IoM Gov denies claims made by investigative journalists of aircraft VAT avoidance

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK held a press conference yesterday explaining how this was a "matter of national importance."

The Isle of Man Government has come under fire for allegations of VAT aircraft avoidance, made by journalists associated with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Yesterday Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK held a press conference with local media about the matter, with the subject not revealed until the meeting was underway.

Organisations such as The Guardian, the BBC, leading German media and Japanese TV have all been ICIJ bodies inquiring about VAT regulation since February.

He said he was due to be interviewed today for the BBC's Panorama and that Government has invited HM Treasury to conduct an assessment of the practice for the importation of business jets into the EU, with a focus on the VAT treatment of aircraft leasing arrangements.

The scope of the assessment will be defined and published in November, with the work estimated to be completed in 2018.

Since 2011 corporate jets over 800kg were zero-rated for VAT, with over 30 assessments for under-declared or over-claimed VAT against businesses in the aircraft leasing sector - protecting approximately £4.7million of VAT.

Mr Quayle said: ’We are confident we have followed the procedures.’