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Yibble

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  1. You're right. I'd forgotten . The EU press release at the time did allege 'abusive VAT practices with regard to supplies and leasing of aircraft'. That was quite a strong allegation given the absence of any evidence or even on any credible allegation of such. However I thought their 'action' was limited to a strongly worded letter to the UK, to follow their (seemingly defamatory) press release. However, as you've rightly recalled, the EU's Tax3 committee also resolved that the Committee: "Calls on the Commission and Eurofisc to rapidly conclude their investigations on the Isle of Man’s VAT collection practices on private yachts and aircraft, as revealed by the Paradise papers; and, if necessary, to open infringement procedures;" (3.2. The VAT gap, the fight against VAT fraud and administrative cooperation on VAT. Para 72. Page 15) Link below. As you say, it will be interesting to hear whether the Commission and Eurofisc have concluded their (rapid) 'investigations', how they were conducted and what they found.
  2. Good points Roger. Thank you. The line "Since 2011 over 30 assessments for under-declared or over-claimed VAT have been raised against businesses in the aircraft leasing sector, protecting around £4.7m of VAT." i is an interesting one, in it's use of the word 'protecting'. If they meant they'd recovered an additional £4.7m of VAT, why didn't they say that.? I actually wonder if that just means they reviewed 33 businesses who collectively (before any review) had accounted for £4.7m of VAT, rather than that they found £4.7m of under-declared VAT. Anyway, for me the jury is still out on whether there actually has been any significant uncontrolled 'abuse' here. I've not seen any evidence to that effect. The main story for me though remains that despite misrepresentations to the contrary, the IoM ensured the law was operated just as is was intended to be. HMRC have concluded that the IoM should be more rigorous in its post-registration compliance checks (even though it seems they're already more diligent than many others), but it's not actaully clear yet whether that would result in any significant extra VAT yield .
  3. Has that been established? Perhaps it has, but I don't recall seeing such. That could just be poor recollection on my part.
  4. Perhaps I've not been articulating this well, but I don't see it's right to describe the imports as a 'scheme'. The law was applied in the way it seems to have been intended to apply. The judgement in A-OY explains that the law must work that way if it is to be consistent with the fundamental principle of fiscal neutrality that underpins the common European VAT system (see in particular paras 31 to 35). If the IoMCE had not accepted that these aircraft imports were properly to be zero rated, that would likely have put the charter airline arrangements in question at an unfair disadvantage in comparison to 'regular' airline arrangements. EU law prohibits that and ensures a level playing field. Maybe I'm being unduly picky about semantics here. However the context is that various discreditable media sources have seemingly twisted their reporting so as to misrepresent the issue in the minds of those who trusted what they reported, so subtleties of language matter.
  5. I strongly disagree. He is quite correct to state that "If they were honorouble, they would apologise." They won't of course. What we'll get is a mention of the finding and then a meander off-topic into other ramblings about perceived avoidance, real or imagined. What has been shown here on this forum, evidenced by the posts linked back to from the time, is that 30 mins of Googling enabled various non-experts to correctly conclude that the law in question appeared to have been operated as intended. The left-leaning media who reported on the 'scandal' could have easily done likewise. They could have employed credible tax advisors to opine. Instead they opted for false allegations and innuendo. Even more damningly, the EU did likewise, despite the very clear judgement in an EU court, on the basis of advice from the Advocate General. That damns the EU officials involved in that as (at best) incompetent and (more probably) downright dishonest. HQ is right to protest. He will also be quite entitled in future to respond to any future leftard media tax avoidance articles by opening "Well of course the [insert name of medium] has a history of publishing unsubstantiated, untrue allegations about the IoM, without troubling to carry out proper investigation. They've previously shown themselves not to be repuitable sources on such matters." There's no need to sue. They've damned themselves and we should continue to point it out at every occasion. Oh, and there's no 'hassle' from HMRC here. HMRC have acted perfectly properly and rightly concluded that the law had been correctly applied, just as some of us here concluded it had (probably) been two years ago.
