In general, the decision to impose and charge Maltese VAT on yacht leasing depends on the fulfilment of the following criteria:
- The lessee must be a non-taxable person for VAT purposes.
- The duration of the lease must be for a period exceeding ninety days.
- The lessor must be established or operating through a permanent establishment in Malta.
- The lease must commence in Malta as this must be the place where the yacht is put at the disposal of the lessee.
Upon commencement of the lease, the lessor is obliged to charge the VAT due from the lessee in the following manner:
- for the first tax period, where the lease commences at least thirty days prior to the end of the said tax period, or
- for the first two tax periods, where the lease commences less than thirty days prior to the end of the first tax period.
The preliminary ratio is used to calculate the provisional taxable value which will be subject to VAT during the first year of the lease and tax is charged on this amount at a rate of 18%.
Ongoing VAT Basis
Upon the lapse of the first year of the lease, the lessor must establish the actual ratio, which is calculated in the same way as the preliminary ratio, but using the data from a whole year. The actual ratio is used to determine the exact lease value subject to Maltese VAT. Any adjustments to the VAT which has already been paid will be disclosed in the following tax return, explain the colleagues at Ecovis.
This actual ratio is to be used as the preliminary ratio for the following year or period, as the case may be. At the end of the year or period, the actual ratio is calculated once more, based on the same criteria stipulated above, and any difference in the VAT liability on the revised taxable value of the lease is adjusted in the following VAT return. This exercise is repeated up to the termination date of the lease agreement.
For further information please contact:
Dr Max Ebejer, Lawyer, ECOVIS GRC Limited, Balzan, Malta