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Diver’s income

13 June 2017
Issue: 4603 / Categories: Tax cases

CRC v M Fowler, Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber), 30 May 2017

Definition of employment

The taxpayer was resident in South Africa. In 2011-12 and 2012-13 he worked as a qualified diver in the UK continental shelf waters of the North Sea. HMRC said the taxpayer’s earnings constituted income from employment within Art 14 of the South Africa/UK double tax treaty and was therefore chargeable to UK income tax.

The taxpayer said the income was business profits within Art 7. As such it was exempt from UK income tax because he had no permanent establishment in the UK within the meaning of Art 5. Under ITTOIA 2005 s 15 the performance of duties of employment consisting in seabed diving activities is treated as the carrying on of a trade. His alternative case was that even if he were an employee the effect of s 15 was to bring his income within Art 7 even if that income was...

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