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spanish Matriculation tax
An UpDAte
We were recently asked to comment
on a press report on an apparent
“clamping down” by the authorities
in the Valencia region on yacht-
owning UK residents. Several
British yachts have reportedly been
impounded and others departed in
order to avoid that fate. The action
is said to stem from enforcement
of payment of matriculation tax
(at 12%) on the value of the yacht.
Apparently among those targeted
were an English couple who have
lived on board their yacht at
Torrevieja marina for almost two
years, seemingly without any issues
being raised. In view of the alarmist
nature of the press report, Pawel
Wysocki clarifies a few points from a
lawyer’s perspective
M
atriculation tax, or the non-harmonised spanish tourist registration scheme) in respect of the yacht, or the date
“special tax on certain means of transport”, is levied when the user becomes resident or permanently established in
on the registration or use of a yacht in spain. It spain. the rules on residence are complex, but in essence if the .
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derives from Law no. 38 of 28 December 1982 on period spent in spain exceeds 183 days per annum matriculation
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excise duties, as amended by Law no. 50 of 30 December 1998, tax will apply, unless the user can demonstrate a tax residency

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and as approved by royal Decree no. 1165/1995. It applies to elsewhere. If levied at the time of acquisition, matriculation tax UCKE
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pleasure craft over 7.5 metres (21 feet) in length. the concept of is calculated on the purchase price, and is otherwise based on a
“use” refers to the use of the yacht in spanish waters by a person contemporaneous valuation.
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or legal entity resident (or with a permanent establishment) Matriculation tax is payable by the person or legal entity
in spain where no application for registration of the yacht in in whose name the yacht is registered and it is administered
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spain has been made within 30 days of the commencement and collected by the central spanish government. specific rules
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ONA
of use. the “commencement” date is deemed to be either the apply in Ceuta and Melilla where the tax is administered by the
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termination of the temporary admission customs régime (or regional authorities, and in the Basque Country and navarre which
IMA
2 YACHTWORLD.COM MAY 2009
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