The Isle of Man has today (Tuesday 18 June 2013) published an Action Plan to build on its commitment to working with the international community to tackle tax evasion and fraud.
It outlines the Island’s position on tax information exchange and the identification of corporate beneficial ownership, and sets out the steps it is taking to advance this key global agenda. The Plan has been published at the same time as those countries launching Action Plans at the G8 Summit in Lough Erne, and follows the progress achieved at Saturday’s Open for Growth: G8 transparency event.
The Isle of Man’s Action Plan endorses international standards against money laundering, the financing of terrorism and proliferation, tax evasion, corruption and related criminal activity.
It highlights five steps aimed at maintaining the Island’s status as a well-regulated and responsible nation, including measures to –
• Co-operate with an external assessment of the Island’s compliance with all relevant international standards in the legal, financial and law enforcement sectors
• Conduct a national assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks
• Review its existing provisions on beneficial ownership and consider whether the introduction of a centralised registry would improve transparency of the ownership and control of companies in the Isle of Man
• Continue to play an active role in organisations which promote international cooperation to counter illicit financial flows
• Continue to negotiate and enter into international tax cooperation agreements
Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK said:
‘The Isle of Man welcomes the focus on developing global standards in transparency to create a level playing field across the world, and has been closely monitoring events at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. We have led the way in respect of tax cooperation for the past 15 years and this Action Plan further demonstrates our commitment to tackling the global problem of tax evasion. Adhering to global standards is essential if we are to maintain our position as a leading international business centre which is committed to attracting quality, legitimate business. We have an economic as well as ethical interest in preventing our financial services industry, and our reputation as a whole, from being undermined by criminal activity.’
The issue of beneficial ownership is a key element of the drive to achieve greater transparency and the Isle of Man has had in place a robust regime for more than 10 years.
The Chief Minister said:
‘Establishing the ultimate beneficial ownership behind all account relationships conducted in the Isle of Man is a legal requirement backed by on-site supervision to ensure compliance. Legislation is in place to ensure that full and accurate details are maintained on the true ownership and control of every company, trust and fund in the Isle of Man, and that this information is freely available to law enforcement agencies and tax collectors. In response to the G8 initiative we have further agreed to review this existing provision to determine whether a centralised registry would improve transparency of the ownership and control of companies in the Isle of Man.’