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EU warns Cyprus, Greece and Malta over low taxes on yachts

Malta
08.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Brussels (dpa) - The European Commission launched legal action against Cyprus, Greece and Malta on Thursday for not levying enough value added tax (VAT) on yachts.

The issue of tax evasion in the yacht sector gathered public attention after the publication of the Paradise Papers last year, comprising 13.4 million confidential records showing how high-profile individuals concealed assets and evaded taxes.

The commission sent official letters of notification to the three countries, calling on them to bring their VAT rules on yachts in line with EU laws.

The commission said that Cyprus, Greece and Malta have tax schemes that reduce the VAT base for the lease of yachts by reducing the estimate of how much time the boats spend on EU waters, which in turn decides the applicable tax rate.

Cyprus and Malta also allow incorrect taxation through the practice of "lease-purchase," because leasing a yacht is taxed as a service and not as buying a good.

"We cannot allow this type of favourable tax treatment granted to private boats, which also distorts competition in the maritime sector," said European Taxation Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. "Such practices violate EU law and must come to an end."

The countries now have two months to respond to the commission.

If the countries decide not to cooperate even after several requests by the commission, the cases can be referred to the European Court of Justice, which can impose fines for the violations.

 

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REISEPORTAL
"Malta" is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea that lies south of the island of Sicily, Italy. The country is an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Għawdex or Gozo, and Kemmuna or Comino) being inhabited.
"Malta" (), officially the "Republic of Malta" (), is a Southern European country and consists of an archipelago situated centrally in the Mediterranean, 93 km south of Sicily and 288 km east of Tunisia, with the Strait
__NOTOC__Qormi by night, as seen from Marsa."Qormi" or "Città Pinto" ( ) is a city in Malta with a population of 16,576 (as of November 2005), which makes it the third largest locality in Malta. The town is located southwest of Valletta, in the
"Cospicua" () is a double-fortified harbour city on the Mediterranean island of Malta. It is the largest of the Three Cities. It was also given a title as "Citta" Cottonera", but erroneously the title is now used to define the whole region. It is
"Birkirkara" or "B"Kara" is a city of 21,775 inhabitants (as of November 2005) in central Malta. It is the largest and most populous city on the island and consists of four autonomous parishes: St Helen, St Joseph, Our Lady of the Carmel and St Mary.
"Tarxien" (or "Ħal Tarxien") is a small village found in the southern part of Malta.tymolog"Tarxien" is a small village in the south east of Malta. The etymology of the village may be a corruption of one of two words: "Tirix", meaning a large
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