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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfm View Post
    T'other daft thing is, they wrote "HMRC found the main methods used by people to reduce their bills was writing off business losses, offsetting the cost of business mortgages and borrowing on buy-to-let properties - all against their income tax bills. Others took advantage of tax relief on charitable donations" All of those thing are perfectly legitimate tax deductions. If the country doesn't think they should be then let parliament amend the law, but to accuse someone of bad behaviour becuase he took tax relief for a donation to charity is just outrageous and is the sort of attitude that will tip a few rich over that line and send them to Monaco or wherever.
    I agree with you the whole piece was a joke, I doubt none of the HMRC straw pole was PAYE high rate, they were all business owners using legitimate tax deduction methods to off set their liability, but it is always easy to pick on people.

    Now if they were to attack Amazon (7 billion turnover don't know the profit figure, but I guess they made a fair bit) no corporation tax and Vodafone they are faceless corporations and not easy to hate, especially when ordering a book on you Vodafone iPhone...

    Apparently 25 Billion is avoided each year in tax: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2...tax-avoidance/ but i am sure 99% will be legal ways of avoiding it, so change the rules..
    Easy to use CAD www.xisis.net

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfm View Post
    T'other daft thing is, they wrote "HMRC found the main methods used by people to reduce their bills was writing off business losses, offsetting the cost of business mortgages and borrowing on buy-to-let properties - all against their income tax bills. Others took advantage of tax relief on charitable donations" All of those thing are perfectly legitimate tax deductions. If the country doesn't think they should be then let parliament amend the law, but to accuse someone of bad behaviour becuase he took tax relief for a donation to charity is just outrageous and is the sort of attitude that will tip a few rich over that line and send them to Monaco or wherever.
    )
    Agree entirely. If Osborne really is 'surprised' by these perfectly legal and very common methods of mitigating income tax, then he really shouldn't be in the job. I don't mind admitting that we have some buy to let properties and we claim the expenses against income tax but then we also pay tax on the rental income so that seems perfectly fair to me. As you say, if the UK govt thinks that's wrong then they should change the law. As for Mr McIntyre, what a stupid thing to say? Perhaps, instead of saying something derogatory about his customers, he should have pointed out just how many UK jobs they were creating by buying his boats

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfm View Post
    People put their boats in the Med or wherever because they like crusing there, not because it saves tax.
    Hang on J, that's just one side of the story.
    I'm not saying that tax saving is THE reason why British citizens (or German, Austrian, Dutch, etc., for that matter) choose the Med as their playground.
    Of course it's a lovely cruising area, to start with.

    Otoh, I don't think that the trick of commercial registration for recovering VAT, purchasing fuel at the same price as fishermen, etc. wouldn't raise any objection from HMR&C, if applied in UK waters.
    Or wouldn't it? Mind, that's not a provocative question, I'm genuinely curious.
    In fact, I for one never considered that trick just because I always kept my toys in the same waters of the Country where I'm fiscally resident.
    But I might have given it a more careful thought, if I would have choosen to cruise the Solent...
    ...then again, as you said, indeed I choose to cruise the Med because I like it, not because it saves tax.
    I just feel a tad more entitled to say that, if you see what I mean!

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfm View Post
    It doesn't. That's my whole point. People put their boats in the Med or wherever because they like crusing there, not because it saves tax.
    Indeed. As a non-British tax resident (I'm a British ex-pat) and non-European tax resident and a Sunseeker owner myself I could in full legality fly a Caiman Islands flag and escape VAT altogether, but I only buy VAT-paid boats because I use my boat in the Med and want enjoyable cruising without the hassle of getting the boat out of European waters every X months and being boarded by customs police checking VAT status. So I'm a good example of a Sunseeker customer who buys to keep abroad but pays VAT on the boat anyway to keep it in the Med hassle-free and make the eventual resale easier. Definitely all to do with enjoying Med cruising and not dodging tax.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MapisM View Post
    Hang on J, that's just one side of the story.
    I'm not saying that tax saving is THE reason why British citizens (or German, Austrian, Dutch, etc., for that matter) choose the Med as their playground.
    Of course it's a lovely cruising area, to start with.

    Otoh, I don't think that the trick of commercial registration for recovering VAT, purchasing fuel at the same price as fishermen, etc. wouldn't raise any objection from HMR&C, if applied in UK waters.
    Or wouldn't it? Mind, that's not a provocative question, I'm genuinely curious.
    In fact, I for one never considered that trick just because I always kept my toys in the same waters of the Country where I'm fiscally resident.
    But I might have given it a more careful thought, if I would have choosen to cruise the Solent...
    ...then again, as you said, indeed I choose to cruise the Med because I like it, not because it saves tax.
    I just feel a tad more entitled to say that, if you see what I mean!
    Glad somebody else spotted that,it's called "being economical with the truth".
    However,neither this or the other diversions of how much tax is actually paid by fine upstanding bankers etc. or the slipperiness of smoke & mirror politics,interesting as they might be in a discussion elsewhere,answers the original question of exactly what lay behind that comment about Sunseeker purchases.
    Maybe MBY could look into it ..........???

