The United Kingdom’s prime minister, David Cameron, has said that the Isle of Man is not a tax haven.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Cameron highlighted the action taken by the Isle of Man and the other Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories on international tax matters.
He told MPs that Britain’s Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories deserve support for the steps they have taken to promote transparency and fairness.
Responding to questions about his statement on the G20 summit in St Petersburg, Mr Cameron said: ‘I do not think it is fair any longer to refer to any of the Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies as tax havens. They have taken action to make sure that they have fair and open tax systems.’
He added: ‘It is very important that our focus should now shift to those territories and countries that really are tax havens. The Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, which matter so much — quite rightly — to the British people and members, have taken the necessary action and should get the backing for it.’
The prime minister’s views have been welcomed as a further endorsement of the Isle of Man’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of global standards.
His comments are in stark contrast to those made by his predecessor, Gordon Brown, and his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, who dismissed the island as a ‘tax haven in the Irish Sea’ at the height of the Kaupthing affair in 2008.
Treasury Minister Eddie Teare today said: ‘Mr Cameron’s remarks provide clear recognition of the Isle of Man’s constructive engagement with the international tax agenda.
‘With positive assessments by such organisations as the OECD, IMF and Financial Stability Board, we do not consider ourselves to be a tax haven.
‘The prime minister has now reinforced that message in very strong terms. It supports our view that the Isle of Man is a responsible business centre with a competitive, clear and simple tax regime.
‘The Isle of Man has led the way in respect of tax cooperation and transparency for the past 15 years and was the first nation to commit to a FATCA-style agreement with the UK to automatically share tax information. We have also produced an action plan to set out our position on tax information exchange and the identification of corporate beneficial ownership, and recently confirmed our intention to join the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters.’
He added: ‘The Isle of Man continues to work very closely with the UK and our international partners to drive forward measures to tackle tax evasion and fraud. There is increasing recognition of our willingness to be part of the solution, as highlighted by Mr Cameron’s comments in the House of Commons this week.’
From last week: Bell writes to Cameron