PDA

View Full Version : ISDMT #2 - Is this correct?



Grehan
08-01-09, 10:21
Sincere apologies for a second thread, but the first has grown like Topsy and I've had some more 'news' from Torrevieja.
This is the information I've had this morning, verbatim (not my words).

" . . . A quick update which will make the ISDMT tax very clear
I spoke to Oscar Villar who is the Port Captain ( habour marster) at Torrevieja
He stated if your boat is in Spanish waters for more than 183 days you have to pay this tax, even if you are only on board for one week or month
So it is very clear it is the boat not the person
Any person can phone Oscar Villar and check this information
He stated this is Spanish Law and this tax is being charged in, or will be charged in all Spanish Marinas
This is bad news, but at least we know where we stand . . . "

To the best of my knowledge (what do I know?) this is incorrect - isn't it?
The person (owner) has actually to be present, with the boat, for the 183 days for there to be an 'importation tax' situation/liability.
Or have I misread / misunderstood the rules?

Or have they changed? /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

25931
08-01-09, 10:26
The situation in Portugal is the same-it is the time that the boat is present-nothing to do with occupation.
Jim

grumpygit
08-01-09, 11:10
Do you think they are just looking for income, and would think if one gets away with it the rest of the EU will follow?
If so this could get expensive if you were to visit different countries and stay to a while. (more than 183 days)
It looks like the only way out of paying is to keep moving but this is not much use to people owning yachts abroard for their holidays etc. /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif

BlueSkyNick
08-01-09, 12:45
From everything else that's been discussed on other threads, one's immediate reaction is that Oscar Villar has either got it wrong, or he is trying it on.

Maybe somebody should ask him to provide evidence that his interpretation is correct.

BlueSkyNick
08-01-09, 12:47
[ QUOTE ]
Do you think they are just looking for income, and would think if one gets away with it the rest of the EU will follow?
If so this could get expensive if you were to visit different countries and stay to a while. (more than 183 days)
It looks like the only way out of paying is to keep moving but this is not much use to people owning yachts abroard for their holidays etc. /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif

[/ QUOTE ]They might change their minds pretty quickly if their marinas suddenly start to empty at a rate of knots. Don't forget its not just the cash payment of tax on the boat, it is the re-registration and hence qualification implications that come with it.

maxi77
08-01-09, 13:02
[ QUOTE ]
The situation in Portugal is the same-it is the time that the boat is present-nothing to do with occupation.
Jim

[/ QUOTE ]

I understood the Potuguese situation was that boats kept there simply paid a tax on the engine power, not value and there was no re-registration etc etc involved.

grumpygit
08-01-09, 13:11
Lets hope it Rollocks* or someone sees the bigger picture of what it might do to the local communities if a mass exodus did occur. That would be shooting themselves in the foot if it were to happen !

Alyssa
08-01-09, 14:10
Yes you are correct.
See link to Lagos Navigators Club web-site...

http://www.lagosnavigators.net/html/boat_tax_2008.html

The tax started in Jan 2008 and applies to any boat in Portugal for more than 183 days (in or out of the water), regardless of whether occupied or not. The tax is based on horsepower and is approx €1.5 x HP

25931
08-01-09, 14:17
I was referring to the concept of boat rather then occupant but you are mainly right although its more than just engine power.The age of the boat is another factor -our 30 yearold is exempt.
If people in Spain are right & it is the owner then perhaps they could re-register in the name of someone who lives in GB ?
Jim

Grehan
08-01-09, 14:43
[ QUOTE ]
perhaps they could re-register in the name of someone who lives in GB ?

[/ QUOTE ]
Yes, this hasn't emerged in the other ISDMT thread, but one strategy might be to divorce the ownership of a boat from the people actually using it (and being on-board more than the 183 days). We have bandied this around in the past, but no-one's tried or tested it, to the best of my knowledge.
There may be an implication that the vessel then becomes 'chartered' to the people using it, by the owner, and that might then open another can of legal and taxation worms.

Obviously, if it is the boat itself that is in Spanish (or Portuguese, or . . . ) waters for more than 183 days that then becomes liable for importation procedures, including import tax (I am specifically thinking of that, rather than other taxes and/or duties) then many more British boats in foreign waters, not being occupied or used full-time or most-of-the-time, will be affected.

absit_omen
08-01-09, 15:14
[ QUOTE ]
I understood the Potuguese situation was that boats kept there simply paid a tax on the engine power, not value and there was no re-registration etc etc involved.

[/ QUOTE ]

You are quite correct.

grumpygit
08-01-09, 15:23
IYO's would you think it was a Green Tax or just an easy way for the Portuguese to do the calculations ? If it's a Green Tax it seems a little unfair to the sailor the might only use their engine for berthing compared to a power boat. Saying that a lot cheaper than the 12%, re-flagging and re- certification Spanish style.

There again they might start taxing canvas by the sq mtr !

Does anyone know if this type of taxing is happening anywhere else in the EU, other than Spain and Portugal ? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

ironmaiden
08-01-09, 15:42
well one way to get your money back if you are out there for more then 183 days is to register as unemployed and claim dole money...... my ex has been out there for a while now and is now getting 430 euro a month... /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

JamesFrance
08-01-09, 16:04
There is a lot of information here:
http://www.tagweb.co.uk/isdmt/

Nothing seems definite though, but I can't find anything which would suggest that this would apply to a non resident, unless possibly a reference in a translation mentioning property owners.

There are other links from the above site also.

thechevychase
08-01-09, 16:28
Surely this can't be correct. I,m sure MDL would have checked this out prior to all the marketing they've done to promote Sant Carles.

Squeaky
08-01-09, 18:04
Good evening:

This post is none of my business as it does not apply to me but in reading through this post and the previous one, I have the impression that it would help to sort whether this tax applies/is directed at the individual or the yacht.

I have the impression that it is directed at the yacht therefore the time the owner spends on board or in the country is meaningless.

I think foreign (none EU) yachts (nothing to do with owners presence) have to pay a form of VAT if in EU waters for longer then six months and this seems like it something similiar.

Can anyone confirm that it is directed at the yacht or the individual (owner)??

cheers

Tranona
08-01-09, 18:47
Seems from all that has been posted here that it is unclear! General consensus seems to be that the Spanish tax is connected, or defined by residence of the owner and is not specifically boat related, but to do with importation of means of transport. However as other posts have reported different interpretations at local level and no definitive statement in either government sources or lawyers interpretation!

Non EU vessels can be temporarily imported by non-EU residents into the EU for defined periods of time without VAT being paid. However they may still be subject to local, non VAT related taxes. If a boat is permanently imported into EU it is subject to VAT.

Anonymous
08-01-09, 22:53
I think this was becoming clear after the post pointing us to the EU information. Up to today, I had not heard of anyone being assessed for ISDMT unless the owner had been in Spain for >183 days and even then, there seemed to be a huge tolerance; very few people were 'caught'. However, earlier this year, a poster who lives along the Spanish Med coast told us that he had heard on good authority that the Spanish authorities are being required to collect the tax.

For certain, residents are liable to pay this tax so if you have been in Spain >183 days in that CALENDAR year then you have become resident. I think you have 30 days in which to pay ISDMT after which you can be fined as well as taxed.

Now it seems (and seems to be in accordance with EU Rules) that boats belonging to non-residents are being targeted for ISDMT if those boats are in Spanish waters for >183 days --- presumably also in a calendar year?

Depending on the value of your boat, the main problem might be a requirement to actually re-flag as a Spanish yacht (almost impossible for vessels over 5 years or so, I am told). Anyway, there is no way that I am going to sail my yacht with a Spanish flag unless or until I become a Spanish resident!!

Those who say they'll change their minds might be right but officialdom tends to be very stupid. This might not happen for a year or so. I think I've heard enough now to know that Spain is not a safe place to stay for >183 days. However, what I don't know is whether one could stay, say, from late July to early June -- i.e. almost a year -- and be completely safe? I THINK that the rules are 183 days in a calendar year but if the authorities are really enforcing this I would want to check that.

Ways round for people are to go back and forth between France and Spain (doesn't help you much, James?) or Spain and Gib or Spain and Morocco (e.g. Smir). I don't fancy staying in Smir for long (or Gib, come to that). So I suppose for us it might mean Spain/Gib/Portugal. Almerimar/Marina Bay/Lagos?

It is a bit of a problem but must not be ignored. Wouldn't it be great if one of those organisations we belong to, to look after our yachting interests, would get a legal opinion for their members?

gavin_lacey
08-01-09, 22:55
The situation at present is that most regions are not enforcing this legislation. Is it really a good idea for people to bring it to the forefront by phoning marinas and tax offices asking about it? I think the legislation covers all boats but the regions refused to enforce it, not wishing to destroy their yaching industry, with one or two exceptions who apply it to residents.

Anonymous
09-01-09, 07:30
Running on from that post last night, from the EU rules posted on the other thread...

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31983L0182:EN:HTML

[ QUOTE ]
Article 3

Temporary importation of certain means of transport for private use

Where a private vehicle, caravan, pleasure boat, private aircraft, tricycle or bicycle is imported temporarily, the item imported shall be exempt from the taxes specified in Article 1 for a period, continuous or otherwise, of not more than six months in any 12 months, provided that: (a) the individual importing such goods: (aa) has his normal residence in a Member State other than the Member State of temporary importation;

(bb) employs the means of transport in question for his private use;

(b) the said means of transport is not disposed of or hired out in the Member State of temporary importation or lent to a resident of that State. However, private vehicles belonging to a car-hire firm having its head office in the Community may be re-hired to non-residents with a view to being re-exported, if they are in the country as a result of a hire contract which ended in that country. They may also be returned by an employee of the car-hire firm to the Member State where they were originally hired, even if such employee is resident in the Member State of temporary importation.

[/ QUOTE ]

[ QUOTE ]
Article 7

General rules for determining residence

1. For the purposes of this Directive, "normal residence" means the place where a person usually lives, that is for at least 185 days in each calendar year, because of personal and occupational ties, or, in the case of a person with no occupational ties because of personal ties which show close links between that person and the place where he is living.

However, the normal residence of a person whose occupational ties are in a different place from his personal ties and who consequently lives in turn in different places situated in two or more Member States shall be regarded as being the place of his personal ties, provided that such person returns there regularly. This last condition need not be met where the person is living in a Member State in order to carry out a task of a definite duration. Attendance at a university or school shall not imply transfer of normal residence.

[/ QUOTE ]

Interesting to see that the time rules for importing the vehicle are "6 months in any 12 months" whereas the residency rules are 185 days in a calendar year. There can be a huge difference especially for the cruiser who is wintering -- arrives in Sept/Oct and leaves in May. That is 9 months in 12 months but only 4 months worst case in any calendar year.

The point about residency, as I see it, is that if you are deemed resident then you play by the local rules with the one exception that there is a double-taxation treaty preventing you from paying the same tax twice in two states. That doesn't seem to apply to ISDMT as there is no such thing in the UK.

BlueSkyNick
09-01-09, 13:00
[ QUOTE ]
I think I've heard enough now to know that Spain is not a safe place to stay for >183 days

[/ QUOTE ]
I agree with that. There seems to be too much risk from uncertainty and interpretation to plan on being based in Spain at the current time.

Maybe in a year or two, when there have been some more cases which have set a precadent, the situation willo become clearer.

JamesFrance
09-01-09, 13:53
In our case we are still resident in France and pay their taxes, so we will not exceed the 182 days per year. However our boat will stay in Spain, so we will have to see what eventually arises as a result. Having taken on a long lease berth we don't have much option, but fortunately our boat does not have a high value.

In the 1970s we based boats in Spain and also France. Then you just notified the customs that the boat was laid up when you left and there were no problems, but then we were not on board for so long and I don't remember what the rules were about that then.

Whether any country can force someone resident elsewhere to re-register because the boat stays in their harbour seems to be the point at issue.

Ariadne
09-01-09, 14:17
Let me get this straight then, as I understand it right or wrong.

