Guidance: Local Test Service and LTS update manager

Updated: The Local Test Service and LTS update manager page has been updated with a service availability message.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are aware of problems processing receipt of message submissions. This is under urgent investigation.
Please do not resubmit.

Use the Local Test Service tool to test your software against HMRC rules within your own environment.

Download the Local Test Service tool and save to an appropriate location.

Once downloaded locate the file, right click it and choose option ‘Extract all’ (Note: if you have Winzip installed then the ‘Extract all’ option may not show up, you will have an option to ‘Extract to’ instead.

Version 7 of the Java Software Development Kit (SDK) needs to be installed and working.

Source: HMRC

National Statistics: UK Stamp Tax statistics

Updated: Annual publication with statistics for the tax year 2016-2017. The publication now has two parts: a bulletin with commentary and charts, and a workbook with data tables.

This publication presents the yearly totals and breakdowns of Stamp Taxes collected by HMRC for the two main categories of ‘Land and property’ and ‘Stocks and shares and other liable securities’. There was also a third category of ‘Other Stamp Taxes’ which ceased to be applicable after the tax year 2003 to 2004.

Source: HMRC

Detailed guide: Share fisherman: Income Tax and National Insurance contributions

Updated: Rates have been updated for the tax year 2017 to 2018.


You’re a share fisherman if you work in the fishing industry and you:

  • aren’t employed under a contract of service
  • are a master or a crew-member of a British fishing boat manned by more than one person
  • get all or part of your pay by sharing the profits or gross earnings of the fishing boat

You also count as a shared fisherman if you used to work on a British fishing boat, but now work ashore in Great Britain. This could be making and mending gear or any other work for a British fishing boat.

Fishermen employed under a contract of service aren’t share fishermen.

Self Assessment

A share fisherman is classed as self-employed. You must register as self-employed with HM Revenue and Customs within 3 months of when you first started fishing.

Fill in a Self Assessment tax return

You must fill in a Self Assessment tax return each year. This is so that you can declare all of your income from any source, for example, self-employment, employment and Jobseeker’s Allowance, and claim any business expenses. You must keep business records to support information you put in your tax return.

Don’t record any tax that’s been deducted by your settling agent on your tax return.

Pay Class 2 National Insurance

When you register as self-employed, you’re also registering to pay Class 2 National Insurance contributions. The rate you pay in the tax year 2017 to 2018 is £3.50 a week. This contributes towards the basic State Pension, the normal range of benefits for self-employed people, and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

Claiming JSA

If your JSA claim date is between the first Sunday in January and 31 January, you’ll need to pay all the Class 2 National Insurance contributions asked for in your self-assessment tax return as soon as you can, if you haven’t done so already.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must receive the payment for these National Insurance contributions by no later than 31 January. This is to avoid a delay in getting the contribution-based JSA you may be entitled to.

If you can only pay your Class 2 National Insurance and owe HMRC any other money, please contact us first before making the payment. We’ll normally apply payments to your oldest debts first.

Budget for your Income Tax and Class 4 National Insurance contributions

As a share fisherman, you can join a voluntary tax budgeting scheme to help you pay your Income Tax and National Insurance contributions.

Source: HMRC

Detailed guide: Share fisherman: tax budgeting scheme

Updated: HMRC’s fishing units contact details for fishermen registered in Scotland has been updated.

How the scheme works

Authorise your settling agent (payer) to deduct a minimum of 20% each time you’re paid. They’ll put this money into a dedicated, interest bearing bank account in your name (your fishing account). It will stay in that account until your tax and NICs become due.

Fill in a Direct Debit mandate, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will take money from your fishing account, usually in January and July. They’ll use the money to clear your outstanding Income Tax and Class 4 NICs – settling the oldest liabilities first.

Join the scheme

Register with HMRC as self-employed within 3 months of when you first started fishing.

Contact HMRC to ask for a Tax Savings Scheme form and a Direct Debit mandate.

Fill in the Tax Savings Scheme form and the Direct Debit mandate. Ask your boat owner or settling agent (payer) to witness and sign the savings scheme form. They will send both forms to HMRC’s Fishing Unit.

Your boat owner or settling agent will deduct the percentage you’ve agreed and pay it into your dedicated fishing account.

Deduction rates to use

The minimum deduction is 20%. But, if you’ve tax arrears or you earn more than £28,000 (gross) in a year, you must increase your percentage deduction. Do this in multiples of 5%.

To increase your percentage deduction you must fill in an additional Direct Debit mandate.

Claim sea kit expenses

If you join the scheme, you can claim an allowance for sea kit expenses. This is to cover things like:

  • protective clothing
  • oilskins
  • boots
  • gloves
  • stones
  • bedding

You won’t normally be asked for proof of this expense as long as it falls below the agreed figure of £700.

If you aren’t fishing for a full year, you can only claim a proportion of this allowance. For example, if you’ve only been fishing for 6 months of the year, you can only claim a maximum of £350.

Get more help

If you need more help or want to speak to an adviser, please use the contact details below:

Fishing Units

For fishermen registered in Scotland.

HM Revenue and Customs

Cotton House

7 Cochrane Street


G1 1HY

Telephone: 03000 529 319

For fishermen registered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

HM Revenue and Customs

Longbrook House

New North Road



Telephone: 03000 567 134

Find out about call charges

There are different telephone numbers for Self Assessment or National Insurance enquiries.

Source: HMRC

Form: Import and export: application for repayment or remission (C285)

Updated: The return address has been updated.

Information you’ll need

You’ll need the following details to hand to help you complete the form:

  • VAT registration number, if you have one, this is a 9 digit reference number issued by HM Revenue and Customs when you (or your client) registered for VAT, for example 123456789
  • registration subsidiary reference number, if you have one
  • entry processing unit number of the goods
  • entry number of the goods
  • Combined Nomenclature code of the goods
  • commodity code for amended case, if you have one
  • tariff quote serial number, if you have one

You’ll need to provide supporting evidence for you claim. This can include:

  • C88/E2
  • substitute entry
  • original preference certificate
  • VAT disclaimers
  • invoice (this must be a commercial invoice, not a pro forma)
  • airway bill
  • authority from importer for representative to be repaid

Before you start using the postal form

If you’re using the postal form and your browser is an older one, for example, Internet Explorer 8, you’ll need to update it or use a different browser. Find out more about browsers.

You’ll need to fill in the form fully before you can print it. You can’t save a partly completed form so gather all your information together before you start to fill it in.

Send your completed form, and any relevant documents to the address shown in the form C285.

Source: HMRC