Isle of Man Overview
The Isle of Man is a self-governing Crown dependency, located in the Irish Sea at the geographical centre of the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Crown is represented by a Lieutenant Governor. The island is not part of the United Kingdom, but foreign relations, defence, and ultimate good-governance of the Isle of Man are the responsibility of the government of the United Kingdom.
The island was a Celtic community which came under the rule of the Norse in 1079. This has left a legacy from the Tynwald government to many place names. After a period of alternating rule by the Kings of England and Scotland, the Manx came under the feudal over-lordship of the English Crown. The lordship revested to the British Crown in 1764 but the island never became part of the United Kingdom. This accounts for its current position as a Crown dependency.
The Isle of Man is not a part of the European Union, but the free movement of goods does exist between the two entities. Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged at 17.5%, the same figure as that in the UK.
The Isle of Man is located geographically in the middle of the northern Irish Sea, close to the geographical centre of the British Isles, an archipelago off the north-western coast of mainland Europe. The island lies closest to Scotland followed by England, Ireland and Wales.
Approximately 32 miles (51 km) long and between 8 miles (13 km) and 15 miles (24 km) wide, the island has an area of around 221 square miles (570 km≤).
Due to the influence of the surrounding Irish Sea, the Island's climate is mild and lacking in extremes. In Winter, snow and frost are infrequent. February is normally the coldest month, with an average daily temperature of 4.9C (41F) but it is often relatively dry.
In summer, April, May and June are the driest months whilst June, July and August are the sunniest and warmest months, with an average daily maximum temperature of around 17.6 C (63 F). Thunderstorms are rare.
The indigenous Manx population make up less than 40% of the total population but what constitutes 'Manx' often becomes a topic for debate. Those that emigrate to the Island generally originate from; Ireland, Scotland, England, Scandinavia and South Africa. For those unfamiliar with local terminology, England is sometimes mistakenly called the mainland and should be colloquially termed as 'across' or 'over the water'. For those living on the Isle of Man, the country is proud of its independence and as such many prefer to reinforce this by emphasising its own status as a mainland.
While the Isle of Man produces its own notes and coins, the Monetary Unit of the island is actually UK Sterling. Sterling Currency Notes issued by the Bank of England are therefore legal tender and in circulation on the Island alongside the local note issues.
Health conditions are very similar to the UK. The island has a well-equipped modern hospital (Noble's Hospital, near Douglas) but some complicated medical conditions may require removal to the UK.
Residence & Work Permits
In order to qualify as a Manx Resident applicants are required to initially live continuously on the Island for five years. In the vast majority of cases, non-residents (including UK citizens) will need a work permit to gain employment on the Island. As each work permit is specific to one individual employment, a fresh application is required for any change of employment. In general, unless it can be demonstrated the skills required for the locally advertised job are not available on the Island, companies should not employ a non-Manx Worker if a Manx Resident who is capable of doing the job has applied.
The Isle of Man is a 'so-called' low tax economy with no capital gains tax, wealth tax, stamp duty or inheritance tax and a top rate of income tax of 18%. The maximum amount of tax payable by an individual is £100,000 or £200,000 for couples if they choose to have their incomes jointly assessed. The £100,000 tax cap equates to an assessable income of approximately £570,000.
Personal income is assessed and taxed on a total 'worldwide' income basis rather than a remittance basis. This means that all income earned throughout the world is assessable for Manx tax rather than only income earned in or brought into the IoM. It Residency rules, 60 days per annum, are lower than those in surrounding states.
The Isle of Man has no death or estate duties, capital transfer or gifts taxes, capital gains tax or wealth tax
Cost of Living
In real terms, the cost of living on the island is very similar to that within the UK. However, lower taxation levels mean that in relative terms the inhabitants enjoy a greater level of disposable income relative to their gross earnings.