A UK flagged (Part 1, full registry) vessel is plying its trade in Europe, It delivers cargo from the UK to France and Spain. Due to weather and crewing problems it spends 190 days in Spain or Spanish waters. It now has to transpher its registry, re-qualify the ships officers so they have Spanish certification, and the owners have to pay for all this ( marina/docking fees, crews wages & re-registration fees as well as a fine and import duty) all the while their vessel is impounded by Spanish authorities. I think not!

This doesn't sound right to me. I don't see how one member state can force anybody to move thier vessel from thier national registry to another member states registry legally. Certainly in the UK you have to prove your nationality and have a UK address (for all correspondence from RSS) to register your vessel part 1.

I'd also like to see them force this on an American flagged vessel! Is it only the Brit's they are forcing this on?

Maritime law is a minefield in any case, but I just don't see how they can enforce this - you may have been in for structural repairs and still on passage what happens then?

Any experts on MARITIME LAW out there?

Ariadne
09-01-09, 14:28
If this is a EU Directive then it will or should affect all vessels regardless of state, whether they are comercial or not.
Just think about all the British flagged, Spanish, Dutch, German owned fishing boats there are out there, sitting in harbours all around the european coast.

It has to be illegal, to work this purely on a vessels stay, for it to work they would have to need to prove you are living on a permenant or near permenant basis in the member state to enforce this.

Also, if you genuinly live aboard then your ships logbook is a legal document and can be used as evidence in a court of law. So long as you enter the dates for joining and leaving the vessel, along with the details of where you have been it is proof enough.

Ariadne
09-01-09, 14:40
Just one more thing.

As I understand it, by being UK Part 1 registered, you are governed soley by UK maritime law and any international maritime laws that may apply. Your Part 1 UK registered boat is by definition also UK Sovereign Territory and therefore offers you all protection that comes with it.

So I suppose, in theory you can call the RN in to chuck off said Spaniards and take you and your vessel safely to international waters.

Tranona
09-01-09, 14:50
You are confusing two issues here. Your freedom to navigate in a "Coastal State" territorial waters without complying with their registration requirements is governed by the UN Convention of the law of the sea. It is limited to what is known as "innocent passage" which means that the Coastal State will allow passage through their waters as part of the ship's normal business, for example to go from one international body of water to another or to enter a port of the coastal state. The legal concept of "comity" is used to indicate that the Coastal State will accept that your vessel is covered by the requirements of your Flag State. This is why Flag States such as Liberia, Panama, Bahamas, Bermuda etc are popular as their registration requirements, for example on crewing can be different from other states.

The same principle applies to yachts. However, most states allow far more than that, for example allowing a yacht to go from one port to another, to keeping your yacht permanently moored in their territorial waters (like mine in Greece). However, this is nothing to do with EU freedom of movement or local taxes and requirements where the Coastal State can do whatever it likes. Nor does it exempt you from any civil or criminal law applicable in the state. The authorities may also constrain your movement if they believe you are a danger.

The topic under discussion in this thread is therefore nothing to do with maritime law, but the application of a Spanish tax law that seems also to be allowed by the EU, but not used by all states.

Most of the debate here is about the clarity (or rather lack) of the law and its seemingly variable implementation.

Ariadne
09-01-09, 15:09
Well how can a member state force a person to remove his/her vessel from thier national registry to and re-register the vessel on another members register. I don't see what registration of a vessel has to do with a tax law. If the vessel is to imported then fine it has to comply with the member states laws.

The clarity of the tax situation is relatively clear >183 day you are liable thats it. The enforcement of this isn't clear at all.

On the other hand, I'm not sure of the legality of the re-registration issue and all that goes with it. This why I brought up the maritime law bit. This is also what is being discussed here, is it not.

Tranona
09-01-09, 15:30
Please read the details. The "tax" law is to do with the importation of a "means" of transport and is levied when the boat is "imported" into Spain. It is then considered a Spanish Boat and has to be registered in Spain. In just the same way as you have to do with a car. You also have to recognise that in the UK registration of yachts is not compulsory, but it is in most other countries.

They are not "forcing" you to take it off the British Register but saying that if it is in Spain then it must be registered in Spain.

Go back to my original explanation of the UN Convention - your ability to navigate in Spanish waters as a UK registered ship is very limited.

Also forget about "member state" by which I assume you are referring to EU. The UN Convention does not differentiate between EU and non-EU.

Anonymous
09-01-09, 15:30
[ QUOTE ]
Let me get this straight then, as I understand it right or wrong.

A UK flagged (Part 1, full registry) vessel is plying its trade in Europe, It delivers cargo from the UK to France and Spain.

[/ QUOTE ]No. We are talking about pleasure vessels (see my earlier post). Pleasure vessels don't ply their trade or have Ships Officers. The EU is lumping private cars, pleasure vessels, private planes into the same group.

The odd thing that sticks out is that the term ISDMT includes the term 'Matriculation' = registration. We (i.e. those who have been discussing this actively for some years) have always assumed that if one pays the ISDMT then necessarily one will be liable to re-register. I think that needs looking into but it isn't easy. Spanish lawyers are a waste of money -- I would never throw more money at those idiots -- we would need to employ a good International firm of lawyers in London. That might not be cheap -- on the other hand, they might already have the answer in a briefing sheet and sell it to us for £20. Who knows, but I am hundreds of pounds out of pocket with this, this year, with nothing left in the budget.

chrisc
09-01-09, 15:35
usually 183 days in any 12 month period in my experience.

chrisc
09-01-09, 15:45
does the 185 days in a calendar year rule still apply? I know it used to ,and I have taken advantage off this in the past ,ie. working the last half 1of one year and the first half of next year .so giving me effectively 1 year .BUT the (EU)country I was in very quickly changed those rules so that we could only spend 183 days in any twelve month period.

Anonymous
09-01-09, 15:51
[ QUOTE ]
... and [tax] is levied when the boat is "imported" into Spain. It is then considered a Spanish Boat and has to be registered in Spain.

[/ QUOTE ] "Registered in Spain" isn't a term that I know of. Do you mean re-flagged, from British to Spanish ensign? Paying the tax is the least of the problems in doing that...the homogulation requirements for a Spanish yacht are very different to a British yacht. I think that a nearly new volume production yacht -- e.g. Ben-Jan -- would be pretty easy but older or lower volume yachts are are real problem. My Nauticat is 9 years old and when I looked at the requirements to re-register under the Spanish flag it looked as though it would be cheaper to buy a brand new Nauticat to Spanish requirements.

[ QUOTE ]
They are not "forcing" you to take it off the British Register but saying that if it is in Spain then it must be registered in Spain.

[/ QUOTE ] I think that's probably correct but we don't know. I don't know of a single case where that has been asked for and has been carried out. I do know of one case where it was asked for, but I don't know the outcome. I'll try to find out but those folk were living, working and paying taxes in Spain...totally resident in every sense so it might not help us much.

[ QUOTE ]
Go back to my original explanation of the UN Convention - your ability to navigate in Spanish waters as a UK registered ship is very limited.

[/ QUOTE ] I think I know what you are getting at but in reality, EU tourists are perfectly free to travel in their private pleasure yachts, coming and going freely, throughout the EU unless they stay for more than six months. Sailing through Spain, France and Italy is like being in the same country....nobody interferes with you or gets heavy. No customs, etc. The most you get is a (perfectly reasonable) requirement to show your Ships Papers and Insurance on arrival or a very trivial tax in some parts of Spain.

Grehan
09-01-09, 16:18
[ QUOTE ]
needs looking into but it isn't easy

[/ QUOTE ]Yes, that's an understatement.
Even if one were only talking about some kind of reliable guidance for Spain.

If the context of what appears to be happening in Spain has an EU dimension, and each EU member state has the ability to interpret and apply separately and differently in its own right then we really are all at sea in a sieve.

Someone here has implied that even discussing the topic or trying to get (unreliable?) information is in some way dangerous, drawing attention that would otherwise not exist. I think I'd be happy to 'keep schtum', head down if I knew for sure why I was hiding, what exactly I was hiding from and what the consequences might be if nabbed. So far as phoning Senor Villar is concerned, ten boats in his harbour, Torrevieja, have been served notice, there has been an article in the Daily Telegraph about it, plus extensive outraged coverage in the local Torrevieja newspapers. I don't think I'd put much faith in Senor Villar's 'answers' (well, zero to be honest), but I don't think any cats would be let out of any bags!

I am also aware of the possibility of us all crying wolf about something that may not be that serious, and that all this concern might be based on nothing more than unsubstantiated rumour. This might the case, but I don't think so. Something does appear to be 'afoot'.

Anonymous
09-01-09, 16:29
[ QUOTE ]
does the 185 days in a calendar year rule still apply?

[/ QUOTE ]It seems that residency is based on time spent in the country in a calendar year and that private vehicle taxation is based on time spent in the country in the last twelve months. At least, that's the EU position though the EU rules do allow the individual states to be more generous.

Tranona
09-01-09, 16:37
Thought it was pretty obvious I was referring to Spanish registration - and suspect you are right when you say it won't be easy. My only source of information on this was a friend in Ibiza who investigated registering his boat in Spain because he lived there and shelved the idea, because of the requirements, particularly the test of competence. As you say, until somebody experiences that part of the "process" we won't know.

Think you are wrong about freedom of movement. Whilst that is true for individuals it is not true for the boat and right of navigation in territorial waters, which is covered by the UN convention. The fact that states (not just EU) allow much more does not change the legal framework. For a more definitive discourse on the subject see pp17-19 of the autumn 2008 RYA members magazine. The requirement to show your ships papers (and fly the red ensign) is to confirm that your yacht is indeed registered in the UK and is not subject to Spanish/French etc registration requirements while in their territorial waters.

BlueSkyNick
09-01-09, 16:43
The link to the Telegraph article is HERE (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/3964827/Britons-living-in-Spain-face-massive-taxes-on-boats.html)

Anonymous
09-01-09, 17:14
[ QUOTE ]
Thought it was pretty obvious I was referring to Spanish registration

[/ QUOTE ]What does that mean? Does that mean that the UK flagged vessel has been paid up and can remain in Spanish waters or does it mean that the vessel has been re-registered on the Spanish list and is now flying a Spanish flag?

It could be that having paid the tax, provided the owner is non-resident, the vessel can remain under the British flag. That would make sense.....but is it the case?

Grehan
09-01-09, 17:17
Looks like it's also been picked up on "Sail World"
http://www.sail-world.com/cruising/index.cfm?nid=52563&rid=11
and "Noonsite"
http://www.noonsite.com/Members/sue/R2009-01-09-1

Tranona
09-01-09, 17:24
You tell me! The earlier posts suggested that the "tax" was related to importing the means of transport into Spain and then it had to be registered in Spain. I know no more than that because even the English translations posted here are unclear.

JamesFrance
09-01-09, 17:36
All these articles are copying each other.

There is nothing at all to suggest that any of this relates to non residents. The people concerned have been living in Spain tax free so far. There are also caravan sites full of folk doing the same, so it was bound to be caught up with eventually. No country would tolerate this if it realised.

People have been evading Spanish taxes for years.

Grehan
09-01-09, 17:38
[ QUOTE ]
It could be that having paid the tax, provided the owner is non-resident, the vessel can remain under the British flag. That would make sense.....but is it the case?

[/ QUOTE ]
Well it's not the case for British registered cars that have to be 'imported' (and import tax paid) under the same law. They have to have Spanish registrations (and insurance and pass the Spanish MOT). The newish UK driving licence (and photocard), is legal in Spain and doesn't have to be changed - because it is an official EU document - nor does a new Spanish driving test have to be taken. But there's no equivalent EU boating licence, so . . . .

Grehan
09-01-09, 17:39
[ QUOTE ]
All these articles are copying each other

[/ QUOTE ]Yup, that's what I said! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

FWIW I have passed details of this ISDMT debate onto two Spanish law firms that are recommended on the leading no-bullsh!t Spanish Property website (somewhat like YBW in stature) and who contribute regularly to it. They may well not be interested in boating issues, but who knows?

