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Old 26-01-2020, 15:27   #1
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Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

Liveaboards and long-distance sailors risk having to pay sales tax/import duty multiple times on their ‘home’ because governments around the world (in particular Europe, Australia and the US) insist on treating boats in circulation as tradeable goods. Surely some organisation that represents us could take on sorting this out??
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:04   #2
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

I think you are looking to say the sky is falling
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:09   #3
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

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Liveaboards and long-distance sailors risk having to pay sales tax/import duty multiple times on their ‘home’ because governments around the world (in particular Europe, Australia and the US) insist on treating boats in circulation as tradeable goods. Surely some organisation that represents us could take on sorting this out??
Hmmm...


Most civilized countries have laws that prevent double taxation

If you morph from a cruiser into a permanent resident ....things change
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:33   #4
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

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Originally Posted by Andy Todd View Post
Liveaboards and long-distance sailors risk having to pay sales tax/import duty multiple times on their ‘home’ because governments around the world (in particular Europe, Australia and the US) insist on treating boats in circulation as tradeable goods. Surely some organisation that represents us could take on sorting this out??
A lobby of a couple thousand people diffused across the globe who are by definition transients.... couldn't ask for a more difficult string to push them to set up VAT exclusions across dozens of jurisdictions for them! Good news is that if you truly are just passing through I don't think any common cruising destination doesn't have an exemption that covers you, so you can set aside your sisyphean task for now.
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:37   #5
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

It's usually easier to get a temporary importation permit for your boat than it is for you to get a visa for the same period. EU allows 18 months, Mexico 10 years, New Zealand 2 years, Australia 1 year. All of those are pretty much automatic on arrival. And all of those only allow you to stay 90 days (Mexico 180) - but all depends on your nationality. Getting a visa to allow yourself to stay as long as the boat is much more difficult. And if you do it seems to be reasonable for them to ask if you are becoming a resident? Then you may qualify for a household goods exemption. Or you may not, or the boat may not.

It's a first-world problem, if you want to move around that much and stay that long then you'll need to work out the details for the specific country(ies) in which you want to spend a lot of time.
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Old 27-01-2020, 02:34   #6
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

OP here. My point is... Yes, there are grace periods and Europe has an inter-country system, but you've bought a product paid sales tax and duty on it, you add no value to it and a state then demands you pay again.... and again.... just because of your travel timing. And yes many countries don't bother, but if they do you're screwed.


For example, if you leave Europe (VAT paid boat) and take more than 3 years to circumnavigate when you return you lose VAT status. Then Portuguese customs, with no grace period or warning, can impound your boat (which they have done) and demand payment before you get it back.
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Old 27-01-2020, 03:43   #7
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

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For example, if you leave Europe (VAT paid boat) and take more than 3 years to circumnavigate when you return you lose VAT status.
Thankfully those colonials set up colonies around the world to help solve this problem.

If you want to set up a lobbing organisation to ask the EU Commission to recommend the EU Parliament to pass laws insisting 27 odd countries change the rules for rich yachties, well good luck.

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Old 27-01-2020, 04:52   #8
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

This sounds a lot more a like an EU cruiser problem than a general issue for cruisers. I've been in and out of a lot of countries on the boat in the last 9 years and no one has asked for a VAT tax or similar. As Dsanduril said, its usually much easier to have the boat located in a country for a long time than have the crew in the country for a long time.
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Old 27-01-2020, 05:02   #9
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Todd View Post
Liveaboards and long-distance sailors risk having to pay sales tax/import duty multiple times on their ‘home’ because governments around the world (in particular Europe, Australia and the US) insist on treating boats in circulation as tradeable goods. Surely some organisation that represents us could take on sorting this out??
Sounds like you've been caught out living in Spain for more than 6 months and are now being asked to pay Spanish matriculation tax and become a Spanish resident. IIRC if you import the boat at the same time as your household possessions you get an exemption from the tax. If you do it later you pay.
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Old 27-01-2020, 05:03   #10
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

Well, I agree with the OP. After all if you live abroad for a few years nobody expects you to pay VAT again on your watch. I think boats, cars and light aircraft are all covered under the same UK legislation, though I have never heard of anyone being asked to pay, try selling your boat if you have demonstrably flouted the rules.
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Old 27-01-2020, 07:37   #11
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Smile Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Todd View Post
Liveaboards and long-distance sailors risk having to pay sales tax/import duty multiple times on their ‘home’ because governments around the world (in particular Europe, Australia and the US) insist on treating boats in circulation as tradeable goods. Surely some organisation that represents us could take on sorting this out??
“Sorting this out” should only take a few months. Please send a check representing the VAT you paid on your vessel to VAT Alleviation Committee 123 Mockba Ylitsa, Minsk, Beloruss. We’ll keep you updated on our progress.
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Old 27-01-2020, 11:20   #12
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Re: Tax on liveaboard boats... Who should sort this out?

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A lobby of a couple thousand people diffused across the globe who are by definition transients.... couldn't ask for a more difficult string to push them to set up VAT exclusions across dozens of jurisdictions for them! Good news is that if you truly are just passing through I don't think any common cruising destination doesn't have an exemption that covers you, so you can set aside your sisyphean task for now.
Perhaps Young Greta and her parents could go to bat for the liveaboard cruisers ?
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