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Old 11-09-2007, 15:57   #1
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Register now - pay VAT later???

Bieng a Danish citicen, and having found a US boat, I'm currently spending some time at this moment looking through the possibilities of registering, and pros and cons for all options.
Ideel choice would be to register in denmark - given my nationality.
Main issue here would be the danish 25% VAT!! This could be lowered by importing to another EU country with lower VAT. Malta is currently charging 15% - thus I will save some money this way, and as soon as VAT has been paid somewhere in the EU, then it's accepted all over EU.
I can live with the 15%, but will struggle to meet the next requirement: that the boat has to be present at Malta for it to be "imported"....surprise, surprise....

Anyways: I have talked to the danish-import-and-tax-system....whomever-person, who have told me that registering the boat in Denmark has to do with the Maritime Institute and not the VAT department!
Called the Maritime Institute and according to them, they will register as soon as the legal documents have been made available to them. The boat will not need to be present (and in my case, this is most convenient...). They don't care about VAT, as this is the business of another part of the government.
Over to them again... They now tell me that as long as the boat is not imported, it's not possible to pay the VAT!
OK then.... "does that mean, that I could cruise the world with the boat registered as Danish, and as soon as I arrive the EU, I will have to pay the VAT"? "Yes", was the reply!
So - as I see it, I can buy the boat in the US. Register it as belonging in Denmark, and skip the VAT for now. Plans are to arrive in the Mediterranien sometime after 3 - 4 years anyhow, and then import the boat by paying the VAT!
Doeas anyone know if some ports (other than European) wants to see a "VAT paid in port of registrtaion"?
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Old 11-09-2007, 19:50   #2
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Wow! Sounds like you are close to cracking the code - excellent!

Get all that in writing if you can.

Don't you just love governments? Imagine if a company said something like, "I don't care if it says COD and you are supposed to pay me. That's not my department. I'm just the delivery guy."
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Old 11-09-2007, 20:00   #3
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So - as I see it, I can buy the boat in the US. Register it as belonging in Denmark, and skip the VAT for now. Plans are to arrive in the Mediterranean sometime after 3 - 4 years anyhow, and then import the boat by paying the VAT!
Seems reasonable. Guess what? By the time you come back the boat will be worth less too. I'm sure you would agree it won't be worth anywhere near what you paid for it by then. If you don't bring the boat into the EU then you are not importing it. As long as it is registered and you don't stay too long in any one place no one will want any tax. Here is a good exception. If you come to the US and purchase annual slip contract you can get hit with sales tax in some states just for being here that long. There are not many places like that but there may be different time limits different places with the US being based on the state as the federal government gets nothing anyway. Usually the Immigration side of the government is giving you a hard time about being someplace too long. So you always need to to be mindful of immigration problems anyway no matter the tax issues. For the most part all these different parts don't interact but they might! In the US however they do. The USCG will allow information access to the states so they can collect taxes on boats USCG documented but not state registered.
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Old 11-09-2007, 20:58   #4
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Now if you have a trusted friend or family member who resides somewhere outside the EU with reasonable tax rules you can register the boat in their name.

As long as you never trigger the tax rules (by visiting, staying too long etc.) in their country (or any other) no tax should be payable.

I'm thinking of a complaint by a Aussie who brought their boat to Australia and had to pay tax. They said that if they had registered the boat in the name of one of their children (who was an American citizen) they would not have had to pay tax (the boat was to be taken out of Australia after the visit).
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:35   #5
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Now if you have a trusted friend or family member who resides somewhere outside the EU with reasonable tax rules you can register the boat in their name.
Well, that's allways possible, but will definately add to complicating things, plus putting some restriction to the use of the boat. Additionally, there is always the choise of creating an off shore busioness, and registering in their name. Again, this will complicate things, and will come with a price tag as well.
A further advantage - as I see it - by being a Danish citicen and sailing a danis boat is, that it would seem logical to anyone, as opposed to sailing a boat which is registered somewhere else, and owned by another company... Just thinking of some pa.. in the a.. beaurocrat somewhere who might (rightfully or not??) be thinking that I'm avoiding paying what I should and therefore decide to give me a hard time....

I will continue along this path, and try to get something in writing. Will add in this thread as soon as some definate development is seen.

Meanwhile: keep all the good advise coming - and happy sailing. Hope to be joining you all soon
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:35   #6
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If you register a boat in someone elses name it means they really do own it and it is a gift! I would be happy to let you give me your boat.
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:21   #7
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I bought my boat in states and registered it with british small ships register,states allow 90days without paying sales tax then vessel must leave states waters ..i sailed to bahamas,when returned 8months later was issued with 12 month cruising license,and so on.....sail your boat to Azores [ vat 12.5 %portugese] I have friend will sail any sea worthy boat to Uk /med 8000dollars..fully qualified this is the cheapest way
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