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Principality of Liechtenstein is a sovereign country that doesn’t belong to the European Union and bordered by Austria and Switzerland. It is a modern jurisdiction with very good international investment programs. Liechtenstein is an offshore jurisdiction specialized in inheritance planning through its famous private foundations. Banking services of Liechtenstein are considered the best and most expensive in the world.
Liechtenstein maintains favorable tax laws for foreign investment in the country. Individuals and legal entities that do not reside in the country and whose incomes don´t not come from the territory of Liechtenstein are not obliged to pay tax. Investors who decide to register a company in Liechtenstein will enjoy a reduced tax rate of 12.5%. The obligatory taxes that a company in Liechtenstein will have to assume will be the corporate tax and VAT, there are no taxes for the repatriation of dividends, inheritances, donations and neither will it support any type of tax withholdings for subsequent years. Liechtenstein offers very simple solutions for tax savings as it has numerous tax treaties on double taxation.
Liechtenstein has signed the automatic exchange of information treaty that has entered into force on January 1 of 2017 and it has also signed 48 bilateral agreements of automatic exchange of information.
Automatic exchange of banking information agreement does not affect the fiscal status of the country, that is, Liechtenstein has programs to encourage foreign investment and considers that natural persons and companies not resident in Liechtenstein are not obliged to pay taxes or to submit any type of tax declaration. As we have mentioned before, the companies and the individuals residents in Cyprus would be the ones obliged to pay the tax. The treaty of automatic exchange of information is causing many problems between countries since it is NOT a treaty in which automatic information will be reported to each other or all to all, that is, each country will have to sign a bilateral information agreement automatically with another country. What does this mean? If, for example, Mexico is interested in exchanging information with Liechtenstein but Liechtenstein is not interested in reporting information to Mexico, there will be NO information exchange and clients privacy will be protected. Currently, 31.03.2018 Liechtenstein has signed 48 bilateral agreements on the automatic exchange of information, mainly with European Union countries. You can see the updated list of countries that have signed bilateral agreements to exchange information automatically with each other.
The countries most affected by the signature of the automatic exchange of information treaties are going to be the countries of high taxation and not the offshore jurisdictions. It is expected that high tax countries sign bilateral agreements with each other with the corresponding problem that these have: competition in investments, tax competition and abandonment of investments in other jurisdictions by countries with lower or no taxation allowing legal repatriation of them to the country of fiscal residence.
Using offshore jurisdictions what can be achieved is a reduction and postponement of tax payments. As a general rule high-tax countries force natural and legal persons to declare all the world's income. But what happens when you have an offshore company and you do not divide dividends or have gone bankrupt? For example, a person has a company and account in Liechtenstein, the company has generated annual benefits and the final beneficiary doesn’t want to repatriate them to his country of residence. So what happens? The answer is very simple: there will not be any kind of tax payment until the benefits obtained from Liechtenstein reach the territory of a tax residence of the final beneficiary. Therefore, if you are required to report benefits obtained from abroad, it is advisable to inform your tax agency so when you will be offered a tax advantage in your country of residence to repatriate them.
Liechtenstein is one of the best offshore jurisdictions to invest for the following reasons:
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