Spain charter yachts: Income Tax on Non EU owned charter yachts

By Alex Chumillas Amat – Tax Marine Spain, S.L.
The charter season of 2015 is only a few months away, this is the second season after the amendment of matriculation tax law in 2013 that has witnessed a very relevant change for charter operations in Spain: the possibility for non EU flagged vessels to be licensed in the Balearics, this change will allow not only EU but Non EU flagged vessels to operate from the Balearic Islands. This was not an option during the last charter year. Despite this limitation, Tax Marine was the first Spanish firm in number of charter licenses issued for non EU flagged yachts in 2014, being able to license yachts registered in the Isle of Man, Cayman Islands and the BVI from other Spanish regions.

Tax Marine is the founding member of the Barcelona Nautical Association, has been actively working during the 2014/15 inter-season period with the Spanish authorities to simplify and clarify the tax and legal framework for charter activities in Spain. Among other major achievements our firm clarified with the Spanish Tax authorities the possibility for non-Spanish beneficial owners to use their yachts in Spain and benefit from matriculation tax relief.

Notwithstanding these developments, there are still many tax issues to be aware of when chartering in Spain, one of the less known potential taxes for charter yachts in Spain is tax on income. This issue is especially relevant when the owning company is based in a jurisdiction without a double tax treaty in place with Spain, in this case the owning company might incur an important tax liability of 24% income tax on the charter fee in addition to VAT which is currently 21%.

If you are considering the possibility of chartering in Spain this summer, we strongly advise you to analyze all the tax and legal aspects surrounding your yacht to avoid unexpected surprises. Tax Marine can offer a legitimate an adequate tax planning to help all owners and management companies pay only what is legally required.

Should you be interested or require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact Tax Marine Barcelona.