Liechtenstein clear on its accounts

Stephen Beard Aug 15, 2008
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Liechtenstein clear on its accounts

Stephen Beard Aug 15, 2008
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Stacey Vanek-Smith: So investors are finally making money again, and if you’ve doing really well in the markets and need a place to stash your cash far from the prying eyes of the IRS, certain countries in Europe will be happy to oblige. Places like Switzerland and Luxembourg, and the tiny alpine state of Liechtenstein. At least for now, as Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: Liechtenstein now wants to co-operate with foreign tax authorities. The plan: to pass on information about certain undeclared accounts.

The country is under international pressure. Earlier this year, it was battered by a major tax evasion scandal. A former Liechtenstein bank employee stole client data and sold it to the German government. Dozens of high profile prosecutions ensued.

Today’s news that Liechtenstein is cleaning up its act may send a ripple of concern through certain American circles. Haig Simonian is with the Financial Times:

Haig Simonian: Although you may think Liechtenstein, this tiny country nestled between Switzerland and Austria, an unknown maybe many Americans, possibly actually known to rather more Americans — and wealthy Americans — than you might imagine.

In a U.S. congressional hearing earlier this summer, it emerged that one Swiss bank alone, UBS, had 20,000 offshore American depositors.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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