The European Union and Liechtenstein have signed an agreement on the automatic exchange of financial account information in order to improve international tax compliance. The deal complies with the global standard for the automatic exchange of information OECD.
The agreement was signed by the minister of the European Council, Pierre Gramegna, and by Aurelia Frick, minister of foreign affairs, in the presence of the commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs of the EU, Pierre Moscovici.
EU and Liechtenstein will automatically exchange financial accounts information of their citizens. These measures will start in 2017 for the information collected in 2016. Tax administrations in the EU and in Liechtenstein will be able to: identify the taxpayers concerned, administer their tax laws in cross-border situations, measure the probability of tax evasion and avoid unnecessary further investigations.
This is an important step towards greater tax transparency in Europe but also it is important to clamp down on tax evasion and on tax fraud. From January Liechtenstein will have to apply strengthened measures equivalent to the EU laws.
A statement issued by the European Commission said “the enhanced information will help tax authorities to track down tax evaders, while also acting as a deterrent for those that hide income and assets abroad”.
There is also a similar agreement signed by EU and Switzerland in May, and negotiations are ongoing between the EU and Monaco, San Marino and Andorra.