The Isle of Man is an English speaking country which lies in the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland. It occupies an area of 588 sq. km (227 sq. miles) and it has a population of about 70,000 persons. Constitutionally it has never been part of the United Kingdom but is a Crown dependency. Map
The outstanding advantage of the Isle of Man as an offshore area is its unrivalled political stability; it enjoys parliamentary government without party politics and in 1979 Her Majesty the Queen presided over the Millennium of Tynwald (the Manx Parliament) which celebrated over 1,000 years of existence.
Tynwald, is responsible for the Island's domestic affairs including, specifically, taxation. Britain is responsible for the Island's defence and foreign affairs. The Island has a special relationship with the European Union: whilst it is associated with the EU the Island is excluded from the Union's fiscal harmonisation policy.
The Isle of Man has an English common law type legal system so that it tends to follow British legislation and the decisions of the courts in England are regarded as being persuasive in the Manx courts. The Island has sophisticated legal and other professional services and in recent surveys of European based advisors was recognised as the premier offshore jurisdiction.
The Isle of Man has excellent communications. There are frequent air services from London Heathrow, Manchester, Liverpool, Dublin, Belfast and elsewhere and telecommunication facilities are first rate.
The currency of the Island is Pounds Sterling but the Island issues its own notes and coinage. There are no exchange controls and the Island is an established offshore banking centre with over fifty banks being locally licensed.
The Islands are a stable, sophisticated but still expanding common law offshore jurisdiction where costs are more moderate than those which apply in the comparative jurisdictions of Jersey and Guernsey.
Internally the Isle of Man is a low tax area; the lower rate of income tax for individuals is 15% with the individual higher rate and the company rate being 20%. There is no capital transfer tax, no surtax and no corporation tax, no wealth tax, no death duty, no capital gains tax and no gift tax. Value added tax is collected by the Isle of Man Customs & Excise at the same rates which apply in the United Kingdom as the Island is part of the UK Customs area. This has distinct advantages and makes the Isle of Man an extremely attractive jurisdiction in which to site an offshore company for trading with or within the European Union.