Liechtenstein signals willingness to share tax info | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 13.05.2013
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Liechtenstein signals willingness to share tax info

The small Alpine European country of Liechtenstein has said it's prepared to negotiate on an automatic exchange of tax-related information with the European Union. However, it said there would be no unconditional deal.

Following similar moves by Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein said Monday it was willing to cooperate with the European Union on a system allowing for the automatic exchange of taxation information.

Prime Minister Adrian Hasler told the German business newspaper "Handelsblatt" it didn't make much sense to ignore the general trend.

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"As a small country, it would be unrealistic to say we fundamentally refuse talks with the EU about an extended exchange of information," he said.

Same rules for all

But Hasler made a point of saying that there would be strings attached to a deal with the European Union. "An important question for us is how a bridge to tax compliance can be built for our clients, "he commented in his interview for "Handelsblatt."

The prime minister referred to a deal between his country and Britain under which account holders had been able to pay their taxes retroactively without legal punishment. Hasler said he was in favor of such a scheme across the EU.

He emphasized that a new standard for the automatic exchange of tax-related information had to be introduced globally, and not just in Europe. "If only the EU were to push ahead, a loss in competitiveness can capital outflows to regions outside the bloc must be feared," Hasler said.

hg/hc (AFP, Reuters)

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