Anonymous
09-01-09, 17:55
[ QUOTE ]

There is nothing at all to suggest that any of this relates to non residents.

[/ QUOTE ] Not so. Have a look at the EU rules, posted in the last thread, link posted by me in this thread, and relevant part posted. It is clear that EU rules permit the charging of tax if the private/pleasure vehicle is in the country for more than six months out of 12 months -- no mention is made of who the owners are or their residency.

[ QUOTE ]
The people concerned have been living in Spain tax free so far.

[/ QUOTE ] I don't think that's entirely fair. If people have no income there is no income tax. If they do, and they are Brits, then it is likely to be taxed at source and because of the no double tax treaty, that means the tax is paid. There are wealth and CGT liabilities, I suppose, but surely we are looking at pretty humble folk with limited capital and limited (mostly pension) income? While they are in Spain they are paying IVA and taxes via their marinas. What taxes do you think they ought, fairly, to pay in addition?

[ QUOTE ]
There are also caravan sites full of folk doing the same, so it was bound to be caught up with eventually. No country would tolerate this if it realised.

[/ QUOTE ] I think you are wrong about this....if there is any tax due (other than ISDMT on yachts) it will probably be trivial. The wealthy will have homes and have taken legal or accounting advice. This is a vendetta against little people, is pathetic, sad and pointless -- as the Spanish authorities will discover in due course.

Oliveoyl
09-01-09, 18:06
[/ QUOTE ]
Well it's not the case for British registered cars that have to be 'imported' (and import tax paid) under the same law. They have to have Spanish registrations (and insurance and pass the Spanish MOT). The newish UK driving licence (and photocard), is legal in Spain and doesn't have to be changed - because it is an official EU document - nor does a new Spanish driving test have to be taken. But there's no equivalent EU boating licence, so . . . .

[/ QUOTE ]

OK, let's try this scenario - say I live just north of the Pyrenees in France, French resident to all intents and purposes (nationality, tax resident...), but for whatever reason (OK let's imagine I have a Spanish lover), so I spend half my time (calendar year or otherwise), with my FR car parked in boyfriend's road, just over the border (and remember these are both Schengen countries, so no in/out procedure at border). Would I have to re-register my car, and pay ISDMT? And to whom - the aduana patrolling BF's road? Ridiculous, they could never apply to EU cars in transit, so they have no right to apply it to boats.
Note that the EU rule mentions total days, not consecutive days

Grehan
09-01-09, 18:15
Can't really comment on your interesting love-life ( /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif ) but the Policia have been increasingly cracking down on foreign registered cars that have obviously been in Spain for a long time. This police focus has been going on for a long time - years. I guess just south of the Pyrenees they'd see loads of French cars 'popping over for a quick one' (as it were) so yours wouldn't stick out too much. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

JonJon
09-01-09, 18:19
Seems to me that the basic Mugabe principle applies here- My country, my police I'll do what I damn well like, it will be at least 10 years if ever before some international ruling raps me across the knuckles, meanwhile I might as well scoop some useful revenue from these poorly represented unfortunates with the big yachts from somewhere else -full stop. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

prescott56
09-01-09, 19:09
Interestingly on the car side, i managed to get a friends car impounded the week before xmas, no docs in car and being a total donkey i had no id or driving license on me, i was doing a quick airport drop off with my son.
My matey was over at xmas, and quit easily got his car back, had to produce documents, which were all in english, NO spanish translations. Paid his 150 Euro's "storage" and drove away no probs. His car has been in Mallorca for over 18 months.
Most of the local, spanish, brits, and english deemed his chances of getting it back as a BIG Zero, unless he could prove it had been in Spain less than 6 months.
The fines i got were 10 Euros for no Docs in car, 60 Euros for no insurance in car, and 400 Euros for no License on me.
So lessons learned, always carry license, and in future my lad can get a taxi to teh airport :-)
Regards
Roy

JamesFrance
09-01-09, 19:11
[ QUOTE ]
I don't think that's entirely fair. If people have no income there is no income tax. If they do, and they are Brits, then it is likely to be taxed at source and because of the no double tax treaty, that means the tax is paid. There are wealth and CGT liabilities, I suppose, but surely we are looking at pretty humble folk with limited capital and limited (mostly pension) income? While they are in Spain they are paying IVA and taxes via their marinas. What taxes do you think they ought, fairly, to pay in addition?



[/ QUOTE ]
David this is not correct. The only pensions taxable in the country of origin are public service pensions. Any old age or private pension is taxed in the country of residence, together with any investment income (if any).

I have talked to many people in Spain who believe they can avoid any form of income tax because nobody knows where they are. A crackdown was inevitable.

You will also see many UK registered cars without uk tax discs which are totally illegal and not therefore insured.

JonJon
09-01-09, 19:19
Would that be a British license or a Spanish? Is your son over the age of consent does he live in Spain? Do you live in Spain - how long in each year........

Dont you feel a lot of this would be easier if they didnt own half our elecricity generation system, most of our major airports and a good chunk of the mobile fone system together with providing a number of mortgages.

Viz you want electricity - how long have you lived here? etc etc /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Plomong
09-01-09, 19:19
Maybe I should add that, in the case of cars, the ISDMT appears to be the remains of what was initially "Impuesto de Lujo" and later "Impuesto de Matriculacion".

That tax was 28%, and Spain was allowed, as a result of some tough negotiating some 10 or 15 years ago, to continue it temporarily, on the understanding that it would be phased out. However a phase out period was not agreed.

So far, the Spanish tax laws have only got it down to 12%. Recently I heard the head of the local Car Manufacturers Association (ANFAC) call for its elimination so as to encourage people to buy cars. I don't know if his suggestion will be heeded, but it would not surprise me, as it would be a quick way to kill several birds with one stone. The CE requires a level playing field, so a given model of car should not be more expensive in one country just because that country levies some special tax or other on the act of registration.

IIRC, at the time Spain was allowed to continue their Impuesto de Matriculacion, France obtained a waiver relating to the application of a 10% VAT rebate on boats.

One further point: A person becomes resident for tax purposes when they have been in a country of the EC more that 183 days in one year. An EC rule.

At that point, any car or boat owned by them and present in Spain, must be registered in Spain. To register a car or boat in Spain, you must pay ISDMT on the current value of the boat or car, as part of the process. The valuation, as far as I can see, is the value you declare. How that is checked for reasonableness I don't know, but it is checked in some way. If you try to declare your 44 footer to be worth 20.000 Euros, you are probably out of luck, unless you can show in the inspection that declaration will trigger, that it is a tired old hulk and is really worth no more than that amount. The trick is to be honest and fair.

The valuation process cannot be based on LOA and beam, for example, as two identical boats from the same manufacturer could differ in price by many tens of thousands of Euros, depending on the sail wardrobe, optional electronics, interior options, etc, etc. So valuations for a given model are not easy to formalize in a tabular simplistic manner. Even more so, when it comes to comparable boats from different manufactures (Bavaria, Beneteau, Jeanneau, HR, X-Yachts, Hanse, Island Packet, etc, etc).

When you register the boat in Spain, you must comply with the Spanish requirements for outfitting the vessel (number and type of lifejackets, etc). Compliance is checked by an inspection out of and later on the water. This inspection is NOT a tax or valuation inspection -- it is only a compliance with Spanish RCD implementation and SOLAS requirements. For example, all sea cocks will be examined, extinguishers and flares must be in date, a gas alarm must be fitted for some categories, a 4 or 6-man liferaft must be on board and serviced, for some categories, gas bottle must be outside in a vented locker, etc. Which categories and what equipment? See the RCD and SOLAS requirements, no more, no less.

As for a comment by Lemain that it is impossible to register a boat that is over 5 years old, that is absolute rubbish. It WOULD be difficult to register a foreign-built, little-known in these waters, model that does not come with an RCD compliance declaration. As in the UK, it is up to the owner to prove complance with the RCD. If the boat comes with a manufacturers RCD Compliance declaration, no problem.

Once you are tax-resident in Spain, with your boat on the Spanish register, you must hold a valid Spanish qualification or ticket:
1. Patron de Embarcación de Recreo: of little use to a long-distance cruiser.
2. Patron de Yate: Similar to Coastal Skipper. Permits navigating along the coast in any direction and for any distance so long as you never are more than 60 miles from the nearest harbour.
3. Capitan de Yate: Ocean Yachtmaster -- the world is your oyster!!!

As far as I know, foreign qualifications are valid in Spain, and can be swapped for the corresponding Spanish certificate. This is certainly true for drivers licenses, and is, as far as I know, also true for sailing qualifications. The local paper-pusher in the comandancia or in the capitaneria may not know the rules and permitted swaps, but if you gently persuade them to check it out with "Madrid" or their higher authority (meaning boss), or go through a recognised and reputable sailing school, there should be no problem. When doing this, it is important to be diplomatic, not abrupt or disparaging. Remember, all this is relatively new to most of them, and even they may not have all the instructions they need to handle your case correctly. Be charming not smarmy, try to get them to understand your "problem" and see how we can find a solution, etc, etc. As everwhere, the agressive, I want my Rights, approach will not work.

Hope this clears up some doubts.

Plomong

Grehan
09-01-09, 19:57
Thanks for an interesting post, Plomong.
Do you have any info. or opinion on the possibility of the boat by itself 'carrying' the 183 day liability (irrespective of anyone being on-board and/or qualifying as Resident), rather than a boat being occupied by a person for the 183 days who is then liable to import said boat?
Ever heard that one?

Anonymous
09-01-09, 21:00
Thanks for some useful information but you haven't addressed the point about the non-resident whose boat is in Spain for >185 days. We have evidence that the Spanish are targeting those boat and that the EU rules permit that.

Your description of the re-registration requirements does not agree with my experience. For a start, you have neglected the special radio equipment power supply requirements and the requirement that all on-board equipment must be homogulated. Unless evidence of homogulation is provided, items might need to be replaced; in the case of a five year old, or older, British yacht, that could include the entire package of marine electronics, liferaft, lifejackets, lines, motor parts,....

You introduce and use the term 'tax resident' very unwisely. The rules are about being 'Ordinarily Resident'.

I have never heard of anyone managing to 'exchange' or otherwise qualify for the Spanish yachting qualifications without taking the Spanish exams. Unless and until someone, somewhere, succeeds in doing that, assume that it is not possible. I know several people who have taken the Spanish exams and they all said that language, for them, was the biggest problem because the examiners were not sympathetic to the language issue. When you say that "As far as I know foreign qualifications are valid in Spain" what do you base that on?

Anonymous
09-01-09, 21:28
[ QUOTE ]
David this is not correct. The only pensions taxable in the country of origin are public service pensions. Any old age or private pension is taxed in the country of residence, together with any investment income (if any).

[/ QUOTE ] I thought that we were talking about people (let's say Brits) who just slip off to Spain in their yachts, campers, or stay in holiday homes and don't tell the Spanish authorities that they are there? i.e. they are still paying tax in the UK. As far as the Spanish are concerned, they are tourists, and spend foreign currency in Spain.

[ QUOTE ]
I have talked to many people in Spain who believe they can avoid any form of income tax because nobody knows where they are. A crackdown was inevitable.

[/ QUOTE ] I know that there was a huge black economy but I don't know the mechanics of it. The Rottweiler brigade along the Costas. Very nasty. Is that the group you are thinking of?

[ QUOTE ]
You will also see many UK registered cars without uk tax discs which are totally illegal and not therefore insured.

[/ QUOTE ]That's an interesting one. I know many Brits with old British cars, most are insured with Linea Directa via Gibraltar, I think, and some do get an ITV every year. Whether the insurance is valid is another matter...."You and the law in Spain" says specifically not, but then again Linea Directa is a very large company. I know of many pay-outs but I don't know whether they have honoured a really big pay-out, say after a large accident with fatalities. We refuse to do that and sold our car in the UK, the first year, before the MOT ran out. We are now thinking of buying a new car and keeping it in the UK during the summer. Down Under Insurance seem to offer a policy that allows you to be genuinely non-resident in the UK but still drive a UK vehicle on a UK licence. Saga suggest that you can be overseas for as long as you like but when I put into writing what we are doing they declined since we don't spend at least 183 days a year in UK. To reiterate, with Saga you must spend > 183 days pa in the UK. Not everyone knows that.

bazobeleza
09-01-09, 22:06
David, quite rightly you raise serious issues here, you are painting a very black picture of probable boat taxation in spain. It also seems to be a situation picked up by the press. They can't resist a good story.

