Isle of Man

Corporate - Corporate residence

Last reviewed - 09 January 2020

A company incorporated in the Isle of Man is automatically resident for tax purposes and must therefore file an annual income tax return, whether it pays tax at 0%, 10%, 20%, or a combination of these rates.

A company that is incorporated elsewhere will be considered resident in the Isle of Man if it is 'managed and controlled' in the Isle of Man, and will be taxed on its worldwide income accordingly. 'Managed and controlled' is generally interpreted as being the place where the board of directors meets, although this is not always conclusive.

In cases where a company is resident in a country with which the Isle of Man has a tax treaty, then a tie-breaker may operate to determine residence.

Note that a company that is incorporated in the Isle of Man will not be resident if it can prove to the satisfaction of the Assessor that:

  • its business is centrally managed and controlled in another country
  • it is resident for tax purposes under the other country's law
  • either it is resident for tax purposes in the other country under a DTA in which a tie-breaker clause applies or the highest rate at which any company may be charged to tax on any part of its profits in that other country is 20% or higher, and
  • there is a bona fide commercial reason for its residence status in the other country, which is not motivated by a desire to reduce Isle of Man tax.

Permanent establishment (PE)

A place of business includes a PE, such as a branch office or shop, factory, workshop, or mine. The definition of a PE is not set out in statute, and, in cases where the company is resident in a country with which the Isle of Man has a DTA, the terms of the agreement will determine the company’s residence.

Substance Test

In order to comply with commitments made to the European Union (EU) Code of Conduct Group, legislation has been passed by the Isle of Man government in relation to the introduction, with effect from 1 January 2019, of a 'substance test' for tax residency of corporate entities in the Isle of Man. The legislation is targeted at those companies in the Island that have income from certain business sectors identified by the European Union and which do not have any real economic activity and substantial economic presence in the Island. 

The relevant business sectors are:

  • Banking;
  • Insurance;
  • Shipping;
  • Fund management:
  • Financing and leasing:
  • Headquartering:
  • Operation of a holding company:
  • Holding of intangible property;
  • Distribution and service centre business.

A company receiving income from one of these sources which is unable to satisfy the substance requirements will be subject to penalties and other sanctions.