When purchasing a high value asset such as an aircraft it is essential to consider whether there may be wider financial or other liability implications, the answer to which will vary greatly depending on the intended use of the aircraft. Key considerations include but are not limited to:
Will the fixed wing aircraft/helicopter be used on a pleasure only basis or will it be used for corporate or commercial purposes, to provide financial return?
- Where will the fixed wing aircraft/helicopter operate?
- Will flying in the EU create a VAT issue?
- Can I reduce my VAT cost on purchase and/or operation?
- Do I need tax and VAT advice?
Whether you need a straightforward holding company or a special purpose vehicle, we have significant experience in a wide range of international ownership structures and administration services for fixed wing aircraft and helicopter owners.
- Establishment and administration of tax efficient corporate structures suitable for fixed wing aircraft/helicopter ownership
- International aircraft registration
- VAT registration and administration
- EU VAT importation
- Statutory and administration services to your structure
- Purchase and administration facilitation
- Bookkeeping and accounting services
- Cash management facilities
When planning the structure for your fixed wing aircraft or helicopter, it is important to consider how and where the asset will be used, whether there is any tax or VAT exposure and whether the asset is intended to generate income and how tailored tax planning might maximise returns and minimise liabilities.
Whether for corporate, pleasure or commercial use, placing your asset in a carefully structured ownership entity can potentially offer you a variety of benefits including:
- Asset Protection
- Limitation of Liability
- Succession Planning
- Centralised Holding and Reporting
- Taxation and VAT
Abacus provides simple ownership structures for private, corporate and commercial fixed wing aircraft/helicopter, working with owners and their representatives to assemble a support team that works alongside their family offices and intermediaries, giving the owner the freedom to enjoy their aircraft.
Where you decide to register your aircraft will be largely dependent upon where and when you intend to use your aircraft. Selecting the right jurisdiction is imperative and with so many registers available and each offering different opportunities, the decision can often be difficult and confusing.
Although we are ideally situated to provide services for aircraft ownership using the Isle of Man and Malta, at Abacus we offer multi-jurisdictional registration and will assist clients in finding the most suitable jurisdiction based on their individual needs and requirements.
Managing international operations of a helicopter to the highest aviation safety standards is a complex and sophisticated business. Abacus has all the relevant expertise necessary to help you with purchasing and operating a helicopter.
Operating in conjunction with our partners, we have extensive experience and knowledge in the helicopter industry which allows us to be able to offer helicopter services on an extensive range of helicopter types. Services include:
- Continuing Airworthiness Management under EASA Part M;
- Maintenance under EASA & FAA Part 145;
- Interior refurbishment;
- On-call maintenance services;
- Tax efficient ownership structures;
- Cash flow budgets;
- Charter services;
- Helicopter sale and purchase;
- Storage facilities
Our aim is to deliver the best value from owning a helicopter whilst offering operational flexibility within a strict regulatory regime. Safety being our absolute number one consideration.
VAT and Aircraft Ownership
Both fixed wing aircraft and helicopter are subject to VAT when operated within EU territories, regardless of the nationality of the owner or where the aircraft is registered.
We establish fixed wing aircraft and helicopter ownership structures for clients seeking to reduce or mitigate their VAT cost for business and commercial fixed wing aircraft/helicopter and offer VAT registration and agency services for Isle of Man, Malta and other foreign entities (which can also be VAT registered in the Isle of Man or Malta).
Isle of Man and Malta VAT registration is carried out locally, quickly and can be granted to local and foreign companies as long as they are registered on the foreign companies register.
EU VAT Importation
If you intend to use your fixed wing aircraft or helicopter frequently within the EU and/or you plan to have EU nationals as passengers, Abacus can provide a solution to import your aircraft with a neutral rate of VAT and duty to ensure free circulation within the EU.
For example, depending on the proposed use of your aircraft, Abacus can arrange for importation at a zero rate of VAT providing it is a “Qualifying Aircraft” (an airline operating for reward chiefly on international routes).
Alternatively, where your aircraft is predominantly used for business purposes, Abacus can arrange for the use of a VAT deferment account to offset any VAT payable.
Our helicopter management services offer tax mitigation strategies and also provide for reduced or zero rate of VAT and Customs Duty.
In late 2012 a UK resident non domicile individual approached us in relation to the purchase of a Falcon 7X aircraft for a combination of private and corporate use. Working closely with the individual’s family office, tax and VAT advisors we were able to structure the purchase, ownership and operational side of the asset using a Manx Limited Partnership in a manner which was most effective for the client and his affairs.
Due to the strength of Abacus’s internal systems and senior in-house tax compliance team, there was the ability to effectively manage the ongoing operation of the aircraft by also ensuring remittance planning was impeccably managed for the underlying non domiciled client.