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Guatemala Amends Bank Secrecy Laws, But Stays on Grey List of Tax Havens

Article Summary:

New tax laws in Guatemala aim to provide the Tax Authority with access to taxpayers bank accounts in order to comply with parameters of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) however, the law does not meet the standards to remove Guatemala from the grey list of tax havens as determined by OECD.

Photo Credit: El Periodico

Original Article Text From El Periodico via Google Translate :

Guatemala Amends Bank Secrecy Laws

The bill, whose purpose is to facilitate access to bank accounts of taxpayers by the Tax Authority (SAT), does not meet international standards necessary to leave the gray list of tax havens produced the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Because of this, Members agreed that for the last week of June there will be a draft to replace the 4326 bill to amend the Tax Code and the Law on Banks and Financial Groups.

Yesterday installed the technical committee that will make the new proposal could be submitted by the Transparency Commission of Congress to conclude in the near term with the work that has taken three years of discussion.

The technical committee involved representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the SAT, the Bank of Guatemala, the Superintendency of Banks and members of the Transparency Commission.

Dorval Carias, vice minister of Finance, explained that the proposal under discussion Congress, which was approved on first reading, fails to meet the standard because they do not set a deadline for the verifier judge resolved to grant access taxpayer’s bank information to the SAT.

Plus it does not provide access to detailed information on bank accounts offshore (off shore) operating in the country, Carias said.

The SAT share this view because, to tell the planning manager, Manfred Chocano, the collecting agency has 90 days to respond to requests for tax information exchange with other countries and would not be possible if a judge takes a longer time to solve.

Edgar Barquin, president of Banguat, said it would be unconstitutional to eliminate the participation of a judge to authorize access to bank accounts. “What you do is put a specific time to resolve,” he said.

Guatemala must modernize its legislation to meet the standards to combat money laundering and combating tax evasion establishing the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and so definitively out of the gray list in which was described.

Link to Original Article:

From El Periodico

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