A recent PR initiative taken by the Government of the Isle of Man is publicising the fact that, with the introduction of zero rate corporate tax with effect from April 2006, there are a number of potential benefits to games companies looking to start up or to relocate to the principality. The Manx Government is also offering games companies generous grant packages of up to 40% to help offset the cost of moving, setting up operations and acquiring new office equipment.
"The zero taxation initiative supports our overall economic plan to ensure that interactive entertainment and computer game companies experience financial success in the Isle of Man," said Tim Craine, Director of E-Business for the Isle of Man Government. In addition to progressive government policy, more than $90 million has been invested in the Island's telecommunications infrastructure over the past five years, which includes widespread, free ADSL and ISDN connections for businesses and individuals.
With all this in mind, SPOnG spoke to Richard Holmes, the CEO of IncaGold, who already has a successful games company located on the island.
SPOnG: Hi Richard, Can you tell us a bit about Inca Gold?
Richard Holmes: The company is a publisher of mass-market computer games. May 2005 saw our Isle of Man operation list on the London stock exchange's AIM market, making us one of 6 or 7 games companies in the whole of the UK on the stock-market. All our operations are managed from the Isle of Man.
SPOnG: In lieu of the Isle of Man Government?s recent PR push to attract games companies to the island, what would you say about the benefits of the Isle of Man to the MD of a games company considering relocating there?
RH: Very low personal income tax, no capital gains tax at all, being part of the European Unions Valued Added Tax area, being English-speaking, good location, great place to live, Government that actually cares about businesses (regular calls and emails from them; a US friend once said to me shocked "what, you actually answer a call from the Government?!"), staff very easy to locate or indeed re-locate and no problems in having executives otherwise spread around the world.
In general its a very business-orientated place, but without the nervous rushing around feel you get in the City of London or NYC.
Well, there we go, if you want to beat the tax man, you know where to go. SPOnG will be speaking to other games companies located on the island to get their thoughts on this new government initiative and to find out more about exactly what games are being developed over there.