According to Palma-based lawyer, Miguel Ángel Serra Guasch, who has disputed the legitimacy of this toll, “based on the allegations filed, the TEARIB has upheld our claims in the proceeding and rendered null and void both the contested tax assessment and the penalty imposed to the taxpayer.”
Matriculation tax is charged at a rate of 12 per cent of a yacht’s value for the Spanish Peninsula and the Balearic islands, and 11 per cent for yachts operating in the Canaries. The precedent for calculating this has been straightforward for newly purchased vessels, but for second-hand vessels has relied upon the misguided approach of sourcing the ‘average market price’, or the asking price which has been circulated prior to the yacht’s sale.
“The tax inspectors have been using the sale price offered over the Internet for the boat in question and for other boats with similar or analogue characteristics, claiming that those values reflect the ‘average market prices’, which is one of the verification methods admitted for this purpose by article 57 of General Taxation Law 58/2003”, he explained.
For the superyacht industry, it is widely acknowledged that yachts currently sell for well below their asking price, and as such this is a rudimentary, and potentially inaccurate way of calculating its value. As such, Serra Guasch said, the tribunal has also voiced its criticism of tax inspectors’ rejection of the proposal to use expert appraisal as a method of calculation.
Guasch is a long-term participant of the Superyacht Management Meetings: Fiscal agenda, and this is yet another example of the will of delegates to affect change in their own jurisdiction.
The progress being made in Spain will no doubt act as an example of the positive strides that can be made to reform fiscal governance of yachts, which itself will be the subject matter on 28 April.
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