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Malta Company Used In Italian Superyacht Sale Tax Fraud

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

31 August 2007


A company domiciled in Malta has been used in connection with a tax fraud related to the sale of a superyacht by an Italian owned company, the Italian authorities have alleged.

According to reports in the Maltese media, the Guardia di Finanza in the Italian town of Gorizia has charged four individuals with evading more than a million euros in taxes over the sale of the 27 metre yacht. The yacht was registered in Malta, supposedly to take advantage of that jurisdiction's more favourable tax regime.

The Maltese registered company was in the business of chartering pleasure craft, but it is alleged that the accused shifted their dealings between Malta and the Italian company to avoid tax. The defendants are also accused of grossly under-valuing the yacht, importing it into Italy for a declared value of EUR400,000 when its real worth was in the region of EUR3 million. The yacht was then resold at a substantial mark-up.

This profit was not declared to the tax authorities in Italy, and it is said the the profit flowed back to the Maltese registered company. It is alleged that the accused owe EUR1.5 million in taxes as a result.

TAGS: Italy

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