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a checklist representing why seafarers are exempted to pay tax

The ultimate checklist: everything you need to know about seafarer tax exemption.

If you work on board a Superyacht, did you know that you may be able to significantly reduce your tax bill?

It’s true – thanks to a tax legislation called the Seafarers’ Earning Deduction, UK residents who work at sea are exempt from UK income tax.

So, if you work on a Superyacht as a Deckhand or a Steward, read on to find out everything you need to know about why seafarers are exempt to pay tax and whether you can claim

superyacht seafarers tax

Discover how our seafarers tax service takes the headache out of finances on deck

With the end of the year fast approaching, we’ve been talking about seafarers’ tax and finance quite a lot recently.

The deadline for seafarers’ self-assessment tax returns is 31st January for the previous tax year. However, if you want to make sure you have plenty of time to complete everything, we recommend starting your tax return sooner rather than later.

In fact, in order to guarantee that your return can be submitted on time, it’s advised that you send all the details

“Do seafarers pay tax?” and other superyacht crew finance questions answered

“Do seafarers pay tax?”, “What is a seafarers self-assessment tax return?”, and “What is the Seafarers Earnings Deduction”?

Whether you’re just starting out as a yachtie or have years of experience sailing on board superyachts, seafarers’ finance can be a tricky subject. You’re bound to have questions about your finances and taxes – but don’t worry, help is at hand!

In this blog, we’ve gathered together your most frequently asked finance questions, so you can have all the answers you need in

filling in a seafarers tax form

What is a seafarer’s self-assessment tax return, and why must you do it?

Working on a Superyacht is one of the most exciting career choices there is. From visiting amazing places and meeting awesome people to fabulous financial rewards, there’s so much to love about working as a Deckhand or Stewardess. However, despite the glitz and glamour, there’s one thing you can’t escape from, no matter how exotic your next destination is - and that’s the dreaded tax return.

Superyacht stewards

I’m a man… can I be a Superyacht Steward?

One of the most common questions we’re asked at Flying Fish is whether men can work in Superyacht stewarding jobs. Although you might be used to usually seeing female Stewardesses working in the interior and male Deckhands outside on the exterior (especially if you’re a Below Deck fan!) the fact is that of course men can be Stewards - just as women can be Deckhands!

A group of graduates celebrating the completion of their Superyacht Stewardess course, demonstrating the reasons to undertake Superyacht Deckhand training or Stewardess training

5 reasons to train as a Superyacht Stewardess or Deckhand after graduating

After graduating from university, you’re likely to fall into one of two camps:

Either, you’ll have a plan in place ready to embark upon your chosen career path, or you’ll be unsure as to what you want to do next.

In either situation (although we are of course a little biased here at Flying Fish!), we would recommend completing Superyacht Deckhand training or Superyacht Stewardess training after you’ve graduated!

But what does this mean exactly, and why should you at least consider it

Superyacht Stewardesses and Deckhands doing work on a yacht during their gap year.

Why working on a Superyacht is the best way to spend your gap year

Planning on taking a gap year before starting university or your career? If so, working on a Superyacht as a Deckhand or Stewardess is undoubtedly the best way to spend it! Of course we may be a little biased here at Flying Fish (Superyacht training is, after all, what we do!), but in reality, working on a Superyacht covers a lot of different gap year “bases” (from travel to saving money and beyond), and will prepare you for your future, whatever it may be, in so many ways that you might not initially realise!

3 reasons to employ a seafarer’s tax specialist

If you work on a Superyacht, you are classed as a seafarer… and as a seafarer, you are required by law to complete an annual self-assessment seafarer’s tax return!

Explained: The penalties for not completing your seafarer’s self-assessment tax return

There’s so much to love about working on a Superyacht from the amazing places you’ll go, the awesome people you’ll meet, and the financial and experiential rewards in between! However, there’s one thing that most Deckhands and Stewardesses (among other Superyacht crew members) will agree isn’t their favourite part of the job...

Three Stewardesses off duty jumping from a Superyacht into the sea, representing how Superyacht jobs are similar to Below Deck.

Just how similar is working on a Superyacht to Below Deck?

Below Deck hit TV screens across the US in 2013.

If you’ve not seen it, Below Deck is an American reality TV show that follows a Superyacht crew as they live and work aboard privately owned vessels and travel across the globe.

The show re-surfaced to fame in August 2020 after being made available on Netflix (just in time to keep people entertained while under coronavirus lockdown restrictions) and since then, thousands of people have been inspired to train for Superyacht jobs

A Superyacht Deckhand reading a map with his supervisor, representing Superyacht Deckhand tips.

How to truly impress your Superyacht crew superiors as a Deckhand

Completing your training to become a Superyacht Deckhand is an impressive achievement… However, the work really begins once you step on that Superyacht for the first time as a qualified crew member!

A female Deckhand cleaning the side of a Superyacht, representing women in Superyacht Deckhand jobs.

I’m a woman… can I be a Superyacht Deckhand?

One of the most common questions we’re asked at Flying Fish is whether women can work in Superyacht Deckhand jobs. We’re (sadly) never too surprised by the question; if you’ve watched Below Deck, you may have noticed that the Superyacht Deckhands on board the yachts are typically male, while the Superyacht Stewardess role is usually carried out by women.


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