I was considering moving on to spain for a year or so, now I'll give it a miss and go straight on. Individually no great loss to spain, but if its repeated????? I have allready been contacted by several friends asking to help move boats out of spanish marinas, and I am not talking about 30' floating hulks but large mobo's and sailboats.

Where does this leave spain? there are thousands of 'Foreign' boats in the spanish marinas, if they pursue and collect this 'tax' it will bring them a large windfall ... and alienate boat owners to the point that the marinas will empty faster than water down a plughole.

If judging by the attention this is getting here and in the press both national and Yachting, (it will also be picked up by the continental yachting press), it will, if not speedily resolved, and publicised, have a huge effect on the spanish marine and tourist industry this coming year. Even the mere talk of a rumour of gun toting taxmen striding the pontoons will unsettle a lot of people. Can any gov't be so shortsighted? (gordon's excepted)

Ardelloeixe
09-01-09, 22:08
Maybe someone here will remember the 1988 Merchant Shipping Act, and how this Act afeccted to the brittish flag fishing boats, owned by spanish fishing firms.
These boats where forbiden to fish in british waters because they belonged to foreing firms.
Many years latter the british Governement, after loosing the case in the Supreme European Court, had to pay a lot of money to the owners of these fishing boats.

Perhaps the spanish authorities are making the same mistake?

Bye

Wansworth
09-01-09, 22:10
A Spanish policeman told me once that Spanish people didnt always obey the traffic laws because of their Latin blood he felt that was ok,unfortunatly the laws still exist and now and again they are acted on,so although you think its all jolly and laid back because no one acts it does not mean they wont.This is the confusing bit.We would expecta German customes to act but have somehow belive the spanish customes cannot be bothered.As a British person living in Spain this is the biggest problem,my Spanish friends say o thats ok they wont find out or no problem no one bothers etc.....But things are changing.Local governments are not allowing high rise flats on the beach,poeple now pay taxes cars have mot etc.Spain is coming up to european standards,slowly so beware that you abide by the regulations.....thats if anyone actually knows them!

michaelchapman
09-01-09, 22:10
The situation with ISDMT seems to be identical to that of moving cars around in Europe.

For cars in Europe the situation is simple and clear.
If you become resident in another country (usual definition more than 6 months there in any calendar year), then you have to register the car there.

In some countries, this means paying a registration tax. Here in France it depends on engine size. A typical car will cost about 300 euros or so. This is not VAT and has nothing to do with VAT (which has to have been paid somewhere in the EU). A colleague imported a Corvette with a 5litre V8 engine from California to France. No VAT to pay, since it was part of his personal belongings and he was moving here, but the car had to be re-registered (and get a kind of type approval - which meant changing headlights, changing the colour of side lights and a fair bit of hassle). The registration fee was 2500 euros.
Of course you then must have french insurance, and a french driving license. This can be obtained by a straight swap.

I had the same experience when I moved from France to Germany. I had no VAT to pay, however I did have to pay a registration fee, pass a kind of type approval (I had to change the headlamps from yellow to white) and exchange my french license for a German one.

Now, this ISDMT thing sounds to be exactly the same thing as I have experienced for cars. Unfortunately the registration tax seems to be a very high percentage of value, and of course getting the boat up to scratch for the Spanish rules will be a pain (as it is for importing cars - especially cars which are being importanted from outside the EU - different type approval rules, lights need to be changed, fog lights installed etc etc).

I don't know if the swap of qualifications goes as smoothly as the drivers license swap does.

Seems like there are better places to become resident than Spain!

(PS France has a kind of road tax on boats - if you are resident you have to pay a tax each year which depends purely on the size and engine size of your boat - but there is no need to register the boat in France - if it is properly registered somewhere else and respects the rules for that registration with regards to equipment etc).

Anonymous
09-01-09, 22:31
Barry, I like the 'carpet slippers' comment in your tag line...Nauticats are nice and comfortable /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

We never intended to spend any time in Spain -- preconceived ideas -- but found that we really liked it, especially the weather, the company and when I got into it, I found Spanish fairly easy to learn (easier than Italian, for me). The biggest problem - and this makes me angry - is that we cannot find out what the law actually says. That really is unjust. The Spanish tax authorities know that there is an issue and they must know that foreign owners don't understand the rules or where the rules are published. This business of taxing the boat regardless of residency after 185 days in the country is a real bummer. If the rule was 185 days in any calendar year, the same as residency, that would be fine for most cruisers.

As for this being an 'own goal' I'm not so sure. Horrid things go on in politics. For a start, for every liveaboard Brit yacht there must be ten to twenty non-liveaboards. If they can now target the non-liveaboards who are all working, over the winter with bad weather, how can they get them out of Spain? Having taxed them, are they then going to impound them until they have been re-flagged (that means a full survey out of the water by a Spanish inspector before and after any work)? There's a lot of potential work in that for Spanish yards. OTOH, the Brit and N. European owners would not be able to sail them, after re-flagging. There would be no market for all those yachts with Spanish dusters, either.

Where can people take their yachts? Gib is full and the anchorage is closed -- could owners demand sanctuary north of the runway? Maybe? Or Smir? There is plenty of space but it isn't cheap. Portugal has its own boaty issues. Few are going to want to take a yacht back to Blighty before late May early June, at the earliest and you are into the Portuguese trades.

France is a possible - the coast from the Spanish border down to around Marseilles was being badly affected by the recession early last summer. Worth a look. Port Napoleon, of course.

It is a major problem for people. But are we just seeing a general tendency for governments to tax everyone who has cash that can be taxed to make up the shortfall after these absurd bailouts taking place around the globe? They'll put a tax on the number of bogs you've got, next, or the number of windows, even /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Anonymous
09-01-09, 22:39
That's exactly what our Spanish friends have been saying. Plus, they add, corruption is rife and you cannot trust anyone. Your summary to abide by the regulations if anyone knows them is bang on target. Even the gestors give different advice in the same town. We have got as close to emigrating to Spain as you can without actually doing the deed and I have serious doubts. Particularly now that the economy is in such trouble.

You are up in Galicia; I am worried about attitudes towards immigrant Brits in SE Spain...what's it like up where you are?

Wansworth
09-01-09, 22:56
Lemain,There are lots of northern europeans living here;althoughso few I have yet to meet one,the atitude ingeneralto immigrants is good and to brits ,Gernmans etc very good asit seemhalf the populationhas been working in Europe especially if theyare over 50.We had several Brits come to look at our house,,,escaping the world of expats and the sun!!!! I will be buying a small boat and do have an a foreboding of whats to come but a friend reregisterd a nic 32 and is alive to tell the tale....you need endless patients!

bazobeleza
09-01-09, 23:03
The friends I have have talked to are all using their boats as floating holiday accomodation and in that regard think they contribute enough to the spanish economy with marina fees and purchases whilst on holiday.

I'm shortly taking two to be lifted in portugal and then one Mobo) will be going home on a lorry, the other (sail) have decided to move to portugal and then s france.

These are relatively high value newish boats that would be particularly hit by this tax, and the owners are no nonense people that do not appreciate even the hint of a threat of being mugged especially whe you consider the amount they have allready spent in the spanish economy, are acting quickly because of the uncertainty.

Other friends are busy making contingency plans, all will move their boats if this takes off, irrespective of berthing, weather etc, all will move the boats sooner rather than later, as the threat of impounded boats or pay money over makes owners very, very, uncomfortable.

As word gets around people will get very jittery.


By the way, I must say my life changed for the better when I discovered nauticats, the carpet slipper thing came about when I was in the SW Approaches one stormy night and dived out on deck in slippers and dressing gown to sort a problem out at the pointy end. I've never lived it down /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Anonymous
09-01-09, 23:05
Thanks for that, that's what I wondered. We have been looking on the Internet at Galicia and France since I speak French and Spanish. I fear that things further south are going to be a problem...too many out of work N Euros and not enough income to the population. I hope I'm wrong.

I can imagine that the Nic 32 would be OK as it is in its own way a classic and rather simple yacht. We have seen pobs with older production boats and one very old French ferrocement yacht that is just rotting away now (does FC rot?). The owners have abandoned it and not paying the marina fees any longer. There will be a lot of that happening in Club Med. Did your friend have problems getting non-homogulated kit accepted - did he have to replace it all?

Anonymous
09-01-09, 23:27
[ QUOTE ]
The friends I have have talked to are all using their boats as floating holiday accomodation and in that regard think they contribute enough to the spanish economy with marina fees and purchases whilst on holiday.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's a very relevant comment. We live by 'tourist rules' and we don't expect anything from the host state. Given that these countries advertise to attract tourists presumably they make money out of us? Suppose we are in Spain, say, for more than 185 days and then move to Italy for six months. Are we supposed to keep changing our country of Ordinary Residence every year of so? Changing Driving Licence, yacht papers, tax details,.../forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif It would be absurd, nobody could expect that. The only constant connection we have is with the UK where we have our families, banks, investments, health insurance and passports. Yet these rules try to treat you as a resident in a place where you are just bunking up for the winter. 185 days is not long enough...it ought to be 185 days in at least two or three consecutive calendar years, unless you intend to make a permanent move, of course.

[ QUOTE ]
As word gets around people will get very jittery.

[/ QUOTE ] I am sure you are right. It'll be good business for yacht delivery skippers and crew.

Wansworth
09-01-09, 23:28
lEMAIN,He had no problems just time and plodding thru the process.The boat required a porta potti but the surveyer just glanced at the unopened box of the porta potti and then at his watch and left for lunch,he barely looked at the boat and the porta potti belonged to the marina ...which lends out the box for surveys!!!! I had more or less the same treatment with a boat years ago just have to be calm and see the funny side......how did Columbus ever get going.....!

Anonymous
09-01-09, 23:39
That's interesting and different from the experiences in SE Spain. Different surveyors, or admin regions? I suppose you need a porta potti if you haven't got a holding tank?

Plomong
10-01-09, 00:23
Just a thought. When thinking how you are treated tax-wise by the Spanish authorities, do any of you think about the following:

1. When you are resident in country X, it is normal that you abide by the laws of country X, in all respects. That includes paying taxes, driving on the correct side of the road, driving a car that fulfills the legal requirements established in that country, etc etc. I'm sure you all are in agreement with this, or at least I hope so.

2. When the law states you must register your boat in Spain because you have become resident in Spain, the boat must then be outfitted according to Spanish laws and regulations. That's logical, and the same in most countries.

3. Spanish outfitting and other boat related regulations are based on RCD and SOLAS requirements, and differ only in details with respect to, for instance, France. I'm sure the same would be the case if we compare Spanish regulations with Italy or Germany or .... The only odd man out, as it were, is the UK, where there are no regulations, it would seem. And hence some of the flap about changing boat registration. The tax bit is a different story, and explained in my previous post.

4. A foreign-owned boat parked in a Spanish marina all year round is taking up space that could be used by a Spanish citizen's boat. After all, most Spanish marinas are financed by public capital, and designed for local use, or at least so we are told. To have a significant percentage of available places occupied by foreign boats is not a happy situation, especially when the purchasing power of the owners drives up prices as well. Here I am not talking about live-aboard boats, but rather those others who just pop down a few times each year. A similar situation exists around the Solent and other parts of southern England, if I am not mistaken, where demand from non-residents drives up the costs for local residents.