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by stillwaters View Post
    Glad somebody else spotted that,it's called "being economical with the truth".
    However,neither this or the other diversions of how much tax is actually paid by fine upstanding bankers etc. or the slipperiness of smoke & mirror politics,interesting as they might be in a discussion elsewhere,answers the original question of exactly what lay behind that comment about Sunseeker purchases.
    Maybe MBY could look into it ..........???
    I think you're seeing a conspiracy here that just isn't there. Yes you can set up a commercial operation for running your boat as a charter operation in the Med but you can do just the same in the UK and AFAIK, HMRC is wise to any such arrangement set up purely as a tax avoidance exercise anyway. The other tax advantage of moving your new boat to the Med is to pay the VAT in another jurisdiction where the VAT % is lower but even then, VAT rates in the EU are mostly at the same kind of level as the UK or even higher now. Obviously you can also locate your boat in the Med in countries outside the EU like Turkey and Croatia where you won't pay VAT. There are also leasing schemes in a small number of EU countries which may allow you to pay a reduced amount of VAT but the cost of doing that may swallow up much of the saving anyway. All of this stuff is perfectly legal and above board and you couldn't really even describe it as tax avoidance, more like common sense
    The idea that there are hundreds of Sunseeker owners plying the Med in new boats who have somehow avoided paying hundreds of thousands of in tax is just fanciful. The fact is that most new boat buyers purchase their boats out of their own hard earned and over taxed income and pay UK VAT on it. In fact, as I said previously, we should be applauding them for pumping their cash into the UK economy and creating employment

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikef View Post
    I think you're seeing a conspiracy here that just isn't there. Yes you can set up a commercial operation for running your boat as a charter operation in the Med but you can do just the same in the UK and AFAIK, HMRC is wise to any such arrangement set up purely as a tax avoidance exercise anyway. The other tax advantage of moving your new boat to the Med is to pay the VAT in another jurisdiction where the VAT % is lower but even then, VAT rates in the EU are mostly at the same kind of level as the UK or even higher now. Obviously you can also locate your boat in the Med in countries outside the EU like Turkey and Croatia where you won't pay VAT. There are also leasing schemes in a small number of EU countries which may allow you to pay a reduced amount of VAT but the cost of doing that may swallow up much of the saving anyway. All of this stuff is perfectly legal and above board and you couldn't really even describe it as tax avoidance, more like common sense
    The idea that there are hundreds of Sunseeker owners plying the Med in new boats who have somehow avoided paying hundreds of thousands of in tax is just fanciful. The fact is that most new boat buyers purchase their boats out of their own hard earned and over taxed income and pay UK VAT on it. In fact, as I said previously, we should be applauding them for pumping their cash into the UK economy and creating employment
    I certainly don't think conspiracy and am possibly as aware of the variously used methods of owning boats including such devices as using offshore companies or trusts and yes,even the controversial saving of tax on supplies via chartering.
    My feeling is also one of disbelief that there could be hundreds of tax-avoided Sunseeker owners in the Med but then,I didn't make that statement. That was supposedly made by the MD of Sunseeker. So,still no explanation then.

    Give a dog a bone,and all that?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikef View Post
    Yes you can set up a commercial operation for running your boat as a charter operation in the Med but you can do just the same in the UK and AFAIK, HMRC is wise to any such arrangement set up purely as a tax avoidance exercise anyway.
    LOL, you're not suggesting that there's any real world situation where such arrangements are NOT tax avoidance exercises, are you?
    Show me a pleasure boat owned by a private individual (albeit possibly through some structure) which makes any significant profit out of its commercial operation, paying half of that in taxes, and I'll show you a flying pig!

    Anyway, that's precisely what I was wondering with my previous post.
    As a "non-Med Countries" citizen, the chances of having any Med fiscal authority arguing about the boat registration, once they realise that the owner is a foreigner, are close to zero.
    Would that be true for HMRC with a British citizen in UK waters?
    I don't think so... But TBH, I really don't know.

  9. #29
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    LOL, you're not suggesting that there's any real world situation where such arrangements are NOT tax avoidance exercises, are you?
    Show me a pleasure boat owned by a private individual (albeit possibly through some structure) which makes any significant profit out of its commercial operation, paying half of that in taxes, and I'll show you a flying pig!
    I honestly don't understand the cynicism. For most UK people who charter it's a cost mitigation exercise not a tax avoidance scheme and even if a boat is owned thru a company HMRC are well aware of why a charter boat may be owned in such a structure and will charge the owner what we call 'benefit in kind' tax for their personal use of the boat

    Anyway, that's precisely what I was wondering with my previous post.
    As a "non-Med Countries" citizen, the chances of having any Med fiscal authority arguing about the boat registration, once they realise that the owner is a foreigner, are close to zero.
    Would that be true for HMRC with a British citizen in UK waters?
    I don't think so... But TBH, I really don't know.
    Well, yes, it is true. I would say that the UK is the least likely place for any kind of authority to start asking questions about boat ownership or tax payments on boats. In 12 yrs boating in the UK, I was never approached once in the UK by anybody asking questions. In the Med in 9yrs, I've been boarded and checked 3 times plus I got caught for matriculation tax in Majorca. On that basis, I've got to say that perhaps boaters should avoid the Med and stick to the UK

  10. #30
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    The folks I knew who kept boats down there (not new stuff) did it purely for the weather and the lifestyle that goes with Med boating and also that it was at one time cheaper to keep a boat down there than at home,cost of getting there for some reason did not appear to come into the equation.
    However think that it is no longer the case and may be even more expensive to run a boat down there than at home now ?

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