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Old 15-07-2015, 21:49   #1
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pay VAT or not

Hi,

Do I need to pay VAT in Europe on my 44' sailboat build in 1974?
Does she fall under any law (importing antique boat/car law) so I don't have to pay VAT?

I have bought the boat in the USA. Cruised the Caribbean for a number of years and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to put her in permanently in Spain.

In 1991 the previous American owner has been to Europe and back to USA with the boat.

She is registered in EU and sails under a flag from EU but VAT was never paid. When I entered EU nobody asked to see the papers about the VAT and I just kept my mouth shut.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!

- Jesper
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Old 16-07-2015, 02:14   #2
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Re: pay VAT or not

Keep your mouth shut. But I do believe and may be wrong on this but I think some yachts are exempt or have a reduced rate if built before Yr X but what yr that is I am not sure
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Old 16-07-2015, 03:32   #3
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Re: pay VAT or not

What make of boat is it?

My boat was built in 1968 and ive restored this to as new condition and is far better than anything built in the past 20 years.

If it is not a general production boat etc whats to say it wasn't built in 1970?

There is nothing on my hull to say what year it was built.
The only thing I have is the 1970s RORC papers to say it was around then.
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Old 16-07-2015, 03:52   #4
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Re: pay VAT or not

Details of the paperwork required to prove the VAT status of a vessel can be found in HMRC Notice 8 (section 4.2). The RYA has also produced a set of frequently asked questions for which the answers have been prepared in conjunction with HMRC, which are available to RYA members. RYA members can also access leaflets on matters relating to VAT produced by the RYA Legal Team.
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Old 16-07-2015, 04:29   #5
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Re: pay VAT or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesperrosenberg View Post
Hi,

Do I need to pay VAT in Europe on my 44' sailboat build in 1974?
Does she fall under any law (importing antique boat/car law) so I don't have to pay VAT?

I have bought the boat in the USA. Cruised the Caribbean for a number of years and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to put her in permanently in Spain.

In 1991 the previous American owner has been to Europe and back to USA with the boat.

She is registered in EU and sails under a flag from EU but VAT was never paid. When I entered EU nobody asked to see the papers about the VAT and I just kept my mouth shut.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!

- Jesper
How's it go again, Don't ask Don't tell.
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Old 16-07-2015, 04:34   #6
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Re: pay VAT or not

In addition to VAT there is also a Spanish tax for boats resident over 6 months or so if you are on board in their waters and you become a resident. Suggest you visit Gib and Morocco once in a while.

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Old 16-07-2015, 04:39   #7
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Re: pay VAT or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
In addition to VAT there is also a Spanish tax for boats resident over 6 months or so if you are on board in their waters and you become a resident. Suggest you visit Gib and Morocco once in a while.

Pete
The way I got a long term stay without coughing up residency, I dont know if this applies to boats, but I think so, is that the 6 month rule applies to 6 months in the Spanish jan-dec taxable year. So if you go to Spain in june, the limitation expires in Dec and then the 6 month rule starts again. So you can get a 12 month stay and not be resident.

The residency rule covers 6 months in ANY tax year so leaving and coming back does not apply if you are over the 6 months in total. You will pay residency!

G
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Old 16-07-2015, 04:50   #8
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Re: pay VAT or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesperrosenberg View Post
I have bought the boat in the USA. Cruised the Caribbean for a number of years and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to put her in permanently in Spain.

She is registered in EU and sails under a flag from EU but VAT was never paid. When I entered EU nobody asked to see the papers about the VAT and I just kept my mouth shut.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!

- Jesper
Stay in one place long enough & somebody official will one day raise an eyebrow - and raise a question or two. Hope she is registered in Spain.
The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.
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Old 16-07-2015, 06:08   #9
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Re: pay VAT or not

Per the letter of the law...you probably owe VAT.

But you look enough like a boat that doesn't owe VAT that a lot of officials won't ask. There are a number of complications but boats built before 1984(?) that were in the EU on 1993 (?) are presumed to be VAT paid. Check the actual years but I know it's not 1991.

Now for a related question: On noonsite, there is a report that in Spain (Barcelona to be specific), they take the blue book value or sales price. Take 10% of that and charge VAT based on that (ie: $50,00 blue book...$5,000 assessed value...approx $1000 VAT paid) Given the very reasonable rate, I would think a lot of visitors would just pay the VAT so they don't have to worry about getting out of the EU all the time. This is the only source I've found for it. Anyone able to confirm?
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Old 16-07-2015, 08:41   #10
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Re: pay VAT or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Now for a related question: On noonsite, there is a report that in Spain (Barcelona to be specific), they take the blue book value or sales price. Take 10% of that and charge VAT based on that (ie: $50,00 blue book...$5,000 assessed value...approx $1000 VAT paid) Given the very reasonable rate, I would think a lot of visitors would just pay the VAT so they don't have to worry about getting out of the EU all the time. This is the only source I've found for it. Anyone able to confirm?
The "blue book" used to calculate the fiscal value of boats in Spain can be found here: http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2014/12/1...2014-13181.pdf

The engine(s) is additionally valued based on horsepower and age using the formula provided in the link.

For boats of 14 years or older, the value is indeed 10% of the one in the table.
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Old 16-07-2015, 08:41   #11
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Re: pay VAT or not

From memory there are 2 criteria to be Eu vat exempt 1) built pre 1986 and 2) located in an Eu country circa1991/1992. My figures may not be correct but as stated above RYA and JimB sail are excellent sources of info
Proof of above required
Brendan
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Old 16-07-2015, 09:02   #12
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Re: pay VAT or not

There are no VAT requirements in Europe for boats older than 1986.

Residence Tax in Spain (which I don't know about) is different to VAT rules, but your boat from 1970 is NOT subject to VAT.

Kind regards
Jens Jakobsen
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Old 16-07-2015, 09:59   #13
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Re: pay VAT or not

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Originally Posted by Jens Jakobsen View Post
There are no VAT requirements in Europe for boats older than 1986.


Kind regards
Jens Jakobsen
This I know is false!!!!

I went and found a quote (UK customs web site):
"Certain vessels that were in use as private pleasure craft prior to 1 January 1985 and were in the EU on 31 December 1992, may be deemed VAT paid under the Single Market transitional arrangements. As Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU later, the relevant dates for vessels in these countries are in use before 1 January 1987 and moored in EU on 31 December 1994."

In the context of the question, if the boat doesn't meet both date requirements, VAT is technically due.
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Old 16-07-2015, 10:31   #14
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Re: pay VAT or not

I believe Jens is right, there is no VAT requirement on a yacht of that age in any EU country.

I also have a feeling that any repairs to the yacht and its fittings may be eligible for VAT exemption........

You will need really good proof that the vessel was built when you claim it was.
If you can also get that paperwork independantly verified (USCG, IRS, Marina manager) it would all help.
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Old 16-07-2015, 11:03   #15
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Re: pay VAT or not

I think people are getting confused. This is not an EU citizen who bought and kept the boat in the EU customs area.

The key issue: Per the original post, the boat was not in the EU customs area at the critical times. Therefore it doesn't enjoy the exemption due to age. There is a good chance the OP has so far gotten away with it because, on the surface it looks like it should be exempt.
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