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Old 18-01-2018, 12:30   #1
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Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

So we are now seriously looking at a boat in Italy, but the original invoice from the dealer to the 1st owner in 2006 does not seem to be available. They have the bill of sale between the 1st and 2nd (current) owners in 2015, the builders certificate, and are arranging a T2L to (they say) demonstrate tax paid.

The original invoice would have demonstrated both that the tax had been charged (and if to a private owner that it would not have been reclaimed) and give a nice clean chain of ownership.

The T2L isn't direct proof of tax being paid, but it seems it can only be issued if tax paid status has been shown, so it is strong support. The private sale between the 1st and 2nd owners also suggests tax has already been accounted for.

So would you buy the boat without the original invoice? Is the T2L sufficient to demonstrate tax is paid? Are there other ways to help prove title/tax?
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Old 18-01-2018, 13:19   #2
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Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

So many boats in the market, why take the risk? I would buy it only if the possibility of getting hit with the VAT was factored in the price. Why pay VAT paid status price for a boat whose owner canít prove that 100% solid? Why should you take that risk?
Seller lost the invoice or wasnít careful enough to make sure it was given to him by previous owner... tough luck. He takes a % hit on the price, simple as that.

Good luck with your purchase. Also, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece are countries in the EU that take their boat bureaucracy seriously. You donít want to be caught there with some stamp missing.
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Old 19-01-2018, 02:11   #3
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

Well this is one of a very few boats we've found that tick all the boxes, so we don't want to give up on it unnecessarily.

I'm going to go and view it anyway, any maybe that will turn up some other supporting documentation. If not, we'll work on price or we'll walk.
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Old 19-01-2018, 02:28   #4
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

The last time you bought a second hand car, did you check if the VAT had been paid on initial purchase and did you see a VAT receipt? There are thousands of yachts in the EU without this sort of evidence.

Why would you be liable for the VAT? it is due on initial purchase, on import into the EU or when a business sells it say from charter. In all cases since you are buying in the EU you are not liable because you are buying from a private individual.

BTW, you are not looking for one VAT receipt there are probably lots. I have a dozen receipts, one for each time a stage payment was made or an extra item was ordered.

Given the evidence you have I don't see there is much more you can do.

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Old 19-01-2018, 03:08   #5
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

Went through this exact thing on the sailboat I just bought... The old owner generously contacted the original shipyard and paid a few hundred bucks to get them to give me an "Original Copy" (meaning certified, notarized, stamped and sealed and all kinds of formal looking things of the original invoice showing VAT was paid. Vat can be lost if the boat was out of the EU for 3 years, so have some evidence that that is not the case (or rather, make sure that was not the case), and that original invoice is your proof.
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Old 19-01-2018, 03:24   #6
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

The problem is that VAT records in the UK at least only need to be kept for 6 years. Now alot of businesses will keep them longer, but if a business goes bust then good bye paperwork.

However, who is going to quizzing the new owner of an 12 year old yacht about VAT when there is a receipt for purchase inside Europe from the previous owner?
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Old 19-01-2018, 03:30   #7
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Why would you be liable for the VAT? it is due on initial purchase, on import into the EU or when a business sells it say from charter. In all cases since you are buying in the EU you are not liable because you are buying from a private individual.
I'm not too concerned about checks while we're cruising, though I've been told Portugal can be quite strict on documentation. We're planning on doing the ARC and coming back though so we'd be re-importing to the EU, and also worried it could affect future resale.

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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
Went through this exact thing on the sailboat I just bought... The old owner generously contacted the original shipyard and paid a few hundred bucks to get them to give me an "Original Copy" (meaning certified, notarized, stamped and sealed and all kinds of formal looking things of the original invoice showing VAT was paid. Vat can be lost if the boat was out of the EU for 3 years, so have some evidence that that is not the case (or rather, make sure that was not the case), and that original invoice is your proof.
We've tried that route with the original dealer but as the original transaction was 2006 they no longer hold the records to produce a copy invoice. I'm going to see if the dealer would be willing to make a declaration but suspect they would also need the invoice copy for that.
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Old 19-01-2018, 04:14   #8
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pirate Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

I would not worry about the ARC trip affecting you on return.. unless you were out there over 3yrs..
But even then its a questionable issue if you are going to be stopping/visiting French territories like Guadalupe, St Barts and SXM.. all jealously kept under the wing.
Another thing.. I have never been asked for proof of VAT.. whether that's because I'm an EU Citizen and my own boats have the Red Duster.. but even when delivering and flying US/OZ flags.. everything else Yes.
Hang onto all French territory receipts..
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Old 19-01-2018, 04:45   #9
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

Arguably the one receipt you should keep is the UK ARC entry which will show UK VAT paid. This along with a EU marina receipt just before you depart will show you came from the EU, did a circuit and then returned to somewhere in the EU well within the 3 years and the voyage originated in the EU.

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Old 19-01-2018, 07:29   #10
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

Have spoken to HMRC's National Yachtline and they have advised that while they prefer to see an original invoice, they would be quite happy accepting a T2L as proof of VAT paid.

They did advise that Spain and Portugal might be more strict, but anecdotally I've found several things to suggest that Portugal (and Croatia) actually prefer the T2L to the original invoice.

Nice that it is all clear and consistent.
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Old 19-01-2018, 09:34   #11
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

I side with Pete7
As far as you buy from a private individual..... The bill of sale better includes "VAT included".
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Old 19-01-2018, 10:30   #12
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

The seller can obtain by the Customs a declaretion that the TAV is paid!
If he refuse to do this, than is there a problem.
If he can gif you these documents, go than by the customs and ask if the are what you think that the are. I
If he can't give anny proof than have you to pay the VAT! ? %
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Old 19-01-2018, 11:11   #13
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

I would only buy the boat contingent upon the seller producing reasonable and accepted proof of the tax being paid. I expect you want "proof" that will satisfy the tax authorities in some particular country? Then I'd suggest placing the full amount of the tax into an escrow fund, to be released to you or the seller only after you have submitted their "proof" of the tax to that authority, and had it rejected or accepted. That way if the seller is sure it was paid, they lose nothing. If they can't substantiate that claim, they pay the VAT.

If you've got the time to wait for their "proof" and you can submit it in advance to find out that it will be accepted, then there's nothing for anyone to worry about.
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Old 20-01-2018, 02:53   #14
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

The T2L document is sufficent proof that the item can freely circulate in the EU, provided it is genuine and covers the item in question. You should not need the VAT invoice, as the T2L is acceptance by an EU countrythat they are satisfied regarding the VAT status of the item and must be accepted by other EU countries. Don't forget that boats older than 7-8 years before accession or joining the single market do not have to prove VAT status only their age which the T2L also covers.
However, I still think it would be worth going back to the boat manufacturer to see if they can produce a certified copy of the original invoice(s). A phone call or email should quickly elicit whether it is available. UK HMRC could then issue you a T2L with rock solid backup evidence. The RYA were very helpfull in issuing me a form and advice on it's completion and HMRC returned the T2L within a week.
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Old 20-01-2018, 03:07   #15
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Re: Proving title and VAT status without original invoice

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Originally Posted by TheThunderbird View Post
I side with Pete7
As far as you buy from a private individual..... The bill of sale better includes "VAT included".
VAT is not due when buying from a private seller and the bill of sale should not mention VAT.
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