From 2016 offshore jurisdictions will begin to automatically exchange information on UK residents’ offshore financial affairs with HMRC. If you are from another country, such as Australia this is already happening.
It is therefore important that Superyacht Crew like you ensure their offshore affairs are in order to avoid any problems/ fines if HMRC were to raise an enquiry. There are generous disclosure facilities still available (for a limited time) for UK tax payers to make a full tax disclosure to HMRC where historic issues are identified. But remember this, as UK yacht crew there is absolutely no reason for you not to disclose due to the Seafarer’s earnings Deduction. But, if you have not disclosed and are investigated, even though you may not actually owe any tax you will still be fined. Is it time you started to think about this a bit more seriously?
Automatic Exchange of Information
In 2013 the UK Channel Islands (Isle of Man, Jersey & Guernsey) and Offshore Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat and the Turks & Caicos Islands) signed agreements to automatically exchange information with HMRC about UK residents with financial accounts in their territories. These agreements are known as UK FATCA and they came into force on 30 June 2014.
The UK, along with over 100 other jurisdictions, has also committed to the adoption of a new global information reporting standard known as the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”). Over 60 jurisdictions (including the UK) have now made the commitment to early adoption of CRS. For the early adopter countries, CRS comes into force from 1 January 2016.
Information to be exchanged
Under UKFATCA and CRS the following financial information will be exchanged in respect of reportable accounts:
- Account holder details (name, address, jurisdiction of residence, date and place of birth);
- Account number;
- The name of the reporting financial institution;
- Account balance or value; and
- Gross income
As Yacht crew you are in a generally very fortunate position as far as tax is concerned. If you are a UK resident, disclosing (assuming you are able to do so) is an absolute no Brainer. For those of you who are not UK residents there really is no point hiding any longer. Unless you are resident of a country where you do not have to pay tax, then you will be required to do something. The longer you leave it the more expensive it will be when the authorities catch up with you.
Contact us as soon as you are able, especially now the season is ending so we can help you take care of your responsibilities.