Thursday, July 30, 2009

Liechtenstein Pledges Greater Tax Openness

Earlier this spring, the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein pledged greater tax openness, under growing pressure from the member nations of the G-20. Nestled between the eastern edge of Switzerland and the westernmost tip of Austria, the tiny principality of just 35,000 inhabitants has long served as an international tax haven--much like its European neighbors Switzerland and Luxembourg. Yet Liechtenstein now pledges to follow OECD financial reporting standards, and the G-20 and the EU both hope that Switzerland and Luxembourg will follow suit.

. . . the French newspaper La Tribune reported that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development had added Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Singapore and Hong Kong to a list of uncooperative tax havens, which already includes the well-established havens of Liechtenstein, Andorra and Monaco. . . .

Banking secrecy was enshrined in law in Switzerland in the 1930s. . . .

“Switzerland is the big prize,” Willem Buiter, a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, wrote on his blog last year, because “unlike the other tax havens, it is a country rather than a dwarf-state and postage-stamp curiosity, and it is outside the E.U.,” therefore out of reach of European Union enforcers.

No comments:

Post a Comment