5. Lemain mentioned the problem of "homologacion" of equipment (homologacion = type approval) when transferring registry. In practice, this is not a problem. If the item has a type approval from another EC country it is valid in Spain. However, some items such as lifejackets are stickier. The French regulations accept a 100N jacket whereas the Spanish requirement is for a SOLAS approved jacket of 150N for zones 2, 3 and 4; 275 N for zone 1. Note: SOLAS approval. That can be approved in any EC country. It does not require an explicit Spanish approval anymore. Just think of it a bit: If I get AENOR type approval for a widget produced here in Spain, that approval is recognised in all other EC countries. Similarly a German TUV type approval is valid in Spain. The same applies to lifejacket, radio etc type approvals. Any official that says otherwise needs to be handled in the manner briefly outlined in my other post -- gently gently brought into the 21 century, and Europe. Many are not there yet !!!! How do I know ??? I live here, and work here!!!
Evidence:
- My VHF radio was accepted as Approved on the basis of its French type approval.
- In the company where I work, we deal with type approvals all the time, both for equipment and systems manufactured by us, where the corresponding tests are performed by a local standards laboratory who also issue the certificate, and for items purchased in other EC countries. For some types of equipment, we need to go to TUV for approval, as the local laboratory does not have the necessary expertise at the moment.

(Just an aside: when I went to register my boat here in Spain, I was initially told that I could not do so, as I am not a Spanish citizen. That was easy to debunk. I failed, however, to keep the original of the RCD Compliance Declaration. It is now in a ministry archive somewhere, with a photocopy on the boat, but I'm working on getting back the original. Patience, patience, o Lord, give me patience with those who just don't want to be normal).

6. It would appear that, up to now, many liveaboards have been avoiding their tax obligations, not being resident in the UK, and not declaring their presence over here, and so not paying tax here. That situation could not last forever. Now that most autonomous regions get a percentage of the income and special taxes collected in their region, it is only logical that they are trying to maximize their collection efficiency. And that applies not only to boat owners, but also to dentists, lawyers, businessmen, etc etc. Really part of the process of Spain growing up. I remember a conversation with a taximan in Oviedo 10 years ago. He was complaining loudly about having to pay income tax, and being very vocal about it. When I asked him, he told me that up til then he had NEVER PAID ANY INCOME TAX AT ALL. He had never declared, and was never challenged. At the time he must have been well over forty, so could have been working 20 years or more without paying a sous to anyone. That could not continue. Likewise, liveaboards must recognise that they also have obligations. They live here, just like anyone else, so must share in the common tax burden.

Plomong

Anonymous
10-01-09, 00:56
Firstly, I would like to thank you for outlining your experience so clearly. You have certainly dotted a few is and crossed a few ts for me though even as a marginally capable Spanish speaker I doubt whether I would be as successful as you in dealing with homogulation. My first introduction to this problem was from a (Brit) chandler who had taken over an existing chandlery business. As far as he was concerned, it is a major issue and the reason why chandlery items cost so much more in Spain. Be that as it may, I think that we are all agreed that re-flagging your yacht as Spanish is not something you undertake lightly. If your yacht is for holidays or you are a liveaboard cruiser, you will just move on. Only if you have decided to settle in Spain will you (voluntarily) re-flag your yacht.

This does pose a big problem for those who have purchased marina berths worth tens of thousands of pounds. Those berths will now be worthless for resale as no foreigner will want to get locked-into a Spanish mooring.

[ QUOTE ]

4. A foreign-owned boat parked in a Spanish marina all year round is taking up space that could be used by a Spanish citizen's boat. After all, most Spanish marinas are financed by public capital, and designed for local use, or at least so we are told. To have a significant percentage of available places occupied by foreign boats is not a happy situation, especially when the purchasing power of the owners drives up prices as well. Here I am not talking about live-aboard boats, but rather those others who just pop down a few times each year. A similar situation exists around the Solent and other parts of southern England, if I am not mistaken, where demand from non-residents drives up the costs for local residents.

[/ QUOTE ]

The poor dears will be spoilt for choice, now, then! Bigger marinas will empty and become undesirable especially for the Spanish who value crowding -- they hate peace, quiet, and emptiness.

[ QUOTE ]
6. It would appear that, up to now, many liveaboards have been avoiding their tax obligations, not being resident in the UK, and not declaring their presence over here, and so not paying tax here. That situation could not last forever.

[/ QUOTE ]
I think that's true to some extent. Some really were/are taking the piss. Others are good spenders and are like perpetual tourists who would never consider becoming resident in a formal sense and the loss to Spain will be the latter group. The first group is pretty small beer; they tend to be older and poorer and they tend to slink back to the UK when ill health hits or money runs out. I don't see any big value in any of this to Spain -- on the contrary, good spenders will move away, creating voids in marinas, restaurants and other local businesses will close, tightening the spiral down. The Spanish have chosen a very odd time to be increasing taxation on discretionary spending. Remember that every Brit is spending basic subsistence money on food, moorings, clothing, fuel and transport -- all of which are taxed by IVA as well as providing local jobs. All that income will go, for the foreseeable future.

[ QUOTE ]
liveaboards must recognise that they also have obligations. They live here, just like anyone else, so must share in the common tax burden.

[/ QUOTE ]No, nobody who is spending their money must recognise anything. They will go and what they are presently spending will stop. That will have a very serious effect on business around marinas. People can and will vote with their feet. You can impound a boat but you cannot confiscate it and you cannot 'impound' British Citizens. For the most part, those who are not moving about are living on pretty low-value boats anyway so the potential tax revenue is peanuts. The real money is moving now, or has already left (as we did last year). Last April I came to the conclusion that it was unsafe to remain in Spain for more than the 183 days. I am very glad not to be there today.

Anonymous
10-01-09, 01:12
My suggestion is that anyone who has been assessed for ISDMT who would prefer to remove their yacht from Spain should appeal against the tax on the grounds that they did not know of or fully understand the implications (i.e. re-flagging) and that as a consequence they will remove their vessel from Spanish waters as soon as the weather and crew permit.

It would be very hard for any reasonable authority to refuse that.

If re-flagging does not take place, then how can a matriculation tax be payable?

For non-trivial sums I would use a London lawyer who does not have a Mediterranean appearance, or speak with a Spanish accent.

bazobeleza
10-01-09, 01:42
Just phoned a mate and he'd said he'd heard rumours about the possibilty of this tax in November and he'd done a quick calc on his newish and admitedly rather ostenstatious and large mobo and reckoned his liability could be in the region of 60k euro, not a happy bunny at all.

I am, on the other hand looking forward to the trip to relocate that boat with him to France. His marina contract is due for renewal within a couple of months and he will sacrifice a month of that to move.

There are going to be a lot of empty 50'+ berths going begging when his friends move and note I say when, not if.

I know that a friend of his keeps a rather nice 78' mobo there, he will move, but what of the permanent spanish husband and wife he employs full time to keep his pride and joy pristine, the external cleaning crew and the extra crew he employs every summer. A good swap for the spanish economy, maybe a one off 100k tax vs an ongoing 70 - 80k a year which is what he reckons it costs to keep his boat in spain?

It looks like Beleza will be neglected a bit this year as friends with boats in spain move them on. Still it will be a bit of varied boating for me.

Anonymous
10-01-09, 09:09
It stands to reason that those with most to lose will make sure that they get out in good time. I suppose that France and Portugal will be the main beneficiaries. Maybe 'beneficiaries' is the wrong term? Maybe, as someone else suggested, the Spanish really don't want all these foreign yachts and yachties clogging up their marinas.

At least your friend doesn't have long to run on his berthing contract; I have many friends who own their berths or have long-term contracts.

This is clearly going to become a mass exodus now that the mainstream press has publicised it.

JamesFrance
10-01-09, 09:09
I posted this link in the previous thread:
http://www.nauticalegal.com/artics/Navegar_n163_p126.pdf

I am posting it again as it states that someone resident in another country has NO liability to pay this tax if he registers under the Spanish flag.

Now these people could be wrong, but they do appear to be specialists in this subject.
http://www.nauticalegal.com/

Anonymous
10-01-09, 09:53
James, you are referring to item 2 "Matricula Turistica"? They talk about Matriculation Tax but they don't mention the 12% or the discount for age. Also note that they don't use either the acronym ISDMT where the 'S' is for 'special'. All I am saying is that if they are referring to ISDMT then they are being a bit sloppy.

As I have said before, we have never heard of a non-resident being assessed for this tax. But on the other hand, the collection of it has been very haphazard in the past; could it be that Madrid has issued clear instructions to the regions? The information from Torrevieja seemed very clear.

JamesFrance
10-01-09, 10:23
David, I think it is put in simple language there, but the next section does state that the matriculation tax is 12%, so it has to be that.

If you look around the web site you will find links to Hacienda legal pages, so I expect the legal definitions are all there somewhere.

The article in the link is just saying that there can be cost advantages for non residents of Spain to register under the Spanish flag. The non liability to ISDMT (which is a clean air tax it seems) making it cheaper than some other countries.

Anonymous
10-01-09, 10:55
Yes, I see what you mean. He does say in several places that the Matriculation Tax is payable (only) when the vessel is for use by a Spanish resident. Unfortunately, he does not cite the codes (Spain is totally codified for law and tax). This leave us not knowing whether he is correct or whether the rules have changed.

Since none of us has ever heard of a vacation yacht being assessed for ISDMT and given that there are thousands of them, at very high value, there is a good chance that the rules used not to include boats belonging to non-residents. We do know that the EU rules permit tax to be charged on these yachts and we know that's what was said in Torrevieja.

I suppose we could ask this fellow Yamandú Rodriguez Caorsi who says that he is a lawyer working with other specialists. Is that something you could follow up?

JamesFrance
10-01-09, 11:17
I think I have found the legal basis for this and here is a translation:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl...%3D1979%2F28527 (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.boe.es%2Faeboe% 2Fconsultas%2Fbases_datos%2Fdoc.php%3Fcoleccion%3D iberlex%26id%3D1979%2F28527)

There are other links in here too which need reading for the complete picture and it seems to go back to a Royal decree of 1979.

If it were then I could have asked Juan Carlos as we were close marina neighbours in Palma then and he always spoke in passing. (I don't suppose he would have understood it any better than the rest of us though.)

Anonymous
10-01-09, 12:32
It goes back a very long way. It's not impossible that Madrid has extended the rules to cover non-residents and demanded collection at the same time. By so doing, they don't have to worry about how long the owner has been in Spain or debate 'residency'.

I'm no saying that is the case, of course. The only evidence we have is the statement from Torrevieja. My lawyer also said that the tax was payable by non-residents but he also said that it was payable immediately the vessel arrived in Spain -- and he refused to budge on that point -- so I think we can regard my lawyer as 'unreliable'. On the other hand, he did research it and spoke to Almeria port so it is possible that he was party correct. We also have the EU rules.

What is really puzzling about all this is the lack of information leaflets or posters in marinas. You would think that the Spanish government has a duty to inform boaters that there is a potential tax liability. Indeed, that might be grounds for challenging any assessment unless fair time was given to remove the vessel from Spanish waters. One's argument might be that if this tax is known about then you would expect the marina to know; since the marina know your flag and how long you have been present, don't they have a duty of care to inform you that there might be a tax payable that also involves re-flagging the yacht?

Then finally, there is the situation where the owner had planned to take the vessel back to the UK in the near future...it would be madness to re-flag as a Spanish yacht and then back again to British. No reasonable person would expect that. So presumably there is a case for asking permission to leave rather than pay ISDMT and re-flag?

Plomong
10-01-09, 17:10
James,

The original, in Spanish, specifically states that "Disposicion Derogada", meaning it is no longer in force, so I think this decreto is old hat. In the 80s and 90s all this area of law was thoroughly revamped to bring it into line with modern practice and European laws and regulations, properly incorporate SOLAS etc etc, so I would be very surprised if this decreto was still in force.

Sorry about that.

Plomong

JamesFrance
10-01-09, 17:55
Hi plomong, yes I wondered if that was current. I found it after trying to read this:
http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2007/11/16/pdfs/A46962-46987.pdf

On page 15 there is a reference to tourist registration so I searched for that.

