Much has happened in Liechtenstein in recent years with respect to corporate taxation. Since 2011, Liechtenstein (a member of the European Economic Area) has had an EU-compatible tax law, and since 2016 an agreement with the EU on the automatic exchange of information has been in force, Prime Minister Adrian Hasler said in an interview with the Tages-Anzeiger.
In 2018, the country will incorporate provisions into its tax law to prevent the abuse of dividend taxation and the deduction of interest on equity capital, thus addressing the last of the EU’s concerns.
“Against this backdrop, Liechtenstein was of the view that we belong to the group of countries that are regarded as compliant”.
This is why Liechtenstein reacted to the EU’s so-called “grey list”, which names the countries that, in the opinion of Brussels, still have room for improvement when it comes to corporate taxation.
“Our intervention sought to ensure that no grey list would be published,” explained Hasler. “And if it was, that Liechtenstein would be deemed compliant and not appear on the list.”
Brussels reacted different than expected and also added Switzerland, which did not originally figure on the list.
Adrian Hasler uses the interview to respond to an accusation by the NZZ am Sonntag that Liechtenstein “denounced” Switzerland in Brussels. This is not the case. To the contrary: Liechtenstein wants to continue to collaborate with Switzerland in tax matters.
“The past has shown that the development and support of common positions is not only meaningful but also effective,” Hasler told the Tages-Anzeiger.
Switzerland found itself on the grey list because cantons have zero taxation for holding companies. This would have been abolished with the Corporate Tax Reform III, but it failed at the ballots earlier this year.