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ISLE OF MAN
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TAX TREATMENT OF OFFSHORE OPERATIONS
TAXATION OF FOREIGN EMPLOYEES
OFFSHORE ACTIVITIES
EXCHANGE CONTROL
EMPLOYMENT AND RESIDENCE
RELATED INFORMATION

Offshore Legal And Tax Regimes

The term 'offshore' is not used in Isle of Man legislation or in describing company forms. Prior to 2006, non-residence was the key criterion for obtaining offshore tax treatment other than for the International Company and Exempt Company, which were regarded as being resident. Until 2006, the main forms useful for offshore operations in the Isle of Man were the Exempt Company, the International Company, the International Limited Partnership, the Limited Liability Company (LLC) and the Trust. Normally, non-resident tax treatment is given to foreign income, while income arising in the Isle of Man is taxed more highly.

In December 2000 the OECD announced the Isle of Man's commitment to eliminate harmful tax practices by 31 December 2005 which secured the jurisdiction's deletion from the OECD list of countries deemed to possess "harmful" tax practices.

The OECD said it welcomed the commitment, which includes undertakings in favour of transparency, non-discrimination and effective co-operation. No timetable was established for these moves, and the announcement was made before US resistance to the OECD forced the organisation to back off some of its proposals including those for 'non-discrimination' and upwards harmonisation of tax rates. Later, the Isle of Man made clear that changes would only take place if they were mirrored in other, comparable jurisdictions - the famous 'level playing field'.

The OECD 'list' resurfaced again after the April 2009 G20 summit in London, but the Isle of Man this time found itself on the 'white list' rather than the 'black list.'

With the introduction of its '0/10' taxation regime in 2006, under which corporation tax is abolished except for a 10% levy on financial institutions, the Non-Resident Company, the Exempt Company and the International Company forms were abolished.

The Isle of Man’s decision to amend its business tax regime was first announced on October 20, 2009, by the Isle of Man Chief Minister, Tony Brown, in a statement to the island's parliament, the Tynwald, in response to changes to the Customs & Excise Agreement revenue sharing arrangements between the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom (UK) and other international developments.

As part of his statement, the Chief Minister said:

“We have been watching the way international sentiments and standards have been moving in response to the global economic crisis, and especially the speed with which such matters have been changing and the potential effect they may have on our economy."

“[Revisiting our business tax regime] will allow us to develop and position the island and its future tax regime, so the island can continue to remain competitive and at the same time be accepted by the international community as responsible and co-operative.”

“The government will also be actively looking to identify what new opportunities can be taken to secure further business within the Island with a view to continuing to diversify our economy and increasing our income.” In December 2010, the Manx government's review of the 0/10% regime was effectively put on ice until a High Level Working Party established by the European Union to review the Code of Conduct for Business Taxation had reported back to the European Council of Finance Ministers (Ecofin). The Working Party was not expected to report its findings to Ecofin until June 2011.

The Isle of Man Income Tax Department launched a consultation in March 2010 on the future of business taxation on the island following scrutiny of its 0/10% regime from the European Union (EU) Code of Conduct For Business Taxation Group. It was announced in the February, 2011 budget speech that the 0/10% regime would remain in place and the attribution regime for individuals (ARI) be removed from April 2012.

Treasury Minister, Anne Craine MHK, said in her speech: "the Isle of Man Government considers that with the removal of the ARI, our business taxation system does not have features which can be considered to be harmful under the provisions of the Code of Conduct, and we have today communicated that view to the Chair of the Code Group." She added: "We remain committed to our policy of being a good neighbour, which encompasses being responsive to the views of the European Union. At the same time, the Isle of Man is fiscally independent, and participates in the Code of Conduct process on a voluntary basis."

Isle of Man Tax Treatment of Offshore Operations

See Domestic Corporate Taxes for the general principles of Isle of Man corporate taxation, which also apply to offshore entities except as indicated below.

As from 2006, taxation (at 10%) applies only to financial institutions. This includes companies holding banking licences and those receiving income from land and property in the Isle of Man (which includes rental income, extraction of minerals and property development).

Non-resident partners in a Manx partnership, limited partnership or Limited Liability Company are liable for tax only on Manx-derived income (with the usual concessions regarding bank interest), and then as individuals.

Effective 1st April 2006, all IOM captive insurance companies became liable for tax; however the tax rate is zero per cent.

Trusts with non-resident beneficiaries are exempt from Isle of Man income tax on income arising outside the island and (by concession) on IOM bank interest.

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Isle of Man Taxation of Foreign Employees of Offshore Operations

There are no special rules applying to the foreign or Manx employees of offshore operations. The various exemptions from income tax described above do not apply to employees: any business employing and paying people on the Isle of Man will have to operate the ITIP system of deductions from pay (based on and similar to the UK PAYE system). It is not legal to employ non-Manx people on the island without a work permit. The general principles of individual taxation on the island also apply to the resident employees of non-resident entities. Most types of compensation and benefit paid to employees are taxable; there are no special privileges or exemptions for expatriate workers.

There is no statutory definition of residence. The Isle of Man often follows the UK in this respect. Normally, an individual is resident if he spends more than six months on the Island in any one year, or more than 3 months on average in each of 4 consecutive years.

Non-residents are liable to pay Manx income tax only in respect of income arising on the island or from Manx sources. By concession, Isle of Man bank interest is not taxed in the hands of non-residents.

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Isle of Man Exchange Control

The Isle of Man has no exchange controls.

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Isle of Man Employment and Residence

There were no special privileges for the employees of non-resident or offshore entities on the Isle of Man.

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LINKS IN THIS SECTION
TAX TREATMENT OF OFFSHORE OPERATIONS
TAXATION OF FOREIGN EMPLOYEES
OFFSHORE ACTIVITIES
EXCHANGE CONTROL
EMPLOYMENT AND RESIDENCE
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