Liechtenstein: UK’s Latest Offshore ‘Darling’.

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( Prime Minister Dr Klaus Tschütscher and Exchequer Secretary David Gauke, MP)

Citing a desire to remove obstacles to investment and other cross-border activity while providing increased certainty to businesses about their tax treatment, Exchequer Secretary David Gauke, MP today signed a tax treaty with the Principality of Liechtenstein.

This as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) lauded the success of its Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility which so far has netted £363m in settled tax bills with more than 2,400 UK tax payers signed up for the facility.

In addition Dr Klaus Tschütscher, Prime Minister of the Principality of Liechtenstein signed the third Joint Declaration on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in tax matters. This further clarifies the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility [HMRC] and the Taxpayer Assistance and Compliance Programme [Liechtenstein] arrangements between the parties.

It makes available a Single Charge Rate of 50 per cent that Liechtenstein investors might apply to calculate undisclosed UK tax liabilities for the 2010/11 tax year.

Reasonable ‘quid pro quo’ then for the UK to conclude its first economic instrument with one of Europe’s best known tax havens in exchange for a facility originally only expected to attract 2,000 participants and produce £1billion but now projected to yield £3billion in taxes by 2016 from a much larger number of people.

The UK already has longstanding tax treaties Europe’s other tax havens including Luxembourg (1967), Netherlands (1935),Switzerland (1954) and Ireland (1926).

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