Yachting | 2021 | Text: Prof. Dr. Christoph Ph. Schließmann
Since 2018, the European Union has gradually sanctioned and forced the abandonment of all models which, according to the respective national, autonomous tax law, were designed in such a way that within up to three years a large yacht was “turbo”-taxed at a flat rate of 30 to 50 percent of the normal tax rate and was thus considered taxed in the EU.
My central message on this subject is that there are still design options for very economical purchase and operating models for large yachts – but the days of prefabricated tax-saving models from the “shelf” of some EU countries are a thing of the past. It is therefore necessary to build an individual solution for each individual case along the utilisation objectives of the yacht. The building blocks do not necessarily have to come from a national legal system, but usually have to be created in the overarching interaction of several jurisdictions. It is particularly important to consider the legal situation in the state in which the respective owner or UBO behind a shipping company con-struction is resident for tax purposes. CFC (Controlled Foreign Corporation) rules as well as hidden tax risks can quickly become a fiscal nightmare, especially because not all EU countries are aware of them and they are taken into account in the design. One of our core competences, apart from yacht law, is international commercial and tax law with regard to the resolution of such inter-state conflicts.
Usually a large yacht represents a considerable asset in the portfolio, even for very wealthy persons. To integrate and manage this asset in a legally and fiscally secure manner is a demanding and responsible task and goes far beyond a purchase contract or registration.
We have therefore developed into a family office for yacht owners over many years of practice and accompany and represent them as desired from the initial idea to the construction or purchase of a yacht throughout its entire life cycle.