I think that document probably contains the current law somewhere but there is a lot of Spanish to translate.

Anonymous
10-01-09, 18:46
This was from my lawyers in various emails up to 6/6/08

[ QUOTE ]
1. Regarding the obligation to pay the ISDMT after 30 days, this is strictly fixed in the Additional First Law Order of 38/ 92, 28th December, Special Tax. Where the ISDMT is regulated.

[/ QUOTE ]

[ QUOTE ]
1. At Almeria’s Tax office, in customs, they have confirmed that for tax purposes any boat which is found berthed in the harbour longer than 30 days has the fiscal obligation to pay the corresponding special tax, LIE, for certain means of transport.
For the payment of said tax, I understand that the point which might be of most interest to you besides the customs tax to pay, is the amount of said tax which, if the boat is longer than 8 metres, will correspond to 12% of your boat’s market value on the date of the presentation of the tax. i.e. if they carry out a tax inspection on your boat and you do not present the payment statement of said tax, they could sanction you with the corresponding fine which will be estimated according to the gravity deemed by the Tax office.

[/ QUOTE ]

[ QUOTE ]
1- The LIE (Ley de Impuestos Especiales or special tax law) is the law that regulates the IESDMT. In my previous email, while refereeing to tax to be paid for your boat, I am refereeing to the IESDMT and no other.

[/ QUOTE ]

[ QUOTE ]
In reply to your last email, firstly as I have previously indicated in my last email, I agree with your observations regarding the obligation to pay tax on a boat anchored in Spain for more than 30 days, but that is the law at present, and by this we understand that that is the reason why this tax is neither followed up or collected. However, another thing is the limitation of six months for registration of the boat, for which the tax must be paid in advance, and in this case there is a greater risk of inspection.

[/ QUOTE ]

[ QUOTE ]
4- In a way, I share your opinion, however the tax legislation is clear on this point. I understand that this could be one of the reasons why boats are not inspected by Hacienda, or the corresponding sanctions are imposed until more than six months have passed, when the boat is must be registered, prior payment of the IESDMT.

[/ QUOTE ]

[ QUOTE ]
3. Nevertheless, an employee at the tax office informed us of cases of yachts which have been berthed up to 3 years without legalizing their situation, i.e. the cases in which some boats exceed the time limit for the tax payment without being sanctioned appear to be quite usual. Obviously, our advice is always to regularize the situation of your boat by paying said tax and registering it in the Boat’s Registry.

[/ QUOTE ]

<span style="color:red">If he is right then this could be an entirely different ball game. This far I have assumed that he is wrong, but am having my doubts in which case I would owe him a grovelling apology.</span>

Plomong
10-01-09, 19:28
James

Page 15 (46975 of the BOE) "Disposicion adicional octava" appears to be the current modified version of the IEDMT, which was from Ley 38/1992. Thanks for the reference.

To fully understand the current situation, you would need to read Ley 38/1992 as modified by "Disposicion adicional octava".

I hope Lemain reads this, takes note of the 30 days, and the new sliding scale of percentages, previously understood by me to be a fixed 12%, but now obviously not so.

The genesis of this IEDMT is the old Impuesto de Lujo, later Impuesto de Matriculacion, as far as I know.

Plomong

Anonymous
10-01-09, 19:52
[ QUOTE ]
I hope Lemain reads this, takes note of the 30 days, and the new sliding scale of percentages, previously understood by me to be a fixed 12%, but now obviously not so.

[/ QUOTE ]Could you give me a link to that? I've had a look at that document and can't find the scale you are referring to. When you say "takes note of the 30 days" do you mean that it supports my lawyers that the tax is due after the vessel has been in Spain for longer than 30 days?

Plomong
10-01-09, 22:52
Lemain,

Please download and read the document from JamesFrance's post above. It seems to be the relevant law published in the Spanish BOE. It is a restructuring of a tax defined in the earlier law "Ley 38/1992".

The relevant part starts on page 14 of the document, left hand column, where it starts "Disposicion adicional octava". The sliding scale is on the top left column of page 16, with the categories defined on page 15. The 30 days are defined on page 15, left hand column, item d).

Hope this helps.

Plomong

Anonymous
10-01-09, 23:17
That helps enormously, thanks. It certainly looks as though my lawyer was correct. After 30 days in the country, you are liable to pay ISDMT regardless of whether you are a resident.

I don't understand the table, though and all my Spanish textbooks and dictionary are stored in the bilge (as we are doing Italian right now). Can you explain the sliding table to me? Many thanks.

Plomong
11-01-09, 00:37
Lemain,

It seems each motor is classed as 1, 2, 3, or 4 depending on the grams of CO2 it emits per kilometer. How that is established based on the available data I don't know, probably by a manufacturer's declaration or the motor type data (I don't have mine available here, it's on the boat, so I can't check if that data is supplied on the type spec sheet). If I recall correctly, the % applied in a case I know here in Bilbao was 12%, flat with no reference to gr/km or any other data. Horsepower was supplied, I think, but I can't be sure of that.

Then, if the autonomous region where the registration is taking place has established a percentage or scale or whatever, that is the one applied. If the region has not established a % or scale, the table in the law is applied. The Basque Country has established such %, as indicated above, so the table is not applicable here. Probably indicates why no other data than valuation was required here!!

Anonymous
11-01-09, 09:17
That's what it looked like to me. That is pretty nonsensical for a sailing yacht. Since the entire 'Act' is about the environment i.e. it is changing previous regulations for environmental reasons, might one infer that sailing yachts should have a zero tax band? My Spanish is not good enough to get the nuances in a legal document.

Grehan
11-01-09, 10:46
[ QUOTE ]
After 30 days in the country, you are liable to pay ISDMT regardless of whether you are a resident.

[/ QUOTE ]
Kerikey!!! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

This being such a long thread I've probably lost the plot (almost certainly! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif ) along the way, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but from starting out wanting some clarification about ISDMT levied on liveaboard boat owners (that's shorthand), we then progressed to examining its possible application to non-livedaboard boats (shorthand), which seemed pretty far-fetched. Now we go from 6 months in Spain to 30 days. Ay ay ay.

Seriously guys, how real is this? We are talking about having to import a boat into a country whose waters one has been in (the boat has been in) for just 30 days.
I'm not being critical of you, nor do I dismiss your considerable efforts in digging all the references up, but blimey it does seem literally unbelievable.

OK, so here's the next.
In the main (shorthand again) we've been talking about Spain. Spain is Spain, I understand that things there might not be that, er, logical? (I'm going back for a week, tomorrow)
Are you also saying that this 30 day-import-tax-registration-homologation-qualification stuff could/does apply throughout the EU, not just Spain? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Where are the headlines in Yachting Monthly?

Anonymous
11-01-09, 11:35
Yes, you are right. The Spanish law, as my lawyer said, seems to say that you are liable to ISDMT after your boat has been in their waters for 30 days, regardless of whether you are resident in Spain. Furthermore, this is only the first step on the re-flagging process.

As for the wider implication, i.e. the rest of the EU, the EU rules that we have been posting in these threads actually give you 185 days grace, in any twelve month period. So the Spanish rules seem to be not allowed by the EU rules. Who would like to take this up to Brussels /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif? It could be that the Spanish know that they cannot legally charge before 185 days so they leave the 30 days on the statute book but don't enforce it?

However, what does seem clear from the Spanish and the EU rules -- and these are from Spanish Government and EU websites -- is that non-residents become liable to the tax. 30 days, or 185 days? That we don't know. One complication is that the 185 days for the boat is in any period of 12 months whereas for 'Ordinary Residency' it is in a calendar year.

Scary, eh? BUT we don't know of a single non-resident who has been assessed. OTOH, they does seem to be a flurry of activity right now.

grumpygit
11-01-09, 11:37
[ QUOTE ]


OK, so here's the next.
In the main (shorthand again) we've been talking about Spain. Spain is Spain, I understand that things there might not be that, er, logical? (I'm going back for a week, tomorrow)
Are you also saying that this 30 day-import-tax-registration-homologation-qualification stuff could/does apply throughout the EU, not just Spain? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Where are the headlines in Yachting Monthly?

[/ QUOTE ]

Has any one tried the RYA to see if they can give any clarity to this matter. Also I would think the insurance industry should be on the case as well. All sorts of strange claims could be made against them, as in someone gets a large tax bill they can't afford. The rest I will leave to ones imagination

Anonymous
11-01-09, 12:32
[ QUOTE ]

Has any one tried the RYA to see if they can give any clarity to this matter.

[/ QUOTE ]I vote that the oxymoron of the month!

grumpygit
11-01-09, 13:26
I know where you're coming from, It was a tad tongue in cheek.

To much of a commitment and energy for that lot ! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Grehan
11-01-09, 14:21
I suspect both the RYA and Cruising Association could provide an answer. I also suspect that the answer would result from some kind of information that is either slightly or significantly 'misheard' or otherwise less than fully reliable, complete, or out of date. Maybe I'm being unfair.
See http://www.spainvia.com/boats.htm
Anyone tried contacting Ted Osborn or Frank Singleton, noted as the two C.A/RYA experts?

[Edit]
Sent them an email.

[Edit #2]
FWIW - Here's an article that's appeared in the local Torrevieja newspaper this week.
http://www.costablancaleader.com/letters/article.php?article_id=17448&amp;article_section_id=1

bazobeleza
11-01-09, 15:33
Quote

:- OTOH, there does seem to be a flurry of activity right now.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Not just boat owners it seems.

I was at a party last and was speaking to a freind who has just come back from spain where he has property. He told me that Spain is in very deep ka ka at the present and the tax authorities are looking at every conceivable legal (and otherwise) means of extracting cash.

His particular beef is that he is being assessed to pay 25% of gross rental earnings on his property, even though he has paid all his local council etc taxes in spain, and makes a tax declaration in this country. He has a spanish lawyer on it who says its going to get worse because the spanish govt put a lot of their eggs in the property boom which now isn't.

He's a sailer and says regrets not buying a boat because it easier to move than a house.

So it seems that the spanish tax authorities may well start garnering in taxes on all boats, irrespective of residency or not. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Grehan
11-01-09, 15:56
I've had a reply from Frank Singleton, who says . .
I have had a very cursory glance at this extended discussion. I do not think that I have anything to add to what we wrote previously on the CA website.
See http://myca.org.uk/system/files/SpanishTaxes2008.pdf
In very simple terms, if you live long enough in a country to be regarded as domiciled then you live by their rules. It still seems to be the case that it is the tax situation for the person and not where the boat is kept that is the important matter. Our impression, mine at least, right from the start is that some of those crying foul are trying to avoid
paying tax anywhere.

Personally I don't think that anyone here, who might conceivably be thought of as crying foul, is "trying to avoid paying taxes anywhere". Some might be, but I don't think that's the point of the concern, and the discussion. IMHO, of course.
The PDF is only available to CA members.

Anonymous
11-01-09, 16:06
Identical facts to the ones in the other newspaper articles posted earlier in these threads, so must be the same source article?

Can we somehow get in touch with Tony Maxtead of Yacht Bigamist and exchange ideas or offer mutual help and support?

The other name is Peter Paulsen of Yacht Safety Service in TV

I don't go to TV now and the only other name I know of is Oliver who owns the chandlery there and seems to know everyone, but I don't have any kind of relationship with him.

Does anyone here know any of those people or anyone in TV who might help us find them?

Grehan
11-01-09, 16:19
have sent PM

Anonymous
11-01-09, 16:24
As a CA member I do have that pdf. Obviously I wouldn't post details here as it is CA copyright. It is a well-written document that has evolved over several years but in the light of this discussion (these two threads) it is completely and utterly out of date.

No liveaboard would stay in Spain unless they had no alternative. It's madness. I was getting very twitchy by Christmas 2007 as the number of cases of interviews and embargoes was increasing monthly. So we left in Spring 2008 and are now in Italy.

Plomong
11-01-09, 19:10
Lemain,

Are there any CONFIRMED reports about the application of the 30 days rule outside the Valencia autonomous region?

