The Isle of Man is situated in the Irish Sea, midway between the coasts of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is ideally located for furthering business in Europe, and due to its central position in the World Time Zones, Island businesses are well placed to communicate with all parts of the World during normal working hours.
Being part of the British Isles, the language used is English. Historically the inhabitants, the Manx, spoke their own Celtic language, but nowadays it is only usually heard on ceremonial occasions or in the home.
Tynwald, the Island's Parliament, has over 1,000 years of unbroken rule and is the oldest form of government in the World. This political stability enables the Government to give continued support to the development of the Island's economy.
The Isle of Man is a Common Law jurisdiction and its legal system is very similar to that of the United Kingdom, with the ultimate right of appeal being vested in the Sovereign's Privy Council.
The Isle of Man is acknowledged as being one of the leading offshore centres in the world. There exists modern well-structured and well-regulated financial services legislation.
In 1979 exchange controls ceased in the Isle of Man and consequently there is free movement of funds in and out of the Island. The currency used in the island is GB£ Sterling
Relationship with the EC and OECD
The Isle of Man is not a member of the European Community (EC), but enjoys a special relationship with the EC as set out in Protocol 3 to the United Kingdom's (UK) treaty of Accession, which allows free trade in industrial and agricultural products with the Community.
The Island is not part of the 1992 Single Market Programme, nor does it contribute to, or receive funds from, the Community.
Membership for the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) enables its financial products and services to have access to markets where OECD membership is an entry requirement.
The Isle of Man was included on the OECD 'white list' of countries complying with the global standard for tax co-operation and exchange of information, published in April 2009.
The Island has also entered into a number of double taxation agreements and tax information exchange agreements with other jurisdictions around the world.
Customs and Excise
Although the Isle of Man is completely autonomous, it is fully integrated with the UK as regards customs and import duties and in particular operates Value Added Tax ("VAT") in respect of the provision of goods and services.
The Isle of Man has the only offshore Freeport in Europe. Opened in 1988, it has the advantage of location in an offshore finance centre with easy access to European markets. Its special position as an enclave outside the normal customs procedures provides traders with a wide range of benefits.
The Island's Government operates a sympathetic tax regime. The only form of direct taxation in the Isle of Man is Income Tax, there are no:
- Capital Gains Taxes
- Death, Inheritance or Gift Taxes
- Stamp Duties
- Estate Duties
- Turnover or Wealth Taxes