Agreement Between the UK and Liechtenstein to Ensure Tax Compliance of British Clients

August 11th, 2009

The countries of Liechtenstein and the United Kingdom agreed to a tax information exchange treaty on August 11, 2009.  Attached is the summary of the Agreement.

Below are the many other documents which compose this treaty:

Liechtenstein Press Release about Agreement, PDF-Version (363 KB)

Agreement documents:

Below is the OECD release about the agreement:

OECD – Paris, 11 August 2009

Liechtenstein and UK Agree Package of Measures to Improve Tax Compliance

The OECD welcomes the announcement today of a package of measures between Liechtenstein and the United Kingdom intended to ensure effective exchange of information for tax purposes between the two countries and to address the important issue of undeclared funds in a cooperative way.

The measures include a tax information exchange agreement (“TIEA”) which allows for exchange of information, such as bank information, to OECD standards. This is the second such agreement entered into by Liechtenstein as it already has an agreement with the United States. Moreover, negotiations are continuing for agreements with a number of other countries.

Importantly, the measures also include the introduction by Liechtenstein of a five year taxpayer assistance and compliance program as well as the introduction by the United Kingdom Revenue of a five year special disclosure facility for persons wishing to regularize their UK tax affairs. At the end of the five year period it is the intention of both parties that there will be no United Kingdom taxpayers using the laws of Liechtenstein to disguise their liability to United Kingdom tax and the TIEA will become fully operational.

Commenting on the new measures Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration said “The announcement shows that the era of bank secrecy as a shield for tax evaders is coming to an end. This confirms Liechtenstein’s willingness to position itself as a legitimate financial center which is prepared to compete on the basis of the services that it provides.

It also shows that OECD countries are increasingly recognizing the benefits in this changing environment of voluntary compliance strategies that encourage taxpayers to come forward and voluntary declare income and assets held offshore which have not been disclosed to their home tax authorities.

I am particularly pleased about the innovative and co-operative design of this joint UK-Liechtenstein initiative which may well serve as a model for other countries.”


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