If none, we could be seeing a local application of something that others might just wish would go away.

Just look who currently governs that area. I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them. Generally seem to try to cause trouble for t'others when they themselves are not in power, and with few if any scruples.

Having said that, I won't sleep well tonight. Knock knock.

Do we know if the 30 days rule is new in the 2007 law and was not in the 1992 law??

If it is new, I'd be more worried.

If not a new rule, I'd be inclined to think that having not applied it in 16 years means there is really no interest in being too heavy-handed about this matter. If also accompanied by spotty application outside the Valencia area, that would confirm my impressions.

Notwithstanding all that has been said up to now about the 30-day rule, the 183 days rule is a different kettle of fish, and far more justified and defensible, as I tried to outline in another of my earlier posts in this thread.

I've sent a PM with other information.

Plomong

JamesFrance
11-01-09, 19:37
David, you must be able to visit Spain for 182 days in a calendar year with no problems. I still see no evidence at all that non residents are being targeted for re registration under the Spanish flag and that is when the ISDMT tax applies.

So we cannot find a modern legal basis for empty boats not having time off from import liability, but there is still this from a Spanish lawyer's site showing that a non resident can register Spanish without the tax.
http://www.nauticalegal.com/artics/Navegar_n163_p126.pdf

Yes you would have a problem in any EU country after 183 days of residence in a year as you would have liability for all taxes of that country.

Whether living aboard a British Ship makes you a resident is another matter.

LadyJessie
11-01-09, 20:59
[ QUOTE ]

Kerikey!!! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

[/ QUOTE ]Good summation. The blind leading the blind.

I think this long thread has been an excellent example of the benefit of what I usually advice; in matters of expatriate taxation: seek professional advice. Your individual financial situation can not be assessed and valued on any web page. Assuming you will find it there is delusional. A liveaboard cruiser is always a very special case that is never covered in 'basic' tax rule presentations. Don't gamble your own money by believing anything you read here.

This is a very complicated field and it is constantly changing. Seek good advice before you take any action and disregard most (if not all) said on threads like these.

JamesFrance
11-01-09, 21:08
Ah well this is the problem. Advice from whom?

Wansworth
11-01-09, 21:12
Maybe VALENCIA(Hive of no good populists) wants to clear out all those smelly vagrant liverboards to make room for super yachts with super people so they can watch the super Americas cup,Spain associates yachts with wealth and if your not wealthy you DONT deserve a yacht,well maybe a runaboutTo understand this problem you have to understand theSpanish ..... almost impossible!!

LadyJessie
11-01-09, 21:25
[ QUOTE ]
Advice from whom?

[/ QUOTE ]From one of the very small community of accountants and lawyers that understand international taxation and residency issues. Most do not, as this is a very specialised field. The lawyer Lemain quote above is a good example of the normal type who might have a grasp of national legal issues but no clue of EU migrant rules, to which this is a subset.

To answer your question directly; you will find them by contacting the big 4 accounting firms and the big legal offices in London and ask for an 'expat' issues expert. They have them aplenty, but you will usually not find them in any other place. The market is too small to support this. Don't be afraid of the 'big' tag here; that does not necessarily mean a 'big price tag'. They are very good at charging big money to big companies (I know, I did it) but they are usually very reasonable with smaller clients. It broadens their case experience which is very worthwhile and they will normally charge very reasonable fares to individual clients. Again, I did.

BlueSkyNick
11-01-09, 21:27
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]

Kerikey!!! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

[/ QUOTE ]Good summation. The blind leading the blind.

I think this long thread has been an excellent example of the benefit of what I usually advice; in matters of expatriate taxation: seek professional advice. Your individual financial situation can not be assessed and valued on any web page. Assuming you will find it there is delusional. A liveaboard cruiser is always a very special case that is never covered in 'basic' tax rule presentations. Don't gamble your own money by believing anything you read here.

This is a very complicated field and it is constantly changing. Seek good advice before you take any action and disregard most (if not all) said on threads like these.

[/ QUOTE ]Thank you so much for your helpful contribution.

If the law on taxation on british owned boats in Europe is constantly changing, could you at least tell us where this is recorded.

LadyJessie
11-01-09, 21:52
[ QUOTE ]
could you at least tell us where this is recorded.

[/ QUOTE ]The thread above has dealt with all the issues of expat life in Spain (and by slide the rest of the EU) and there just is not a single place where all these complex issues are correctly assembled. I understand the wish that life would be that simple, but unfortunately it is not. You will have to seek personal advice if you want to protect your money.

franksingleton
11-01-09, 23:11
A slightly shorter version of the CA doc used to be available on the CA open site. A CA member might care to see if our doc could be made open. I am rather busy just now.

We do stress the importance of taking advice and keeping your nose clean. As far as I know, if you do spend over half a year in a country you become liable to taxation under the rules of the country. Spain does seem more concerned than some other countries but remember that Spain has a very large number of other nationals who use the resources of the country. My guess is that makes them more sensitive. You may get away with it if you keep your head down and do not transgress any laws or have an accident that brings you to the notice of the authorities. But, better be safe than sorry. Ensure that you can demonstrate how long you have been in tghe country and, yes, it can be the sum total of several visits. Some Spanish officials used to regard being in Gibraltar as being in Spain!

At the time that we wrote the doc, the only cases that we knew about were where people caught were cases of someone flagrantly overstaying the time limit or getting involved in some misdemeanour, perhaps unofficial chartering or something of that sort.

We make no claims for our doc. It was a best endeavours exercise and we did do some sounding of legal beagles. One problem (of many) is the autonomous nature of the regions. The basic rules may be defined centrally, application may vary greatly.

Anonymous
12-01-09, 00:01
[ QUOTE ]
Are there any CONFIRMED reports about the application of the 30 days rule outside the Valencia autonomous region?

[/ QUOTE ] Not that I know of and I'm not sure that we have a confirmed case of this tax rule being applied even in Valencia. I suspect (nothing more) that the Spanish know it's in contravention of present EU rules.

[ QUOTE ]
If none, we could be seeing a local application of something that others might just wish would go away.

[/ QUOTE ] I think that many have shared information and sentiments from those affected so any reader of these two recent threads can judge for themselves. At best we are guessing. The 30 day rule seems to be enshrined in law but it contravenes EU law. &lt;shrug&gt;

[ QUOTE ]
Just look who currently governs that area. I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them. Generally seem to try to cause trouble for t'others when they themselves are not in power, and with few if any scruples.

[/ QUOTE ] Indeed, and they are convicted criminals as well. Furthermore, the innocent folk who purchased property that had proper planning permission issued by the corrupt local government have had no restitution, AFAIK? There is no way that any person of sound mind should invest their capital in Spain; there seems to be no basic legal redress.

[ QUOTE ]
Having said that, I won't sleep well tonight. Knock knock.

[/ QUOTE ] Are you on a boat? I wonder if Gib might be forced to open up the anchorage north of the runway, for Brits?

[ QUOTE ]
Do we know if the 30 days rule is new in the 2007 law and was not in the 1992 law??

[/ QUOTE ] I have no idea. I only know what appears on the EU site and the information (the core of which I have posted here) received from my lawyer in the Spring.

[ QUOTE ]
If it is new, I'd be more worried.

[/ QUOTE ] I think all you can do is assume that it is correct. It all depends on what is at stake for you. If it is pretty trivial for you, then don't wreck your life by uprooting yourself. If the sums involved (and the implications of re-flagging and getting quals) are significant to you, then get out as soon as the weather is fine. Another possibility, at some risk, is to go to the local major port and talk it through, and come to some agreement that either you will leave in x weeks or pay y. It is a risk, though. Maybe a gestor or lawyer could help but it all depends on the sums involved.

[ QUOTE ]
If not a new rule, I'd be inclined to think that having not applied it in 16 years means there is really no interest in being too heavy-handed about this matter.

[/ QUOTE ] I don't agree. We are seeing an exponential rise in reported assessments. We have been told by others that they have heard of an edict from Madrid that this tax is to be collected.

[ QUOTE ]
Notwithstanding all that has been said up to now about the 30-day rule, the 183 days rule is a different kettle of fish, and far more justified and defensible, as I tried to outline in another of my earlier posts in this thread.

[/ QUOTE ] Indeed, I don't think that there was ever much doubt about the 183 day in one calendar year rule resulting in possible residency. However the residency does not only depend on the 183 days, there are other issues that can be taken into account though 183 days is prima facie. There is also the question whether a 'vehicle' tax should apply to a yacht that is one's only home. I don't know the answer to that...it needs to be investigated.

[ QUOTE ]
I've sent a PM with other information.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks, appreciated and have PMd you back.

Anonymous
12-01-09, 00:44
I'm beginning to think that someone or a group of people should contact the British Embassy in Madrid for assistance. I think that the key word is 'assistance'. Don't ask them what they CAN do, tell them your problem and what you would like them to do to assist you.

Ideally, this would be approached by a group of affected people including liveaboards deemed resident and owners abroad.

We might get some contact at ministerial level to at least establish the tax laws and whether they are legal under EU rules.

If that goes against you, then consider getting HMG to put pressure onto Gib to re-open the anchorage. It would be a good bolt-hole especially for those with limited funds.

I don't believe that the British Embassy is permitted to just ignore the request; if it does so, given the support information you will be carrying, such as Telegraph articles, EU law printouts, etc, they would be exposing themselves. You will get a good hearing at a senior level. That's what I would do if I was in Spain right now, either alone or with others. The trick is to make an appointment with a named individual. Only the dross turn up at Embassies on-spec, and they won't be seen other than through a window. Dress smart-casual or lounge suit, preferably with a tie.

I have a lot of experience in making appointments with overseas Embassies so if you have problems, PM me or email the address below (better)

absit_omen
12-01-09, 09:00
Good idea.

I am sure that the Embassy have nothing better to do than help a relatively small number of Brits to indulge their escapist fantasies by challenging the edicts of their host nation.

After all, there is nothing else important going on in the world at the moment, is there?

At best you will walk away with a photocopied list of 'Spanish Lawyers who speak English'.

Anonymous
12-01-09, 09:06
You are quite wrong about that.

absit_omen
12-01-09, 09:16
OK, prove me wrong.

absit_omen
12-01-09, 09:36
Apologies, last comment was a bit rude. Hope I did not spoil your breakfast.

You probably do not remember but, about a year ago, when you posted about commissioning a Spanish lawyer in Almerimar (or Almeria or wherever) to sort this lot out I told you that you were wasting your time, effort and money. You did not listen and you are out of pocket and none the wiser.

You are now encouraging others to lobby the British Embassy in Madrid! It just will not work over a matter so singular and narrow as this. For God's sake don't go sailing in US waters with these sort of issues (and there is lots of potential for lots of 'issues' over there) or you will find yourself in the Nick. As for 'forcing' Gib to open an anchorage for Brits (only!??). I was beginning to think you were trolling.

Anyway. I look forward to developments.

Wansworth
12-01-09, 16:01
Went to talk to the inspecter of special taxes in the customs.He said it was not thirty days but 6 months that an individual could not be in the country without registring.A boat could remain in the country if it was sealed.So what I can gather you can have a boat in Spain for 6 months thenhave it sealed up for another 6 in any one year.Sealing up does not meanyou cannot be on the boat but it is imobile.Years back my boat was sealed up but I could still be aboard but could not use it till she was re registeredunder Spanish flag.A mate of mind left his boat over the winter but sealed and came back in the Spring and continued his time in Spanish waters.The inspecter was adamant that the regulations are the same in the uk,maybe have a look at uk customs practice.

Anonymous
12-01-09, 16:54
That's very interesting. Which province was that in?

[ QUOTE ]
He said it was not thirty days but 6 months that an individual could not be in the country without registring

[/ QUOTE ] Is that registering himself (which is a requirement) or the boat?

[ QUOTE ]
A boat could remain in the country if it was sealed.

[/ QUOTE ] Is that a boat belonging to a resident or a non-resident and if the latter, may it be an EU citizen? I don't think that a Spanish resident can seal a boat and live on it in Spain, but I could be wrong?

