Chief Minister rejects Washington DC’s tax haven slur
Chief Minister Allan Bell has written to the District of Columbia Council to outline his concerns at the island’s inclusion in a blacklist of tax havens.
Washington DC released the list of 39 ‘tax havens’ as part of its Budget Support Act, which was signed by the Mayor in August.
Previously, similar laws had not named jurisdictions, but this year legislators have compiled a list which includes the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey and other offshore centres like the Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, Bahamas and Bermuda.
The new Act has to go through a 30-day review period in the US Congress before it becomes law.
Mr Bell has described the Isle of Man’s inclusion in the blacklist as ‘arbitrary and meaningless’.
The issue was raised in Tynwald by Onchan MHK Peter Karran (Lib Van).
In a written reply Mr Bell said it was ‘unfortunate’ the District of Columbia Council did not take the opportunity to consult with the Isle of Man or to research the island’s ‘excellent record’ in complying with international standards on tax transparency.
He said: ‘In writing to the chair of the District of Columbia Council to express concerns at the inclusion of the Isle of Man on this blacklist, I set out the commitment the Isle of Man has made in relation to co-operation and transparency and demonstrated substantial evidence in this regard.
‘I also outlined the Isle of Man’s international tax compliance with the US, so clearly demonstrating why the Isle of Man should not appear on this latest list.
‘Nevertheless, the Isle of Man has no control over the drawing up of arbitrary lists which appear from time to time or the criteria on which they are based, which varies. For example, lists may be drawn up of jurisdictions which have low tax rates.
‘In the US several such arbitrary lists have appeared over the years which have simply been copied without any properly researched rationale or based on the perspective of the political mover of the legislation.’