services of an interior designer to create the best possible layout and design for their home. Business owners also hire designers to set up their premises and offices in order to make the best use of the space available, while offering a pleasant customer and employee environment. But, it is a common tendency to focus solely on the inside of a building.

But what about the exterior and outdoor areas? They also have an element of importance, especially since it is generally the first thing one will see. This is where landscape design comes into the picture. Landscape design is essentially a field where designers create plans in an attempt to modify or arrange outdoor features. The aim is to improve their aesthetic appeal while also enhancing the value of the area.

Organic Landscape Design. Image credit: Pinterest
Organic Landscape Design. Image credit: Pinterest

Landscape design integrates various elements to achieve outdoor spaces that are both beautiful and functional, while making the best use of the space available. In every job landscape designers try to come up with innovative and customized solutions as tailoring these according to the client’s preferences and needs is very important. Often those who decide to do the job on their own, without having the necessary expertise, end up committing costly mistakes. This, along with any unnecessary confusion and problems can easily be bested if a landscape designer is hired from the very start.

It is important to point out that a proper landscape design not only helps to improve the enjoyment and aesthetic appeal of the particular space, be it a public one, or a private garden or yard, but it also increases the value of that place. For instance, a well-designed outdoor space does not only look incredible, but a beautiful garden also increases the value of the house. So it is evident that outdoor spaces that have been thoughtfully developed will offer various advantages.

A landscape designer could come up with ideas to use the space more wisely, or to utilise a part of the area for a specific use, and chances are you may never even have thought about such ideas or potential. According to various studies, it has been concluded that outdoor spaces that have been designer professionally by a landscape designer, can increase the value of the house or property by up to twenty percent.

Beautiful Landscaped Garden. Image credit: HGTV
Beautiful Landscaped Garden. Image credit: HGTV

Thus hiring a professional landscape designer can indeed be viewed as a form of investment. From creating exciting and functional outdoor spaces for entertainment, or to use as a play area for little children, or simply to have a peaceful haven where you can relax, a landscape designer can surely help you attain what you have always wanted from your outdoor space.

This will be done by taking into account your preferences, as well as your budget. The designer will start off with a site analysis, and then discuss these factors with the client, so as to come up with a practical plan for your outdoor space. The aim of a landscape designer is to create a customized design that is best suited for the client’s needs, any specific preferences, as well as the particular lifestyle or requirements. The landscape designer will be taking into consideration all of this, while providing that unique artistic touch.

Once the client agrees with the designer’s plan and the site-specific solutions that he/she recommends, the work can then commence. Generally landscape design services will include agreeing on the most suitable plants and trees for that outdoor area. The landscape designer will advise on these important choices according to the amount of sunlight your outdoor area gets, the weather conditions, and the amount of care and maintenance you are willing and able to provide. Professional landscape designers have a lot of experience in different kinds of plants and trees so you may rest assured that they will help you choose the best types for your garden or patio.

With the designer’s guidance you will be able to choose the most suitable design elements and materials for the site, apart from the plants. By providing a clear course of action and a plan, you will know exactly what you will be getting, apart from avoiding any costly mistakes that would result out of lack of planning. Professional landscape designers will help to ensure both the immediate as well as the ongoing success of your outdoor project.

Is there such a thing as cheap, affordable SEO?

Understanding the importance of quality over quantity when link building

As a search engine marketer, having been involved in the internet industry for over 20 years, I’ve seen a great deal change in this business. Having started life as a website designer and front-end developer, creative styles have evolved, development languages have moved on, devices have increased in power and capability, search engines have come and gone but one thing has always remained a constant issue – organic search ranks.

Back in the day, the search sphere was shared by a number of platforms and various folks used different options dependent on their personal preference. Yahoo, Metacrawler, Excite, Alta Vista, Lycos, MSN and AOL to name a few. Oh how times have changed.

Today, the search world is pretty much dominated by one giant of the internet in the form of Google, which enjoys over 85% of market share. Back in the 90’s, the SEO game was about ranking on sites across the board and ironically, it was a great deal easier to get ahead of the game back then. Just a few tweaks here or there, some keywords stuffed in appropriate places and hey presto, your site was rocking the search world. Not so anymore!

