The Supreme Court has clarified that, for the purposes of the applicability of the VAT tax exemption regime to the chartering of vessels to members, the criterion of the “prevalence” of the use of the vessel by the member is not decisive (Criminal Court, section III, 28 November 2018, No. 53319).

According to the judges of legitimacy, the benefit of the VAT exemption, provided for commercial rental activities and for the leasing of boats (article 8 bis, paragraph 1, letter a, Legislative Decree no. 633 of 1972) can also be applied to the member who rents a yacht at market price.

In fact, for the purpose of qualifying an activity as commercial, it does not matter that the use of the boat by the member is frequent or occasional, if a “standard price” is applied to the rental (Article 4, paragraph 5, letter a), dpr no. 633 of 1972).

The judges stated that even when the boat is mostly used by the member and not by a third party with a rental agreement, the exemption from VAT could still be granted, evaluating the other elements indicated by the Revenue Agency circular, no. 43 / E of 29 September 2011.

The Court of Cassation has also stated that, in accordance with the provisions of the VAT Directive n. 112 of 2006, the commercial nature of the company must be considered excluded when the economic activity is exclusively aimed at allowing the member the personal use of certain goods, even if at market value.