Tag Archives: Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein Fact Check

In the NZZ, Simon Gemperli offers a fact check on Liechtenstein.

  • GDP per employed person: CHF 144’000 (Switzerland: CHF 125’000).
  • 10 countries are even smaller.
  • The people can vote the monarch out of office.
  • Banks contribute a quarter of GDP.


EU Tax Blacklist

The Economist reports (somewhat belated) about a blacklist put together by the European Union. The EU list aggregates lists of member states which applied different criteria and in parts were outdated. The Economist writes:

As pressure has mounted, however, Brussels has backtracked. At a meeting with the 30 ostracised states last month, it agreed to make clearer reference to efforts that some of them have made to adhere to new tax-transparency standards—though it is not clear if it will ditch the “non-co-operative” label.

Secession of Territory

The constitutions of 23 countries specify how territories may secede, according to Constitute. Here is the clause from the Liechtenstein constitution:

Individual communes have the right to secede from the State. A decision to initiate the secession procedure shall be taken by a majority of the citizens residing there who are entitled to vote. Secession shall be regulated by a law or, as the case may be, a treaty. In the latter event, a second ballot shall be held in the commune after the negotiations have been completed.

Double Taxation Agreement between Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Günther Meier reports in the NZZ that an updated double taxation agreement between Switzerland and Liechtenstein will come into effect. Switzerland rejected Liechtenstein’s proposal that would allow the principality to levy a source tax on the income of Swiss residents who work in Liechtenstein.

Options for British Tax Evaders to Come Clean

hus in the NZZ writes about options for British tax evaders to come clean about hidden financial assets abroad.

UK residents with Swiss assets who do not want their identity to be disclosed to the British authorities can pay taxes on their asset holdings to the Swiss authorities instead; the Swiss will (partly) hand them over to London. The relevant treaty between the UK and Switzerland was put into effect in 2013.

UK residents often prefer an alternative option, though, namely to “legalise” their world wide asset holdings using a treaty between Liechtenstein and the UK. According to that treaty, assets fully declared before the end of 2016 trigger a penalty of about 10% to 20% of the relevant asset holdings, as compensation for evaded taxes in the past. British tax payers can use this option as long as the fraction of their offshore assets that they invested in Liechtenstein is sufficiently high.