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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Peer Review Report Phase 1 Legal and Regulatory Framework - Liechtenstein

This report for Liechtenstein has been published on 12 Sep 2011. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Joint stock companies, limited partnerships with share capital, co-operatives, Societas Europaea, trusts and trust enterprises are able to issue bearer shares, bearer bonds and trust certificates and there are currently insufficient mechanisms in place that ensure the availability of information allowing for identification of their owners.  Liechtenstein should take necessary measures to ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to identify the owners of bearer shares in all instances. 
There are insufficient mechanisms for ensuring that companies keep share registers and update them.  Appropriate penalties should be provided for companies that fail to maintain share registers up to date and Liechtenstein should ensure that it can access information in these registers in a timely fashion. 
Information regarding the ownership of foreign companies that are resident for tax purposes in Liechtenstein may, under certain circumstances, not be available.  Liechtenstein should ensure that identity information on the owners of foreign companies that are resident for tax purposes in Liechtenstein is available to its competent authority. 
Information on beneficiaries with less than a 25% interest in trusts and trust enterprises is not required to be maintained.  Liechtenstein should ensure that information is maintained on all beneficiaries and settlor of trusts and trust enterprises. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Liechtenstein’s laws do not ensure that full accounting records are kept for trusts, trusts enterprises and establishments which are not carrying on commercial activities, nor for some forms of companies which may qualify for special status under tax laws.  Liechtenstein should ensure that accounting records to the standards are kept in respect of all relevant entities and arrangements. Appropriate penalties should be provided for failure to maintain such records and Liechtenstein should ensure that it can access these records in a timely fashion. 
Liechtenstein’s laws do not ensure that underlying documentation is kept by: trusts, trust enterprises, establishments not carrying on commercial activities and some forms of companies which may qualify for special status under tax laws.  Liechtenstein should amend relevant legislation to ensure that underlying documentation to the standard is kept by all relevant entities and that they retain accounting records and underlying documentation for a minimum five year period. 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   There is no exception to the requirement that the person concerned be given prior notification before the information is exchanged with an EOI partner.  It is recommended that certain exceptions from prior notification be permitted (e.g. in cases in which the information requested is of a very urgent nature or the notification is likely to undermine the chance of the success of the investigation conducted by the requesting jurisdiction). 
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Some of Liechtenstein’s agreements are not to the international standard.  It is recommended that Liechtenstein bring these agreements up to the international standard as soon as practicable. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Liechtenstein has not on all occasions responded to or progressed negotiations to establish EOI arrangements when requested to do so.  Liechtenstein should enter into exchange of information agreements, regardless of their form, with all partners who are interested in entering into an information exchange arrangement with it and progress its negotiations effectively. 
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   The absence of exceptions to the requirement in the TIEAs with Andorra and Antigua and Barbuda to notify taxpayers has the potential to prevent or delay the exchange of information by Liechtenstein.  It is recommended that the TIEAs with Andorra and Antigua and Barbuda be updated to allow exceptions to the requirement to notify taxpayers 
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.