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Proving VAT status of an old boat

Stemar

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Home - Southampton, Boat - Gosport
I get all that, but if there is no VAT liability, there is no fraud. I don't know how the greeks and suddenly 'decide' that there is a liability. what proof could they possibly come up with to determine that VAT is liable?
I've no idea what the legislation says - it's all Gr... (sorry :) ) - but, if I were drafting it, it would say something to the effect that VAT is payable unless proof (list of acceptable documents) of it being paid is provided. In such a case, it's always payable unless you can prove it isn't.
 

CLB

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I've no idea what the legislation says - it's all Gr... (sorry :) ) - but, if I were drafting it, it would say something to the effect that VAT is payable unless proof (list of acceptable documents) of it being paid is provided. In such a case, it's always payable unless you can prove it isn't.
On a 1970’s boat that is already within the EU. If that’s the case, I would simply avoid the country. There is no EU legislation that I am aware of that requires vat paperwork to be kept for nigh on 50 years. It’s ridiculous to expect it.

my point is, a 50 year old VAT invoice is simply not proof either way of the VAT status of a boat, and a properly prepared one were presented there would be no way to check it’s validity, or that the VAT shown on it has or had not been paid, or even subsequently reclaimed.

I know what I would do, but of course the OP, and anyone else on this thread, could decide to play the buyers game and give him an, underserved, discount. It’s not my money.
 

TernVI

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On a 1970’s boat that is already within the EU. If that’s the case, I would simply avoid the country. There is no EU legislation that I am aware of that requires vat paperwork to be kept for nigh on 50 years. It’s ridiculous to expect it.

my point is, a 50 year old VAT invoice is simply not proof either way of the VAT status of a boat, and a properly prepared one were presented there would be no way to check it’s validity, or that the VAT shown on it has or had not been paid, or even subsequently reclaimed.

I know what I would do, but of course the OP, and anyone else on this thread, could decide to play the buyers game and give him an, underserved, discount. It’s not my money.
It's quite true that a 50 year old VAt receipt proves nothing.
What you actually need is either an official recognition of the boat's VAT status or evidence to support the fact that it's been in the EU a long time and not exported.
Ideally a record of every time it's changed hands, either from new or after a T2L was issued.
 

PCUK

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29 Jun 2005
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Mid Devon
Does not apply to boats of that age. No VAT proof necessary for boats in the EU before 1985. (Just looked it up).
 

Beneteau381

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19 Nov 2019
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Does not apply to boats of that age. No VAT proof necessary for boats in the EU before 1985. (Just looked it up).
A T2L is so easy to get hold of, proper, legal and stamped by HMRC, good enough for any uniformed official!n
 

GHA

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26 Jun 2013
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Hopefully somewhere warm
No but we don't know what may happen with Import Duty after 31/12.
Will that make a difference? Boats come into the EU from all over the world , many must be pre 1985. Nothing coming up in google about problems, but there is mention of technically needing proof of being in the EU on midnight of the 31st December 1992 though again google came up bare.

edit, noonsite doesn't mention the 1985 date so may well be different for non euroboats.
 

billcole

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Essex UK
A T2L is so easy to get hold of, proper, legal and stamped by HMRC, good enough for any uniformed official!n
But when I got a T2L (for my post 1985 boat) I sent evidence of VAT having been paid with the application as stipulated on the form, so if you haven't got that can you still apply for a T2L ?
 

Beneteau381

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But when I got a T2L (for my post 1985 boat) I sent evidence of VAT having been paid with the application as stipulated on the form, so if you haven't got that can you still apply for a T2L ?
Yes, just a copy of your registration
 

Concerto

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Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Mar
On a 1970’s boat that is already within the EU. If that’s the case, I would simply avoid the country. There is no EU legislation that I am aware of that requires vat paperwork to be kept for nigh on 50 years. It’s ridiculous to expect it.

my point is, a 50 year old VAT invoice is simply not proof either way of the VAT status of a boat, and a properly prepared one were presented there would be no way to check it’s validity, or that the VAT shown on it has or had not been paid, or even subsequently reclaimed.

I know what I would do, but of course the OP, and anyone else on this thread, could decide to play the buyers game and give him an, underserved, discount. It’s not my money.
If VAT status was so important, then why was never a maintained register boats showing VAT has been paid and subsequent changes of ownership throughout the EU? It was probably never intended that VAT documents were to become such important documents 10years on, let alone 50 years on. Due to having no fully maintained register, why should the responsibilty to provide a paper document to prove VAT has been paid be the responsibilty of someone who was not party to the original transaction? The responsibility should be on the Greeks to prove VAT has NOT been paid to be able to charge VAT. I expect that the situation will never be fully clarified until an European Court has tested the evidence in a similar case. It will be highly unlikely this will ever happen, so the current situation of the threat of VAT being applied on old boats will continue forever.
 

Graham376

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Boat on Mooring off Faro, Home near Abergele
If VAT status was so important, then why was never a maintained register boats showing VAT has been paid and subsequent changes of ownership throughout the EU?
Most EU countries require boats to be registered so there is a paperwork trail. In Portugal for instance, even an old outboard can't be registered to a boat tender without paperwork from new, including the original purchase invoice.
 

Concerto

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Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Mar
Most EU countries require boats to be registered so there is a paperwork trail. In Portugal for instance, even an old outboard can't be registered to a boat tender without paperwork from new, including the original purchase invoice.
Sounds like a system that is bound to fail especially if someone dies and the excutors cannot find the original paperwork.
 

LadyInBed

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2 Sep 2001
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Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
But when I got a T2L (for my post 1985 boat) I sent evidence of VAT having been paid with the application as stipulated on the form, so if you haven't got that can you still apply for a T2L ?
When I sent mine in I didn't provide any additional documentation or return envelope, I just filled in the boxes as shown and sent it:
T2L.png It was just stamped and sent back, no problems and a quick turn around.
 

TernVI

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8 Jul 2020
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2,604
If VAT status was so important, then why was never a maintained register boats showing VAT has been paid and subsequent changes of ownership throughout the EU? It was probably never intended that VAT documents were to become such important documents 10years on, let alone 50 years on. Due to having no fully maintained register, why should the responsibilty to provide a paper document to prove VAT has been paid be the responsibilty of someone who was not party to the original transaction? The responsibility should be on the Greeks to prove VAT has NOT been paid to be able to charge VAT. I expect that the situation will never be fully clarified until an European Court has tested the evidence in a similar case. It will be highly unlikely this will ever happen, so the current situation of the threat of VAT being applied on old boats will continue forever.
The thing which makes yachts different from other goods is their tendency to move in and out of a country's, or the EU's, jurisdiction.
Anyone who imports a valuable unit of goods into a VAT jurisdiction needs to take care of the paperwork.
Try importing a car which doesn't have EU provenance, or a £50k antique.
Try bringing a few grands' worth of seconfhand anything back from the US for instance.
Yachts get off lightly in many ways.
The EU is evolving in an 'ever closer union' I don't doubt that registration and taxation of yachts will be harmonised as time goes on.
Especially without the pesky Brits putting spanners in the works.
 
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