Isle of Man – making wholly unsubstantiated claims

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The FT has reported that the Isle of Man has concluded Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with the Nordic countries to follow on from those it concluded with the US in 2002 and the Netherlands in 2005.

The TIEA covers two issues. The first part covers shipping and aircraft taxation and means international businesses from those sectors based in the Isle of Man will not be taxed in the Nordic countries. This is no big deal. These sectors have almost fallen out of tax anywhere in the world now.

More important, the TIEA provides for tax information to be exchanged on a case-by-case basis.

The Isle of Man hopes as a result that they will get credit from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member states, which have long-standing concerns about harmful tax practices. This is somewhat ironic when last Friday the Isle of Man had to admit that its tax system was still considered to be harmful by the EU as it still retains all the "ring fences" that are the surest indication of harmful tax practices by the EU and OECD.

All of which means that the claim by Allan Bell, the island's treasury minister that the IoM is:

a responsible nation hosting quality international businesses

just a touch ironic. Because as the EU has shown, it's not responsible at all. It's pursuing abusive practices, and so, I suspect, are most of the companies located there.

But then I'm well aware that the same Minister has said for some time that everything I have said about the IoM is wrong. Odd how I was proved right by the EU and he was proved wrong in that case.