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What is an R44 Form?

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

R44 is the form you need to fill out if you want to claim your right to a Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction (SED). R44 notifies the UK tax office of your intention to operate at sea and ensures that you do not pay too much income tax by issuing an NT tax number.


The Seafarers National Insurance (NI) Code, also known as Form R44, is an important document issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK. It is used to claim a reduction in National Insurance contributions for seafarers who work on vessels operating outside UK territorial waters. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Seafarers NT Code, including what it is, who is eligible for it, and how to apply.


What is an R44 Form


How to Apply for the Seafarers NT Code?

To apply for the Seafarers NT Code, seafarers must complete Form R44 and submit it to HMRC. The form can be downloaded from the HMRC website or obtained by calling the HMRC helpline.


The form requires seafarers to provide details of their employment, including the name and address of their employer, the name and flag of the vessel they work on, and the dates of their employment. They must also provide evidence that they meet the eligibility criteria, such as a letter from their employer or a copy of their seafarer's discharge book.


Once the form has been completed, it should be sent to HMRC along with any supporting documentation. HMRC will then review the application and, if approved, will issue the seafarer with a seafarer NT Code.


How Does the Seafarers NT Code Work?


The Seafarers NT Code works by reducing the amount of National Insurance contributions that seafarers have to pay when they are working on a vessel operating outside UK territorial waters. The reduction in contributions is equivalent to the number of contributions that would be paid if the seafarer was working in the UK.


For example, if a seafarer's National Insurance contributions are normally calculated at a rate of 12%, the Seafarer NT Code will reduce this to 0%. This means that the seafarer will not have to pay any National Insurance contributions while they are working on a vessel outside UK territorial waters.


It's important to note that the Seafarers NT Code only applies to National Insurance contributions and does not affect income tax or any other taxes that seafarers may be liable to pay.


When Do I Have to Fill in R44 Form?

If you are considering applying for seafarer payroll deductions, you must meet all of the following criteria:


● You live in the UK;

● If you are employed (PAYE);

● If you work onboard a ship that is classified as a "ship" within the meaning of the SED; And

● If you have an employment contract of at least 12 months, you must have worked continuously for at least 6 months with the same employer outside the UK.


Instructions on How To Complete Form R44

● All sections must be completed, including the REC registration number.

● The name and address on the R44 form must match the registered name and address.

● Form R44 with incomplete fields is considered invalid and you will be asked to resubmit

● Any comments on Form R44 will be considered invalid. Use the information below for:

● Clarify the rationale behind each minimum standard.

● All checkboxes must be checked. Do not add additional information to a minimum standard

● Because form R44 is considered invalid.



Help for R44 Form


How Long Does the Seafarer's NT Code Last?

The Seafarer NT Code is valid for up to 52 weeks and can be renewed if the seafarer continues to meet the eligibility criteria. Seafarers must apply for a new Seafarers NT Code each time they start a new period of employment on a vessel operating outside UK territorial waters.


How Can a Pro Tax Accountant Help?

The application process includes your Social Security Number, a unique taxpayer self-assessment reference (if you have one), and employer information, including your name, PAYE reference, address, the date you started working, and your projected annual income you need.


You will also need details of any planned visits to the UK during your time on the ship, including:


● Start and end date of your visit

● Vessel name

● Ship type:

● Official ship registration number

● The date you believe your seafarer's income deduction (SED) should begin.

● You must also complete a tax return for each year following your application.


If this is a tall order, we can help you complete your R44, and any other tax forms and tax returns by making sure you get the death deduction you are entitled to.


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