Did the inspector give you the name or code of the rules that he was using?

Sealing is very commonly used by US citizens who are living aboard in the EU. They usually put a seal on the helm, I believe. I'm not sure that this can be done indefinitely? Isn't there a limit? Several of my US friends have had to leave the EU and get their passports stamped in N Africa just to avoid tax issues.

Wansworth
12-01-09, 17:05
Lugo,Galicia.He was referingto the person.The boat would belong to a non national.No codes im afraid,He had a small book which seemed to have everything you should want to know.I took up a bit of his time but some thing could have been lost in translation.But the PRICINTO would be the way to go.He was definate that 30 days not correct.

Anonymous
12-01-09, 18:43
Thanks, can I put this a different way?........

Case 1. A British Citizen who normally lives (and works or is retired) in the UK owns a yacht which he keeps in a Spanish marina all year round, for holidays. He spends a few weeks a year on his yacht and is in no way 'resident' in Spain. Does Case 1 have a tax liability in respect of his yacht? If so, is the 'precinto' the way to avoid it? If so, how long can Case 1 continue to play this 'game'? One year...ten years...?

Case 2. A retired British couple living on their yacht sail from the UK to the Med and decide to stay for a while in a Spanish marina. After 183 days in any calendar year, this couple will become 'ordinarily resident' and at that time all their tax affairs come under the microscope of the Spanish authorities. Can this British couple, Case 2, simply have their boat sealed and then continue to live on it (use it, but not go to sea) or, since they are now 'ordinarily resident' in Spain, must they re-flag the boat as Spanish and pay the ISDMT?

Sorry if this post seemed unduly pedantic. Also, I imagine that you were asking the questions for your own circumstances. However, Case 1 and Case 2 seem to be the ones that are causing the most trouble or potential trouble.

Wansworth
12-01-09, 20:43
Lemain I would consider in the CASE 1 that there is no reason to supose that the arrangement of sealing the boat could not be repeated every year.In CASE 2 sealing up would not be applicable.Example although I married a spanish woman the result is the same.I was visited by aduanas and told that I had overstayed my time ,6 months.The process is then : Pricinto although there is full access no movement of the boat allowedThen written statements etc.Then a visit to the office and a choice:Move the boat out of territorial waters plus fine or register under Spanish flag plus fine.We paid no tax as it was our home but the paperwork a bit worrying but can be done by an agent.After that you have to have at least the minimum exam to navigate in inshore waters......This was in 1992

Jaime_de_Castro
19-01-09, 17:48
Good evening,

I am Jaime de Castro, Spanish Maritime Lawyer.

This tax (Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte (ISDMT) known as impuesto de matriculación or registering tax) only applies to resident Boat Owners. This tax is the same tax citizens pay for cars or motorbikes in Spain. It is only applied to residents (official or not). All the Spanish companies and individuals pay it and now tax authorities are focusing on foreign residents. But, I repeat, it is only intended for residents. If you are not an official resident ( NIE and tarjeta de residencia issued) you are not in the main focus of Hacienda, except if they manage to evidence that you are a de facto resident.



If you are not resident and therefore stay in Spain less than 6 months a year, despite your vessel is permanently within the territory, you are not obliged to pay this tax.



I know there is not such a levy in other neighbouring countries and it means that pleasure crafts under registered in Spain cost 13% of their value more than in other places. Add 16% of VAT and calculate.Be sure it is a matter of complain and debate in every seminar or meeting we hold… but it is the Law.



I hope it clarifies.

Jaime de Castro
www.decastro.es (http://www.decastro.es)

grumpygit
19-01-09, 18:43
Thank god for this reply from one who does know what he should be talking about.
Lets hope this will silence all the scare mongers and bar stool barristers.
What a drag these threads have been and it's all been answered in such few words !!!!!!
Thank you Jaime de Castro

If you have instigated this letter Grehan or whoever, well done and three cheers. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Anonymous
19-01-09, 19:07
It is very kind of you to share your professional advice with us here. Thank you.

Early in 2008 I paid Del Prado &amp; Partners Solicitors S.L. in Nerja to advise me on this issue and their advice was that the law applied to residents and non-residents alike, and was payable after the vessel had been in Spain for more than 30 days. Del Prado gave me the legal and fiscal codes of the laws that applied and re-checked their work after I questioned whether this could possibly be correct.

I need to get an answer to this question. Having already paid Del Prado €500 for their opinion (and I assume that they are qualified lawyers) I am surprised that their advice is different from yours.

Could you please confirm which legal and/or fiscal codes you are working with? Are these things ambiguous under Spanish law, perhaps?

Anonymous
19-01-09, 22:21
Before we get too excited, there are material differences between the 'advice' and wording in the post in this thread and the legal advice I paid for and received in writing from my Spanish lawyers.

We need to get to the bottom of this. As a 'new user' there is every chance that Jaime won't navigate his way back to this thread. If we don't hear from him in a day or so I will make contact with him at his firm, or via my Spanish lawyers.

Presumably a regular visitor to this thread pointed Jaime to our thread. Please PM me or email to the spamgourmet address below if that was you.

Grehan
20-01-09, 11:14
FYI I prompted Jaime to contribute - his sister, also a lawyer, makes a lot of excellent contributions to a Spanish Property website I know well. Their practice is in Algeciras. I did give him the links to both ISDMT threads, view all (i.e not in 'pages'). Whether he has had the stamina to read everything I don't know. I wouldn't have!
I'm very pleased he has taken the time to contribute, maybe he'll post some more. We can all be very grateful for this free advice from a Spanish maritime lawyer - but proper, serious, guidance also carries a proper price tag.

Anonymous
20-01-09, 11:27
[ QUOTE ]
We can all be very grateful for this free advice from a Spanish maritime lawyer - but proper, serious, guidance also carries a proper price tag.

[/ QUOTE ]Jim, I have to disagree. Legal advice is useless unless it is correct. We are talking about serious legal issues and huge (for me, anyway) financial consequences. I have already paid a "proper price tag" for "proper, serious guidance" and that differs very significantly from the "free advice" in Jaime's post. Wrong advice is bad advice, even if you didn't pay for it.

I'll give Jaime a day or so to see if he will come back to this thread, otherwise I'll contact him by email at his office to sort this out. I am perfectly prepared to pay for legal advice though I wonder if I am the only yachtsman who is prepared to pay out of his own pocket.

Grehan
20-01-09, 11:34
[ QUOTE ]
Legal advice is useless unless it is correct.

[/ QUOTE ]Agreed. Correct advice can be worth paying for! BTW I hold no particular brief for Jaime - two other law firms I contacted, maybe to prompt contributions (= second/other opinions) seem not to have taken the bait.

Jaime_de_Castro
20-01-09, 18:57
Gentelmen,

I could not imagine that my opinion was going to generate such a debate.

Please note the legal grounds for my opinion are the articles 65 to 70 of the Ley de Impuestos Especiales.

Referred to pleasure crafts, the applicable Law is: articles 65.1. b) and d) para. 2.... The most important element for Tax Authirities to decide if IESDMT has to be paid is the application for the registering of a pleasure boat or, if not, whether it can be considered that the intersted person is "residente en España o titular de un establecimiento situado en España" (resident in Spain or holder/owner of a permanent place of business).

The problem is, as I have posted in my previous contribution, that Hacienda is focusing now the de facto residents and therefore acting against them via affixing precintos to their boats.

Some Ports (eg. Puerto Sotogrande) are even recommending the Owners of foreign flagged vessels ( residents or not) to calibrate the possibility of paying this tax voluntarily in order to benefit of the posssible reductions and to avoid fines that can go up to 75% of the value of the asset.

Best regards

Anonymous
20-01-09, 20:02
Jaime,

Many thanks for that. Would you mind if I email you the letters (Word format) that I received from Del Prado about this matter, to your email address? If so, it the address for you on your website the one to use?

Jaime_de_Castro
20-01-09, 20:03
Yes. Go ahead.

Jaime_de_Castro
20-01-09, 20:06
I mean I do not mind - in fact will be pleased - to check Del Prado's opinion for you.

Anonymous
20-01-09, 20:11
That's kind of you. I'll attach them to an email shortly.

Anonymous
20-01-09, 20:32
Jaime, I am sending it shortly to j.decastro@decastro.es but there seem to be two people with similar names and different photographs with that email address, on your website.

Anonymous
22-01-09, 08:53
Jaime, Could you please confirm that you received my email with attached Word files? I'm not chasing you but I sent it on Tuesday evening and haven't had an acknowledgement.

Jaime_de_Castro
22-01-09, 15:27
Email received in due course. I will answer you as soon as possible as I am currently out of the office.

Anonymous
22-01-09, 16:17
[ QUOTE ]
Email received in due course. I will answer you as soon as possible as I am currently out of the office.

[/ QUOTE ]Many thanks, no hurry. I just wanted to be sure that it had arrived. I shall be away from Sunday to Thursday and might not have Internet, it is possible but not certain.

BlueSkyNick
26-01-09, 18:18
Just in case you havent seen this before. Been posted in a new thread started in The Lounge.

http://www.hotribs.com/02articles/052-boats-in-spain/boat-tax-in-spain.asp

Anonymous
26-01-09, 22:38
Yes, very historical and does not address the more recent legal advice.

Grehan
27-01-09, 08:28
Interesting that it's appeared in a RIB website - can't be too many RIB liveaboards!
[I jest, I know ISDMT could apply to RIBs]

No-one has yet addressed the concept (minefield?) of not actually owning the boat in question . . .

Anonymous
27-01-09, 08:37
We've not heard anything from Jaime. He might be able to answer your question. It is a perfectly good question, of course, you might have the boat in the name of a company, relative or friend.

Grehan
27-01-09, 08:42
I've issued an "Invitation to Contribute" to Senor Chumillas. We'll see.

Anonymous
27-01-09, 09:29
[ QUOTE ]
I've issued an "Invitation to Contribute" to Senor Chumillas. We'll see.

[/ QUOTE ]Who's he?

Grehan
27-01-09, 09:34
Spanish lawyer/accountant geezer wot rit that RIB articule. He has now emailed me back and I expect a YBW contrib soonish.

Anonymous
27-01-09, 09:58
Well done! Meanwhile, until a lawyer has read the information from my lawyers, and proved otherwise, folk would be best advised to assume the worst -- i.e. the rules apply to the vessel and have nothing to do with the residency of the owner and apply after 30 days. Sounds utterly absurd, but then knocking down houses that were built after obtaining planning permission from the council, seems equally absurd.

alexchumillas
27-01-09, 10:07
My name is Alex Chumillas. I am tax expert and connected with the marine industry in Spain since year 2000.

The two relevant laws to be considered in this issue are:
Ley Impuesto de la Renta 35/2006
Ley Impuestos especiales 38/1992 (IEDMT - Impuesto Especial sobre Determinados Medios de Transporte)

These laws establish the concept of tax residency and when a vehicle (boat) can be tax in Spain.

The conclussion is easy:

A non resident can keep his boat in Spain, as much as he wants, if he doesn't become tax resident in Spain. A foreigner becomes tax resident in Spain by spending more than 183 days in the Spanish territory during one year.

So, if that person doesn't become tax resident there is no problem at all, and never would be tax at 12%. Even becoming tax resident in Spain there are ways to avoid the payment of the tax.

alex@barcelonataxlaw.es

Grehan
27-01-09, 10:14
[ QUOTE ]
Even becoming tax resident in Spain there are ways to avoid the payment of the tax.

[/ QUOTE ]
Thank you for your reply, Alex

¿And these ways are . . . ? /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

¿What is the situation if the boat is owned separately (outside Spain) from the people actually on board?

Anonymous
27-01-09, 10:22
Thank you, Alex. I paid for legal advice from a firm of Spanish lawyers and they were adamant that non-residents must also pay. I have their opinion in about five Word files. May I have your permission to send these to you, presumably to the address you have posted?

Please also note the issue of re-registering the yacht once IESDMT is 'enforced'.