Liechtenstein Prince Accused of Tax Evasion
Prince Maximilian (Max) of Liechtenstein, the second son of Ruling Prince Hans-Adam, has been accused by the German tax authorities of evading taxes on investment income while resident in Germany, where he has lived since 2001. It is alleged that the Prince owes taxes on income from a foundation set up by the Liechtenstein ruling family.
Prince Max denies that he owes taxes to the German government but has pledged to pay if it is determined that he does in fact owe money. In a statement issued by his lawyers, he said, “I have always fulfilled my tax duties in Germany to the best of my knowledge. If, contrary to my conviction, it turns out that I owe taxes to the German state, I will meet my obligations promptly.”
Although the prince did not draw any payments from the foundation, he took out a loan against the foundation’s assets. His lawyers claim that this action does not incur taxes. The German tax authorities state that since most of the payments from the foundation went to him and since he is resident in Germany, he owes tax on the assets.
The ruling family is standing behind Prince Max. Prince Alois, his eldest brother and de facto ruler of Liechtenstein, claimed last year that Germany was attacking Liechtenstein by targeting the LGT Group, the ruling family’s bank of which Prince Max is CEO, in a probe of possible tax evasion. The German government is keen to close the tax loophole whereby rich Germans can use Liechtenstein as a tax haven to shelter large amounts of money from German taxes. The probe, which started last year, is based on data about LGT which was purchased by the German tax authorities from an ex-employee of the bank.Liechtenstein Royals
Tagged Finances, LGT Group, Prince Maximilian.