Fishermen can now decide to have money deducted from their earnings and paid directly into a special, interest bearing account with Barclays. That money will be used to pay their tax and Class 4 National Insurance liability. Fishermen will still have to pay their Class 2 National Insurance contributions separately, a weekly amount of £2.65 (reduced from £7.20 from 6 April 2000).

Dawn Primarolo, the Paymaster General said:

“This excellent scheme will give share fishermen the security of knowing that their tax and NI bills are provided for when they are away at sea. The Inland Revenue want to make it easier for all taxpayers to meet their obligations, and this scheme will help share fishermen do that. A special helpline – 0845 0789 789 – has been set up to provide advice and answer any queries from those wishing to take part.”

Barry Deas of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said:

“We wanted to provide fishermen with the opportunity to prepare in advance for their tax bills. Because they are away at sea so often it is difficult for them to contact the Inland Revenue and it is often their families that have to speak to the taxman. Using the scheme, they will be kept up to date with their tax affairs and know that they are well prepared to pay their tax and NI bills.”

This scheme is similar to one that has been working successfully in Scotland for about ten years, involving 98% of Scottish share fishermen.


1. The Inland Revenue is pleased to launch this new scheme at the request of the Fishing Industry. The launch follows detailed consultation with the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations and representatives of a highly successful similar scheme in Scotland.

2. Share fishermen work in the fishing industry and are paid from a share of the profits of their boat.

`Sea-going’ share fisherman

* normally work as a master or crew member of a British
fishing boat manned by more than one person, and
* are paid some or all wages from a share of the boat’s profits or earnings

`On-shore’ share fisherman

* used to work as above, but have stopped due to age or infirmity, and
* now normally work ashore, for example, making or mending gear for a British fishing boat, and
* are paid some or all wages from a share of the boat’s profits or earnings.

3. The money paid into the special Barclays account will be used solely to pay tax and Class 4 National Insurance contributions. Money can not be withdrawn from this account.

4. Twice a year some or all of this money will be transferred from the Barclays account to the Inland Revenue to pay Income Tax, Class 4 National Insurance Contributions and any Capital Gains Tax liability, including arrears.

5. By the middle of January and July each year, before any money is transferred, the Inland Revenue will issue statements of liability to fishermen in the scheme. These will set out what is owed. Shortly thereafter Barclays will issue a statement showing amounts being transferred.

6. Fishermen remain responsible for their tax and National Insurance and for either paying any balance due or claiming a refund. If refunds are not claimed any excess money paid will be retained by the Inland Revenue to set against any future liabilities incurred.

7. As this is a new scheme for the tax year 2000/01 the first transfer from accounts will be made in January 2001. Fishermen must still complete and send in their 1999/2000 Self Assessment Returns. If people return their Self Assessment forms by the end of September the Inland Revenue will calculate their tax liability for them and will be able to include the correct amount owed on those people’s statements; otherwise an estimated payment amount will be transferred from the Barclays account in January.

8. At July 2000 fishermen should still make arrangements to pay the second instalment of their 1999/2000 tax in the normal way. Any balance in the account after the January 2001 transfer will be available to set against any arrears.

9. Share Fishermen are under no obligation to join the new scheme: membership is entirely voluntary. Fishermen who decide not to join will be required to pay tax and Class 4 NICs as normal, when payment falls due.

10. The Inland Revenue has opened the Fishing Industry Unit at Paignton District to help administer the scheme. Fishermen and Settling Agents can contact them at:

Fishing Industry Unit
Concord House
266-268 Torquay Road
Devon TQ3 2HG 11. There is also a special Helpline 0845 0789789. Calls will be charged at 1.9 pence per minute from anywhere in the UK. 12. National fishing representative bodies and all Settling Agents know about The scheme; they should also be able to give advice and answer fishermen’s queries.

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