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Austria Draws Curtain On Banking Secrecy

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Austria’s Finance Minister Josef Pröll has announced his intention to crack down on tax evaders, as the end of banking secrecy draws ever nearer.

According to Pröll, if the names of Austrians do indeed appear on the stolen tax data disc that Germany is eager to buy, then the government has resolved to act without delay. Pröll nevertheless remains sceptical about the purchase of stolen data by the state.

Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann has also emphasized his intention to exhaust every available legal means in the fight against tax evasion.

In a similar incident, when, two years ago, Germany bought stolen tax data from Liechtenstein, and subsequently forwarded the names of Austrian tax evaders to Vienna, the government recovered in the region of EUR12m in fines and back tax payments.

Finance Minister Pröll also took the opportunity to underline Austria’s commitment to cooperating in tax matters internationally, emphasizing the fact that Austria has now fully implemented the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s standards, and is providing more – and better – information than ever before. Indeed, banking secrecy is essentially a thing of the past for foreigners, he noted, given that fiscal information is exchanged with foreign tax authorities without recourse to legal proceedings.

Although Pröll confirmed that banking secrecy remains in place for Austrian nationals, he nevertheless explained that the tax authorities will be required to ascertain whether or not taxes are correctly being paid.

Pröll also announced that in future it will become increasingly harder to deposit money from criminal sources, as banks will be required to comprehensively report any suspicions. Greater powers will also be bestowed to the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (Geldwäschemeldestelle) and to the Financial Market Authority, he said.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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