Liechtenstein bank settles U.S. tax row

AFP-JIJI

Liechtenstein’s oldest bank said Tuesday it would pay nearly $25 million to settle a dispute with U.S. tax authorities over its suspected role in helping clients dodge U.S. taxes.

“Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG, Vaduz, (LLB Vaduz) has reached a definitive solution to the U.S. taxation dispute,” the bank said in a statement.

After months of negotiations, it said it had agreed to hand over $23.8 million to U.S. authorities, which in turn will refrain from any legal actions against the bank, it said.

The amount was, meanwhile, less than half the $47.2 million the bank said it had put aside in its 2012 and 2013 interim books aimed at settling the drawn-out row.

The U.S. Justice Department and a New York District Attorney’s office have been probing whether LLB Vaduz had used Liechtenstein’s banking secrecy practices to help U.S. clients violate U.S. tax and security laws.

In addition to dropping their investigation, the U.S. authorities had agreed not to impose any fines or criminal penalties on the bank, it said.