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Old 06-30-2010
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Zanshin Zanshin is offline
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You can be exempted from paying VAT when, as an expat, you return to the U.K. after an extended period overseas. Unfortunately, in order to claim exemption on VAT for a yacht you will have to prove ownership for over a year (it might be 2 years, I don't have the document to hand here) - they do this on purpose so that returning citizens don't buy big ticket items such as cars, motorcycles, boats, planes, etc. just in order to save on VAT and flip the items.
The VAT rules for are explained in many places, but I think that if you purchase a boat in the EU and, at the time of purchase, are already an EU resident then they will assess VAT. If you buy the boat ex-VAT while still an Oz resident you have a grace period in the EU before the VAT gets charged.
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