IoM Probes Aircraft Leasing VAT Avoidance Claims
by Amanda Banks, Lowtax.net, London
25 October, 2017
The Isle of Man Treasury is investigating allegations of VAT avoidance in connection with the importation of business jets into the European Union through the Isle of Man.
The investigation is focussing on the VAT treatment of aircraft leasing arrangements, and is in response to allegations of abusive VAT avoidance made by media associated with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The investigation supplements a review already underway by the island's Customs & Excise Division.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle said: "The VAT treatment of the importation of aircraft into the EU is a highly technical and complex area in which the Isle of Man follows the same policy, laws, and rules as the United Kingdom. The Isle of Man Government works closely with HMRC and holds quarterly governance meetings on a range of VAT issues. In light of the claims made by the ICIJ, we have asked HM Treasury to look at all elements involved in the process of the importation of business jets via the Isle of Man into the EU."
He added: "The Isle of Man is a well-regulated country with a proud reputation for world-class service and compliance with international standards on tax and transparency. Like all responsible members of the global community, we take allegations of this nature extremely seriously. The ICIJ has so far rejected our repeated requests to provide written evidence to support their claims. During the course of our own ongoing review, we have found no evidence of wrongdoing or reason to believe that our Customs and Excise has been involved in the mistaken refunding of VAT."
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