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We are sailing

Jul 1, 2010, 04:51 AM
Authors : Mike
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Post date : Jul 1, 2010, 04:51 AM

With impeccable timing, I managed to book a cruise in the Med (leaving from Barcelona and returning to Malaga) for last week, before the announcement of the Budget.

It was inevitable that on 22 June I would be thinking about tax, and I logged on from a wi-fi hotspot in Cannes to see what had happened.

There is, however, less excuse for me being so tax-nerdish as to query why Spanish VAT was still being added to my bar bill as we sailed from France to Italy.

With help from Neil Warren, I have found the relevant paragraphs: VATA 1994, Sch 4A, paras 5 and 6, which set out the new place of supply rules from January 2010.

Para 5 says catering supplies are normally treated as made where they are carried out, which will often be international waters and outside the scope, but that is overridden where para 6 applies.

Para 6 applies to catering on 'intra-EU' journeys, that is ones which start and end in the EU, and where passengers do not have the opportunity to get on or off at a non-EU port during the journey.

So the trick is to add in a stop at, say, Guernsey in a cruise leaving from and returning to Southampton.

But Guernsey doesn't have a deep harbour, so the ships anchor offshore and people go ashore by tender.

If the weather is too rough, and the tenders can't sail, does that mean that everyone's bar bill for the whole cruise has to have VAT retrospectively added on to it?

Tags :
  • Budget 2010
  • EU
  • Guernsey
  • VAT
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