December 2017 Issue

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December 2017 Issue

Feature Article: 

PARADISE PAPERS

Quayle condemns ‘orchestrated UK media attack on Isle of Man’

The UK Government has resisted calls for a knee-jerk clampdown on offshore jurisdictions, following revelations in the so called Paradise Papers.

The release of the hacked documents obtained from global law firm Appleby shone the spotlight on the Isle of Man and other offshore jurisdictions as newspapers and the BBC ‘revealed’ what turned out to be mostly legal measures taken by wealthy individuals and international corporations to keep their tax bills down.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle branded the media coverage an ‘orchestrated attack’ on the Isle of Man after the Island, in particular, seemed to be the target of much of the ire of The Guardian newspaper. That newspaper even claimed at one stage – wrongly – that there had been no coverage of the Paradise Papers in the Manx media.

One of the major revelations was the use of the Isle of Man to import private jets into Europe, in a bid to reduce the owners’ tax bills.

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton was singled out by Panorama after he was accused of not paying VAT on his £16.5 million jet by taking advantage of an Isle of Man scheme that allowed VAT refunds, sometimes up to 100%. A separate inquiry – not part of the Paradise Papers investigation –revealed VAT funds totalling more than £790m had been paid out to jet leasing companies, including 100% refunds for 231 claims submitted since 2011-12.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle, responding to the range of allegations, that also highlighted tax arrangements in other jurisdictions, said the Isle of Man did not welcome those who were seeking to evade or ‘aggressively avoid’ tax….

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