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The Isle of Man, otherwise known simply as Mann, is a self-governing Crown Dependency of the United Kingdom, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is represented by a Lieutenant Governor. The island is not part of the United Kingdom, but its foreign relations and defence are the responsibility of the UK Government. Although the United Kingdom does not usually interfere in the island's domestic matters, its "good government" is ultimately the responsibility of the Crown (i.e., in practice, the Government of the United Kingdom).
The island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC. It began to be influenced by Gaelic culture in the 5th century AD, and the Manx language, a branch of the Gaelic languages, gradually emerged. In the 9th century, the Norse began to settle there. A Norse-Gaelic culture arose and the island came under Norse control. In 1266, the island became part of Scotland as formalised by the Treaty of Perth. After a period of alternating rule by the kings of Scotland and England, the island came under the feudal overlordship of the English Crown in 1399. The lordship revested into the British Crown in 1764 but the island never became part of Great Britain or its successor the United Kingdom and retained its status as an internally self-governing Crown dependency.
The Isle of Man is located in the middle of the northern Irish Sea, approximately equidistant from the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The closest land is southern Scotland. It is 52 kilometres (32 mi) long and, at its widest point, 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide. It has an area of around 572 square kilometres (221 sq mi). Besides the island of Mann itself, the political unit of the Isle of Man includes some nearby small islands: the seasonally inhabited Calf of Man, Chicken Rock on which stands an unmanned lighthouse, St Patrick's Isle and St Michael's Isle. Both of the latter are connected to the mainland by permanent roads/causeways.
Hills in the north and south are separated by a central valley. The extreme north is exceptionally flat, consisting mainly of deposits from glacial advances from western Scotland during colder times. There are more recently deposited shingle beaches at the Point of Ayre. The island has one mountain higher than 600 metres (2,000 ft), Snaefell, with a height of 620 metres (2,034 ft). According to an old saying, from the summit one can see six kingdoms: those of the Mann, Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, and Heaven. Some versions add a seventh kingdom, that of Northern Ireland, the Sea, or Neptune.
The Isle of Man is a low-tax economy with no capital gains tax, wealth tax, stamp duty, or inheritance tax and a top rate of income tax of 20%. A tax cap is in force; the maximum amount of tax payable by an individual is £115,000 or £230,000 for couples if they choose to have their incomes jointly assessed. The £115,000 tax cap equates to an assessable income of £589,550. 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 Island.
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