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The International Marine Contractors Association

Tax Allowances for Diver Training

The International Marine Contractors Association

AODC 011
January 1983

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is the international trade association representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies.
IMCA promotes improvements in quality, health, safety, environmental and technical standards through the publication of information notes, codes of practice and by other appropriate means. Members are self-regulating through the adoption of IMCA guidelines as appropriate. They commit to act as responsible members by following relevant guidelines and being willing to be audited against compliance with them by their clients. There are two core activities that relate to all members: Safety, Environment & Legislation Training, Certification & Personnel Competence The Association is organised through four distinct divisions, each covering a specific area of members interests: Diving, Marine, Offshore Survey, Remote Systems & ROV. There are also four regional sections which facilitate work on issues affecting members in their local geographic area Americas Deepwater, Asia-Pacific, Europe & Africa and Middle East & India.


The information contained herein is given for guidance only and endeavours to reflect best industry practice. For the avoidance of doubt no legal liability shall attach to any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained.

This note is specifically concerned with personal tax allowances for diver training, and only relates to those cases where trainee divers pay for certain types of diver training, and is not concerned with company or employer contributions to training costs. Following discussions with the Inland Revenue, it has been agreed, in principle, that a trainee diver attending an approved diving course may be acquiring know-how for use in his trade, and the capital cost which he will incur as a result of acquiring that know-how may qualify for relief under Section 386 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1970. For the training costs to be allowable for tax purposes, the skills acquired as part of the training programme must come within the definition of know-how in Section 386 (7) of the Act. As far as diving activities are concerned, this means that they must relate specifically to the searching for, discovery or the winning of, access to oil wells or other mineral sources. The acquiring of know-how in relation to diving activities specifically inland or inshore, or offshore in relation to work other than associated with oil or other mineral resources, would not qualify. As far as the details of training allowances for tax purposes are concerned, the diver after qualifying must be carrying on a trade and must therefore be liable for tax under Schedule D. Divers paying tax under Schedule E would not qualify. Normally the costs of the approved training programmes would be allowable over a six year period, but if the diver genuinely gives up relevant commercial diving activities in a shorter period, then a claim may normally be made for the balance of the training cost outstanding, to be allowed for tax purposes against his Schedule D assessment for the year of discontinuance. As far as particular training courses are concerned, the following will qualify so long as they meet the requirements summarised above: i) ii) The costs of training a diver to the Part I standard of Schedule 4 of SI.399-1981, i.e. basic air diver. The costs of training a diver to the Part II standard of Schedule 4 of SI.399-1981, i.e. a mixed gas or bell diver.

iii) The cost of training a diver by a module from the Part IV to the Part I standard, or from the Part III to the Part I standard, of Schedule 4 of SI.399-1981. [Note: Training costs specifically relating to Part III or Part IV standards only will not qualify.] iv) The costs of training a diver through specialised courses using, for instance, NDT techniques for the CSWIP Phase 7 qualification would apply, so long as the trainee diver is already qualified to the Part I or Part II standard of Schedule 4 of SI.399-1981, and so long as the diver in question is carrying on a trade (i.e. is charged to tax under Schedule D) and uses the know-how acquired in the oil/ mineral context.