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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 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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The Isle of Man government has signed a tax information sharing agreement with the UK government to help combat tax evasion. Under the agreement, the Isle of Man and UK will automatically exchange a wide range of information on tax residents, on a reciprocal basis. It should be emphasised that evasion isn’t avoidance and there […]

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Having agreed to a tax deal with the UK recently, Liechtenstein is now co-operatingwith the US Treasury – mainly to avoid legal action against local banks – by agreeing to a so-called “group request” identifying their US clients. Liechtenstein’s traditional secrecy started to unwind after data stolen from LGT (the bank owned by Liechtenstein’s royal family) […]

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Captive Insurance Companies have long been used by many prominent companies to manage their insurance risks. In its simplest form, a captive is a wholly owned subsidiary created to provide insurance to its non-insurance parent company and or other group companies. They are essentially a form of self-insurance whereby the insurer is owned wholly by […]

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There is nothing on Earth quite like the Isle of Man TT Races. They capture the imagination in a way no other race can and the sheer spectacle and uniqueness ensure that every May and June many thousands of fans flock to the Island – many with their own bikes – to revel in the […]

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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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In recent weeks the term Sovereign Debt has been bandied about by the media leaving many people puzzled as what it actually is. What it isn’t is money owed by a King or Queen of a country – Republics do have Sovereign Debt; you don’t need a Monarch! Joking aside, in simple terms Sovereign Debt […]

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I attended a very interesting meeting last night organised by the Isle of Man Junior Chamber of Commerce (“JCC”) at the Hilton Hotel. A packed audience was addressed by Chief Minister Tony Brown on the subject of the recent change to the VAT agreement the island has with the UK. This change is likely to […]

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It has long been suspected that there is widespread under collection of VAT throughout the European Union. But until now no one realised just how big the figures were. Talk about pouring cash down the toilet! There are a number of reasons for the shortfall some relating to systematic fraud (such as “carousel fraud” on […]

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The Isle of Man is best known, albeit unfairly, as an offshore “tax haven” but the fact is that less than 30% of the islands economy is related to the finance sector. Indeed the Isle of Man is a successful international business centre with a large manufacturing base. Over 90% of the world’s electric kettle […]

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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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There are stunned expressions on the faces of Isle of Man politicians, civil servants and business leaders who have just read an official press statement from Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the UK Treasury, seen here behind his political master Gordon Brown. After months, indeed years of undisguised hostility, most blatantly with Chancellor Alistair Darling’s […]

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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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And it’s still running the length of Douglas Bay on the Isle of Man. The tramway was built and first operated by Thomas Lightfoot, a retired Sheffield civil engineer. In 1882, he sold the line to Isle of Man Tramways Ltd but 20 years later Douglas Corporation had to purchase the lines when the company […]

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The European Economic Area consists of all the member states of the European Union plus three of the four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states, namely Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. By treaty the EFTA states have been allowed to be part of the European Single Market without being required to join the EU. The Fourth […]

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First meeting in 930 AD the Icelandic parliament (the Althing) is the oldest parliament in the world. However it has not operated continuoulsy which is why the Isle of Man, Parliament, (the Tynwald) established in 979 AD is the oldest continuously sitting parliament still operating. The Althing’s establishment, as an outdoor assembly held on the plains of Þingvellir […]

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