Originally Posted by airship
Sounds just like what the UK PM David Cameron just did, believing that he might have even 1 or 2 of EU countries standing behind him. As it turns out, all 17 Eurozone contries (those that have already adopted the Euro) plus the remaining 10 EU countries who've basically committed their countries to at some stage adopting the Euro today support the latest plans.
The UK, like the free-wheeling, tax-avoiding superyacht owner are now in some form of quandary. The UK, together with the USA have had in common a distaste for the Euro which dates back many years and unless I'm much mistaken, have together used their combined resources to undermine the Euro in recent times. That strategy is now back-firing with at least initially, very serious consequences to the UK's economy, soon to become apparent over the next few months. Today, 10th December 2011, the UK has finally been exposed. And alone amongst the other EU 27, fighting its' battles to safeguard the financial centre of London, but also assuring that all the UK's offshore tax-havens are maintained for the benefit of a few.
For several decades now, the UK has been a thorn in the sides of other EU countries. The UK has always considered EU membership as simply a means to arrest other European countries from going forward together, as that would undermine her own and ultimately the USA's national interests. Perhaps, and finally, the EU countries worthy of the name will be able to proceed, having shrugged off the worst efforts that some nations already mentioned above imposed on other more defenceless nations in various forms.
What should this mean for yachts (foreign-flagged, outside of the EU)? If they're commercial yachts, earning revenues from their presence in EU waters, then they should be taxed on this income and VAT (sales taxes) applied. Yachts registered for VAT in any of the UK's multiple offshore tax-havens (especially I.O.M.) should be immediately "arrested and chained" if found to be within any EU port. and subjected to in-depth investigations concerning their activities. Whether or not VAT is ever accounted for in reality: "I.O.M. companies can register for VAT under UK provisions, yet I.O.M. companies apparently never have to publish their accounts etc."
Frankly, I'm under the impression that there is today a whole yachting "sub-industry and culture" composed of so-called financial specialists etc. which has successfully terrorised most yacht owners. In other words, yacht owners are today advised to jump through countless "hoops and throughs" to avoid paying the VAT (sales tax) as applied by most EU countries. The yacht owners pay a small fortune to these advisors, yet have no guarantee that what is proposed is completely legal, or at least might be legal after a lengthy and prolonged legal battle with the tax authorities when it comes to that.
david_japp wrote: Perhaps you should ask the IRS if they might be able to help you out (assuming that you're a US taxpayer and have previously declared that you own such a modest sailboat etc.)