Nowadays, Google requires a great deal more than some keyword stuffing, invisible anchors and text boldening to make your mark. Yet I find it incredible that there are still website owners out there who believe that the search engines rank sites in the same way back then today. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve received enquiries from prospective clients saying that they need their site looked at as their ranks dropped. They had added all the meta tags, jammed them full of keywords, placed a ton of references to search phrases in their website verbiage and hired an SEO or two over the past couple of years to build them a ton of directory links for a few bucks. Seriously, do these people not ever read the free and informative information that’s out there on the web? Five minutes work will tell them just how foolish they’re being.

It still baffles me that business owners think this is the way that SEO is performed and that the search engines, built on highly sophisticated artificial intelligence that receives multiple software updates, has never moved on or improved its algorithmic framework. It’s the technology sector for Pete’s sake, of course it will have evolved!

Yet time and again, I receive emails from business owners who state that they need the help of an SEO to get their ranks back but can’t afford to spend much. It’s like the famous saying Einstein penned: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again, yet expecting different results”. Yet this insanity goes on in worrying abundance!

The fact is, SEO is about quality and authority and you do not get that from building a house of cards amassed from low quality spammy links, directories and blog comments. The only type of affordable SEO is the kind that works – period. The kind of SEO that works is devised by knowledgeable search marketers who takes the time necessary to fully analyse every aspect of your website from the ground up. The source code, the markup, the content quality, the link and social signals, citations, domain and page authority… in fact, a whole array of factors that highly influence your website’s appeal to Google’s very stringent ranking algorithms. Not just how many millions of links you can acquire in the fastest time.

So is there such as thing as cheap affordable SEO? Yes. Is there such a thing as cheap SEO that works. Absolutely not. Sadly, there are still many misinformed or ill-judged business people left in the world who are willing to risk the very long term future of their businesses in favour of a quick and cheap option instead of realising what the real meaning of affordable search marketing really is.

Gamble with your business and expect to get burned. I say good luck to these people but I seriously doubt they’ll get any if that’s where they’re headed.

Office Cleaning London: Choosing the Right Contractor

Office cleaning is different from cleaning at home. The place needs to be kept spick and span everyday because there will be clients visiting the office every day. A clean and neat office gives an impression that things move systematically in the office, and therefore, giving an order to such a business would not be such a bad idea. The other benefit is that staff do not feel stressed or psychologically unmotivated in a clean office, where this is a distinct possibility in a dirty or cluttered environment.

Basically, office cleaning can be broadly divided into the following services:

  1. Floor cleaning, which includes mopping, polishing, and carpet cleaning.
  2. Cleaning walls, windows, doors, and ceilings.
  3. Cleaning of upholstery and settling things like magazines and emptying ashtrays etc.
  4. Staircases and lobby cleaning
  5. Cleaning the exteriors.
  6. Janitorial supplies replenishment.
  7. Clearing dustbins
  8. Comprehensive cleaning or spring cleaning which includes pulling out everything and spraying insecticides, pesticides, etc.

In addition to these cleaning services, there may be specific cleaning requirements that need to be included in the office cleaning jobs. Therefore, for any office cleaning job in London, it would be best to search for “Office Cleaning London”. For example, there is dangerous molds, fungus, mildew etc., that can surface in some parts of London and they need to be attended to. Termites are another problem that can arise seemingly out of nowhere, and damage a lot of things, not to mention office documents. To that extent, there is some overlapping of tasks of a pest control business and cleaning business.

Over the years, office cleaning jobs have become specialized jobs. Cleaning personnel undergo training so as to be well trained for their job. Cleaning tools and equipment has also gone through a lot changes in the past few years. Therefore, such training is necessary as well. New cleaning liquids and materials are now being used to clean offices, and these are environmentally friendly apart from being non-carcinogenic, where in the past, many cleaning products have been deemed hazardous and dangerous to health.

When an office manager or entrepreneur decides to hire a cleaning company in London, it is important to carry out an interview or be aware who is going to be entrusted with the office cleaning. Cleaning personnel should be known to the agency that sends them over. This is because unknown people can have a criminal record and that can be dangerous for the clients.

While keeping an office clean from dust and grime is necessary, such cleaning may not be needed every day. Offices in London can choose to give contracts for cleaning with varying frequencies of different types of cleaning. For example, cleaning the building’s exteriors may be done once a year, and janitorial supplies replenishment may be done every day, or on alternate days. Other cleaning jobs will be done once a week, or even monthly, depending upon the number of people using the office.