Guatemalan ministers have agreed to changes to bill 4326 to amend the Tax Code and the Law on Banks and Financial Groups.
This initiative aims to facilitate access to information relating to taxpayers bank accounts by the Tax Authority (SAT). As it stands, the bill does not meet standards set by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in order for it to leave the gray list of tax havens.
For this reason, ministers agreed that for the last week of June there will be a draft to replace bill 4326, reported elperiodico.com.gt.
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Pressured by OECD, the Government of Costa Rica is taking steps to update its regulations in order to comply with international standards.
A bill presented in the legislative introduces changes to enable tax information sharing with other nations.
“With the reform, tax authorities may demand information on economic transactions from more entities, not just banks”, reported Univision.com.
The country has exchanged texts with seven countries to sign double taxation agreements.
Additionally, the Public Finances Ministry has invited Pascal Saint-Amans, head of the Tax Transparency Forum at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to visit the country.
In January, the first Convention of Tax Information Exchange could be signed with Australia.
In order for this convention, and others are under negotiation, to be implemented, Congress needs to approve the banking secrecy law, which would allow access to accounts relating to tax matters, a requirement of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The president of the central bank said that this would prevent Guatemala from being regarded internationally as a tax haven.
This was explained by Edgar Barquín, president of the Bank of Guatemala (Banguat). He added that approval next year in the U.S. of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Facta) will be incompatible with Guatemala where there is no law to release bank secrecy.