The IRS loses! Yes to 50% down payment on leasing, and it also applies to used equipment


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Good news for those who want to buy a boat with Italy’s advantageous nautical leasing, which allows the amount of VAT to be lowered by up to 50 percent. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service loses a decisive round against the association of marine leasing companies. The Supreme Court has ruled that it is perfectly legal and congruous to have a 50 percent down payment on a lease, even a short-term lease and with a minimum final redemption fee.
Until now, leasing companies were reluctant to grant a lease with advance payments exceeding 30 percent and with a term of only 36 months. The problem was precisely the lawsuit filed by the Internal Revenue Service, which claimed that these forms of contract were nothing more than a way to obtain the tax advantage (reduced VAT) that Italian nautical leasing allows.

Yes to used as a down payment

The Supreme Court agreed with the leasing companies, also debunking the Internal Revenue Service regarding even the value of used boats given in trade-in as a down payment to ignite the lease. Until now this, according to the IRS, was not possible, causing enormous problems for those who wanted precisely to give as a down payment their used boat in order to buy a new one by taking out a lease.

VAT reduction benefits with Italian nautical leasing

Nautical leasing table
Nautical leasing table

Why you save on VAT

The main parameter to consider is length of the boat. In fact, the longer it is, the longer it is supposed to spend outside EU territorial waters, thus outside the 12 nautical mile limit. Factor that weighs on the discounts on VAT and thus on the fees under current regulations. Applying the table above can result in savings from a minimum of 2 (boats up to 7.5 meters) to a maximum of 14 percent (boats over 24 meters) of VAT. Exception for those who decide to keep the vessel completely out of territorial waters or in lower percentages than required by law. In this case VAT is nil or further discounted, but the actual use must be declared in advance and then proven or provable.

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