  6. I think it would be fairly easy to show it had been scheduled as available via whatever brokers or online markets air time is bought and sold through. I would also imagine that jets are sometimes used (for pay) by other companies and individuals who move in the same circles as the 'owner'. Again, easy to evidence. I suppose somebody could in theory test whether a jet is genuinely available 'on the same basis' in less likely circumstances: "Hello. Is that Harrison Aviation Services (IoM) Ltd speaking? This is Dickie Murtagh from the International Coalition of Bell-Ends. I would very much like to rent that shiny red jet that's sitting on the airstrip by Louis' house, to use next Tuesday" . . . . "Certainly Mr Murtagh. That will be $75,000. Could you read me the long number on your credit card please?" I can't imagine that happens too often though.
  7. I don't believe that overturns the court judgement, but (fair point) it does seem to impose extra conditions. However I would imagine in most cases they would not prove particularly problematic as my understanding is it's fairly common practice for business jets to be made available for charter when they're not otherwise in use. Obviously that may become a little problematic if you had a main customer who was a little 'pissy' (sorry) about someone else using 'his' toilet. However in most cases I would expect jets would sometimes be chartered, or be made available for charter to other parties.
  8. I don't think it's that complicated or devious. The way the law works, as clarified by the EU court judgement, actually seems pretty clear. If (for example): somebody established an airline 'Harrison Airline Services (IoM) Ltd' that airline was in the business of supplying, for reward, international flights to Louis Harrison Esq (who used the flights both for his business and his personal travel requirements) then the law requires that the supply of the aircraft to Harrison Airline Services (IoM) Ltd should be zero rated. That's not a set of circumstances which requires any particular subterfuge or misrepresentation to ensure zero rating.
  9. I don't believe that has been established to be the case. Anyway, even where the aircraft is ultimately used for the personal transport needs of an individual, the EU court effectively confirmed that the law provides for zero rating where the 'airline' is in the business of providing services (flights for reward on international routes) for the transport of such a person for his business and private travel arrangements. In A OY (the relevant EU case), it was clear that "The aim of the arrangement was merely to take care of the personal transportation needs of X, the principal owner of the companies.". However supply of the aircraft to the 'airline' was nevertheless ruled to be one which should properly be zero rated. One could take the view that the UK report had to make some recommendations for the sake of 'face', even if those recommendations might not actually result in uncovering any actual abuse.
  10. Presumably the UK and IoM can also expect a formal apology from the EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union, given his Commission appears to have reached an incorrect conclusion on the UK's oversight of the issue, improperly implied that the IoM was involved in abusive practices and then (the EU) been incompetent in their own arrangements for review. https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6265_en.htm
  11. Anyway, we can now await reasonabe and balanced apologies from the likes of Panorama, the Grauniad, Bell-end Murphy and others of that ilk. I am sure they will be quick to point out how they had misrepresented the IoM's role here, and go on to praise the IoM for ensuring the law was correctly applied. Ha, ha,
  12. Indeed. So it only took them a year to confirm that the law was being applied just as it was required to be. What is perhaps surprising though is that (so far as I am aware), the EU has not since changed the law. That seems to suggest it's also the way they want to continue its application. [Edit] Actually it's now roughly two years since the original allegations came out. [Edit] UK Treasury link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/treasury-publishes-isle-of-man-vat-review [Edit] Full report: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/839880/HMT_review_of_Isle_of_Man_s_VAT_procedures_web.pdf
  13. This particular measure, yes, because it typically targets arrangements which were used by the self employed. However there has also been a huge push to tackle corporate and MNC avoidance (BEPS, Diverted Profits Tax etc.)
  14. If it were just that, then I would agree that it's just 'tough titty' on the taxpayer if/when the courts find against them. They took the risk. However what I believe has happened here is that, rather than the courts rule on the (non)effectiveness of such schemes, the UK Government has introduced legislation that, in effect, applies retrospective taxation. That doesn't seem right. The best advice will always be to stay clear of such schemes though and it's good that the UK Government is taking a stand against aggressive avoidance. Despite all the noise from lefty gobshites, it's George Osborne and (to some extent) his Tory successors who have done the most to tackle aggressive (and sometime less aggressive) avoidance. It's just a shame when they resort to unfair methods in doing that. Two wrongs don't make a right.
  15. Was there any such threat from anyone aside from the notorious bell-end who you made the flippant comment about? I can see that the police would need to investigate the complaint made by said bell-end, but I struggle to see anyone (aside from bell-end himself) could have thought there was any serious question of prosecution. Just curious.
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