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The Isle of Man has been awarded the top ‘Compliant’ rating by the global body reviewing tax transparency around the world. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has just published ratings for the 50 countries reviewed to date and the Isle of […]

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According to many a tax haven is a jurisdiction (a state, country or territory) where one or more type of tax is levied at a low rate or not at all. Others have suggested that any country which modifies its tax laws to attract foreign capital could be considered a tax haven. On that basis […]

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According to Chief Minister Allan Bell, the Isle of Man is beginning to get its message across to senior politicians, decision makers and opinion formers in the UK, EU and further afield that it is part of the solution not part of the problem of tax evasion. Mr Bell and Treasury Minister Eddie Teare attended […]

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Tax evasion is the illegal evasion of any type of tax or duty (so it includes smuggling) by individuals, companies, trusts or other corporate entities. Typically evasion occurs when taxpayers deliberately misrepresent the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability and includes dishonest tax reporting, such as declaring less income, profits […]

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Following on from the success of the recent Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, which has already resulted in HM Revenue & Customs recovering £363 million in unpaid tax and which is expected to bring in at least ten times that sum over the next five years, the two countries signed a full double taxation agreement (“DTA”) yesterday. […]

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One of the reasons that you won’t often find me commenting on US tax issues is that the US government have a lot of very nasty laws that they are prepared to use on anyone they think might be encouraging their citizens to evade or even just avoid tax – even though tax avoidance is […]

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Is offshore banking legal? This is a question often asked these days, as various nations seek to clamp down on offshore tax havens and offshore banking. And while such banking may raise eyebrows in certain quarters, or invite disapproving comments from politicians seeking to balance budgets and maximise tax revenue, the fact is banking offshore […]

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Just over a year ago I wrote about the visit to the Isle of Man undertaken by Vince Cable, then Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor who today was appointed Secretary of State for Business and Banking in the new Conservative – Liberal cabinet. Despite having been a stern critic of the island, calling it a tax […]

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One thing that can be clearly seen amid all the arguments over the status of Lord Ashcroft is that neither the press nor the politicians really understand the difference between someone being resident in the UK or being domiciled in the UK. But we shouldn’t really blame them as the subject has long been one […]

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On his 2008 Presidential campaign trail, Barack Obama made his hostility toward “offshore” jurisdictions very clear: “There’s a building in the Cayman Islands that houses supposedly 12,000 U.S.-based corporations. That’s either the biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam in the world, and we know which one it is.” I know that […]

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The Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor has been a stern critic of the Isle of Man, calling us a haven for tax dodgers. He also demanded that the Isle of Man be closed as a ‘tax haven’ and for banks receiving investment from the UK Government to shut offshore operations. Despite that he accepted an invitation […]

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For many years UK taxpayers benefitted greatly by transferring (settling) their assets in offshore trusts, but increasing ant-avoidance legislation has led people to believe that there is no point in using an offshore trust any more. Whilst it is true that the tax advantages are no longer as good and they once were the fact […]

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As promised by Gordon Brown at the end of the G20 summit today, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) has provided a detailed report on progress by financial centres around the world towards implementation of an internationally agreed standard on exchange of information for tax purposes. The list is split into four sections […]

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Anyone setting up a business in Germany has a few problems to overcome. High taxation, high social charges, and high cost of company formation to name just three. That’s why more and more Germans are setting up companies in the United Kingdom. Believe it or not, the UK remains very business friendly. Anyone can set […]

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Whilst Gordon Brown, Alastair Darling and Barack Obama attack the Isle of Man as a “Tax Havens” the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development) praise the Isle of Man. If proof were ever needed that the bully boys of the UK and USA are attacking small offshore countries just to divert attention from their […]

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I live in the Isle of Man. For those of you who don’t know this is a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea about midway between England, Scotland and Ireland (and a little further from Wales).   Although one of the British Isles we are an independent country – with the oldest […]

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I recently received a question from the owner of a UK company questioning the imposition of Spanish withholding tax on payments his company received from a Spanish subsidiary. He thought that the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive exempted the tax. In fact it would do for dividends but not for royalty payments, which these payments were for […]

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The British Treasury has set up an independent review to examine the operations of offshore financial centres and their effect on the UK economy. The review will look at the current and future risks posed by the current economic crisis to the financial business of British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories including Jersey, Guernsey, the […]

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There has been much publicity and comment about “non doms” – these being persons who whilst resident in the UK are not domiciled there (see here for more information on what this means). The popular belief is that these people are unfairly avoiding tax on income or capital gains made outside the UK by claiming […]

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Recent UK legislation has resulted in the real possibility that contractors using offshore umbrella companies could face massive back tax bills. For a number of years now many contractors have worked via umbrellas companies based offshore in jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man. These companies have offered contractors up to 85 per cent of […]

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