Tag Archives: Isle of Man

Isle Of Man First To Sign UK FATCA-Style Agreement

The Isle of Man has become the first British dependent territory to sign an agreement with the United Kingdom extending the automatic disclosure of tax information.

Isle of Man map

The intergovernmental agreement was signed in London on October 10 by Chief Minister Allan Bell and HM Treasury Exchequer Secretary David Gauke.

It is modeled on the requirements of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) introduced by the United States to ensure the tax compliance of its citizens with international interests.

On the current timetable for implementation of the new agreement, the two Governments have agreed to start exchanging additional information from 2016.

Map courtesy of FamilySearch Wiki Commons

The Isle of Man already shares information automatically on personal savings income with the UK and other European Union countries, having been the first non-EU jurisdiction to make a public commitment to this under the EU Savings Directive in June 2009. The Island was also the first to commit, in December last year, to the FATCA-style agreement with the UK extending the scope of automatic disclosure to include, for example, companies and trusts.

The Chief Minister said: “In signing this historic agreement with the United Kingdom we are underlining the message to our neighbors and the wider world that our Island is a responsible center for top quality international business.

“The Isle of Man was the first to strike this agreement with the UK and we are now the first to sign, demonstrating the clear commitment of both countries to the development of a new global standard in automatic exchange.”

Mr Bell added: “Today’s signing is a significant step towards that global standard and further proof that the tax haven moniker in relation to the Isle of Man is well and truly dead, as David Cameron recognized recently in the House of Commons.”

He went on: “The Isle of Man is a forward looking country with a diverse, dynamic economy and a track record of leading the way in the field of international tax co-operation.”

“We have a long-established policy of complying with global standards, and we saw some time ago that enhanced automatic exchange of information on the FATCA model was becoming the new global standard in tax transparency.”


Isle of Man’s Gambling Duty Act 2012 To Come Into Force

he Isle of Man’s Gambling Duty Act 2012 will come into operation on January 01, 2014 if it is approved by the local parliament, Tynwald.

Man with two girls playing-roulette

The Act, which received Royal Assent in October 2012, replaces the former general betting duty, pool betting duty and online gambling duty with a single duty of excise called “gambling duty.” The Act repeals and replaces various provisions contained in the Pool Betting (Isle of Man) Act 1961, Betting Act 1970 and the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001, which are concerned with the relevant duties.

The Act does not deal with machine games duty, lottery duty on National Lottery games, or land-based casino gaming.

Picture courtesy of 123rf

The rates and bases of liability for operators of the new gambling duty under the new Act will remain the same as currently apply for the duties being replaced. However, the new provisions are designed to be more flexible, and so better able to deal with technical or other developments. In this way, the Act is designed to create a consolidated and robust legislative framework underpinning what has become an important business sector in the Island, while allowing for future development of an innovative and fast-moving area.

Previously a business had different laws and procedures to follow in accounting for duty, and governing its dealings with Customs and Excise, depending on whether the business was a local bookmaker, pools promoter or online gambling operator, with different forms, public notices etc. From January 2014 there will be a single structure.

Where existing operators have been granted any permissions or exemptions, these will continue under the new duty regime. Furthermore, while any new operator intending to undertake dutiable operations on or after January 01, 2014 is required to provide the Treasury with 7 days prior notice, anyone who was already accounting for the duties being replaced will not be required to give such notification. Any credits or losses as accrued will also be transferable to the new duty.


Isle of Man plan to introduce Foundations

The Isle of Man’s Treasury Minister Eddie Teare has welcomed the announcement of Royal Assent to new legislation that would permit the establishment of foundations in the territory, enhancing its position as a centre for international wealth management.

The Foundations Act provides for the establishment of foundations, which are an alternative to trusts as vehicles for holding assets. While foundations resemble trusts in many respects, they also have separate legal personality, like a company. Their existence will be recorded on a public register and each must have a local registered agent accountable to the authorities.

“The Manx Foundation will be a bespoke product that will provide our financial services industry with an additional tool to open up new business opportunities,” Teare explained. “The world of wealth management is highly competitive so it is vitally important that the government keeps working in partnership with the private sector to enhance the island’s offering to international clients.”

John Rimmer, a partner at the law firm Appleby, welcomed the announcement that foundations would soon be added to Isle of Man financial services providers’ suite of offerings, stating: “The island needs to offer decent solutions for all those whose custom we want to attract. Trusts form a key part of our offering, but they are not the answer for everyone. Foundations offer greater familiarity and comfort for individuals and families from civil law countries, as well as interesting opportunities in commercial legal structures.”

“The Treasury have shown real commitment in bringing this offering to the statute books in response to an initiative from the Isle of Man branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. The Foundations Act is another good example of what cooperation between government and private sector can achieve.”

Annemarie Hughes, senior associate within Dougherty Quinn’s specialist trust team, added: “Having recently returned from the STEP Asia Conference in Singapore, where Foundations and estate planning formed a key part of that conference, I am confident that the Isle of Man’s new sophisticated yet flexible Foundation vehicle is ideally placed to service the numerous opportunities and growing demand in the international market.”


Isle of Man companies can list on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong

The Isle of Man government announced on October 18 2010 that it had been notified by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong that the territory has been accepted as an ‘approved jurisdiction’ for the purposes of the listing of its companies on that exchange.

In gaining approval, the Isle of Man joins a select group of countries which have been accepted by the Hong Kong Listing Committee. In the case of the Isle of Man, companies incorporated under the two main bodies of company legislation in the Isle of Man – the Companies Acts 1931-2004 and the Companies Act 2006 – can be listed on the Exchange.

Welcoming the Exchange’s decision, the Isle of Man government said: “This important recognition has been achieved on the basis that the Isle of Man has been able to demonstrate equivalence in its standards of investor and shareholder protection to those available under Hong Kong company law, a further prerequisite being that the Isle of Man is a full signatory to the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding.”

Juan Watterson Political Member of the Department of Economic Development responsible for financial services, added: “This paves the way for the Isle of Man to attract foreign issuers to list on the HKSE. In recent years, the island has become the leading jurisdiction for listing foreign companies on the UK’s AIM market; a number of our commercial law firms already have considerable international expertise working with Asian lawyers including equity and debt issues by Isle of Man companies on other Asian exchanges and in some cases have representative offices in Asia. We are constantly looking for ways to improve and build on the Island’s international reputation as a high quality International Business Centre, and this listing approval is a further example of this commitment”.

For his part, Minister for Economic Development, Allan Bell, said: “The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is assuming greater importance among the leading capital markets. Given the Isle of Man’s proven credentials in Asia and unique status, for example, in facilitating manufacturers in greater China to import goods into the European Union, we see this endorsement by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as further strengthening the role that we are able to play in enabling international trade.