Budget 2017: Cautious welcome for fishing crew tax allowance

Allowance will amount to tax credit of €1,270 for workers on board fishing vessels

Extension of a seafarers’ tax allowance in Budget 2017 has been given a cautious welcome by the fishing industry.

Up till now, only crew on merchant marine vessels could avail of a seafarers’ allowance of €6,350.

The allowance has been extended to the fishing fleet as a result of an Indecon consultancy review of marine taxation, and will amount to a tax credit of €1,270 for workers on board fishing vessels.

The original seafarers’ allowance only applied to those at sea for at least 161 days in the tax year, and on a ship on international voyages – beginning and ending in a port outside the State.


‘Very good news’

Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation chief executive Sean O’Donoghue said the extension of the tax allowance to the fishing industry was “very good news” and removed an anomaly in the Taxes Consolidation Act.

He paid tribute to Minister for Agriculture and Marine Michael Creed and Fianna Fáil TD Pat "The Cope" Gallagher for their support, adding he hoped there would be "no surprises" when the Finance Bill is published.

Irish Fish Producers Organisation chief executive Francis O’Donnell said he welcomed it but would like to see the detail and whether it applies to the entire industry.

“It is really critical that share fishermen can avail of this, as even if you are self-employed you are contributing to the State tax system,” Mr O’Donnell said.

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times