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Yacht industry warns of collateral damage by planned “luxury tax” on Mallorca

Photo Credit:Palma International Boatshow
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The planned “luxury tax” on Mallorca, which was demanded by the Balearic government, meets with strong criticism from the regional business association CAEB. In particular, the yachting industry warns of the possible collateral damage that such a tax could cause and fears an “exodus” of private luxury yachts.

Background: in early February, the Balearic Parliament had passed a motion to officially ask the central government to levy a special tax on luxury goods from companies. An investigation committee of the Ministry of Finance in Palma had come to the conclusion that numerous luxury goods such as vacation villas or superyachts are declared by their owners as assets of their companies founded especially for this purpose, in order to save taxes. With the introduction of a special tax on exactly these luxury goods of enterprises the Balearic tax authority wants to proceed against this usual practice of the hidden tax evasion.

However, the yachting industry on Mallorca fears that such a tax could have a deterrent effect on well-heeled owners of super or mega yachts. Many foreign owners would already give the Balearics a wide berth due to the restrictive and sometimes confusing tax laws in the yachting sector. Another tax could add to this uncertainty and cause the super-rich to settle in other waters with their boats.

In addition, the yachting industry points out that yachts also use facilities for repair and maintenance work in ports. This would help companies in the fields of safety equipment, carpentry, electronics, interior design and spare parts to win contracts.

CAEB expresses concern that such a tax would ultimately benefit other Mediterranean destinations and suggests taking an example from Catalonia or other autonomous communities that have introduced similar taxes, but which have not had the desired success

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