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Global Forum Praises Liechtenstein's Progress On Tax Compliance

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Global Forumís 2012 supplementary report has praised the measures implemented by the Liechtenstein government since publication of the country report last year, aimed at ensuring that the Principality is a stable and transparent financial and economic location.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Global Forum on transparency and information exchange in tax matters examines by means of Peer Reviews the adherence by member states to internationally accepted mutual assistance standards. This is achieved within the framework of two separate phases. The first phase considers whether or not national laws and international agreements are in line with specific criteria, while the second phase examines the effectiveness of information exchange in practice.

In its September 2011 country report on Liechtenstein, the Global Forum concluded that the Principality could enter the second phase of the Peer Review process provided that the government implements the key recommendations, namely that measures are taken to ensure compliance with international accounting standards and that steps are taken to increase the availability of ownership information for all relevant legal forms, found to be deficient in the phase one review.

According to the Liechtenstein government, Liechtenstein has, since publication of the 2011 country report, implemented all of the required initiatives.

To ensure successful completion of the phase one process, the government introduced standard accountancy provisions for all companies and legal entities, in particular for trusts, trust companies and institutions. Due to be adopted by lawmakers by the end of the year, the government also drafted a bill pertaining to a revision of bearer shares to guarantee compliance with international standards. The government also plans to further extend the countryís tax agreement network (double tax and tax information exchange agreements) and to ensure that nearly all concluded accords enter into force as swiftly as possible.

Commenting on the Global Forumís positive 2012 supplementary report, Liechtensteinís Prime Minister Klaus TschŁtscher emphasized that the review now gives the Principality further momentum for its initiated reforms, and motivation to continue in its efforts to become a stable and transparent financial and economic location.