Superyachts flee Italian tax crackdown (19 July 2012)

The crackdown by the Italian tax authorities on yacht owners has caused a reported 30,000 craft to leave the country for elsewhere in the Mediterranean and Adriatic.
The institution of a €700 per day charge against larger yachts in Italian ports is also keeping superyachts and other large vessels away. The latter charge, initially relating to both yachts foreign and domestic, was later changed just to apply to domestic ones.
Part of the crackdown is specifically related to yacht owners, and checks around marinas have been made.
Roberto Perocchio, President of the Assomarinas organisation described the situation to The Telelgraph saying: «This is the worst crisis in Italian boating history. The authorities are using scare tactics and creating a climate of fear.»
It is estimated that the industry has lost €200m in revenue through such mooring fees, fuel sales and other charges. Many marinas report seeing their income fall by at least a third. It also came at a very bad time as the industry was expanding with 18,000 new berths, and a further 30,000 proposed which have now been put on hold.
The whole crackdown against tax evasion, for which Italy has a bad record anyway, is key to helping the country through its current financial problems.
There is hope in the Monti government that a sustained effort against evasion over several years might make a large contribution to reduce Italy’s two trillion Euro public debt.
The actions in marinas by uniformed offices of the Guardia di Finanza are often very visible or high profile. The departing yachts have left for all parts of the Adriatic and Mediterranean including Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Corsica and Greece.
«We’ve lost 40 boats in the last few months, all between 20m-25m (66ft-82ft),» Giovanni Sorci, director of one of Rimini’s marinas told The Telegraph. «Most went to Slovenia — in fact it is so popular that there’s now barely a berth to be had there.
«It’s absolutely right that tax evaders should be caught, but just because you own a boat doesn’t mean you are dodging taxes. The authorities are obsessive. They don’t just check you once — they come back the next day too.»
In Bari, during a raid by tax officers in April, a yacht was found with evasion totalling €1.2m, and its owner had never filed a tax return. Of more that 950 yachts in the port nearly 300 owners were found to have low returns or none at all. (Superyachts business, 18 July 2012)


This entry was posted in Press. Bookmark the permalink.