Francisco Solorzano, chief of the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT), noted that"... 'this tool will only be used when there is reasonable doubt about the results of the processes or execution of plans and mass selective control'."
The Superintendency of Securities may provide access to bank information when investigations because of breaches are carried out in the stock market.
The decree took effect on December 17, 2016, and states that when the Superintendency of Securities (SMV) requires information on bank depositors and liabilities, this will be requested through the Superintendency of Banksof Panama. In addition, the two regulators signed a memorandum of understandingto facilitate exchange of information.
In January 2017 a rule will come into effect which allows the lifting of bank secrecy by court order at the request of the Tax Administration.
Decree 37-2016 Law to strengthen fiscal transparency and governance for the SAT was published today in Diario de Centroamerica, along with the dates for when each of the amendments adopted in the reform becomes effective.
The tax authority is insisting on the impossibility of complying with information exchange agreements with other countries if banking secrecy is not eliminated for tax purposes.
Amid the discussion in Congress of the draft Law for Strengthening Fiscal Transparency and Governance of the Tax Administration, the superintendent Solórzano Foppa reemphasized the need to allow access to taxpayers' tax information for tax purposes by means of authorization given by a judge. He also announced that preparations are being made for "... a new control plan with which an attempt will be made to recover the power to collect taxes on income earned outside of Guatemala that are transferred to offshore accounts."
The pressure being put on Panama in the international context has finally forced it to make agreements to exchange tax information, with the most noteworthy being the agreement with Colombia because of the negative implications it has for the Panamanian banking sector.
Prensa.com reports that "...According to the Superintendency of Banks of Panama, at the end of 2015, deposits in the international banking center of Panama from Colombia totaled $6.251 billion, with the South American country being the main center for funds originating from foreign sources. "
The tax authorities would be able to access taxpayers banking information through an order issued by a qualified judge.
The business sector has not opposed the proposal to remove bank secrecy, either in the past nor in the present, provided it is done through means of an order issued by a qualified judge and a substantiated request made by the tax authority.
The International Banking Center reported $118 billion in assets in 2015, $10 billion more than was recorded in 2014.
In 2015 the International Banking Center in Panama reported total assets in the order of $118,477 million, 9.2% more than the amount reached in 2014, when the figure reached $108,419 million, according to figures from the Superintendency of Banks in Panama.
Reviewing the regulation on banking secrecy and replacing the board of the SAT with a new Administrative Tax and Customs Tribunal are part of the proposals to improve tax administration in the country.
From a statement issued by the Central Institute for Fiscal Studies (Icefi):
Guatemala.- During the session of the Committee on Public Finance and Currency of the Congress, on February 19, the Icefi participated in a specific working session to discuss amendments to the Organic Law of the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT ), during which the final version of the Diagnostic was released and a roadmap proposed for effective tax administration.
The Inter-American Development Bank has warned that it will make conditional a loan of $419 million for the 2016 on restructuring of the Tax Administration and adoption of anti-corruption measures.
The loans granted by institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank to Guatemala are in danger if key transparency aspects relating to the functioning of the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT) are not restructured, as well as the Law on Procurement and Contracting State.
If there are doubts about the management of money of political parties in Costa Rica, the banking and tax secrecy of donors and suppliers will be lifted.
An article on Nacion.com reports that "... The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) will lift banking and tax secrecy for donors to political parties in order to verify their economic solvency, in light of suspicions about the origin of their resources. The measure aims to prevent the use of illicit money during election campaigns and also applies to any person who gives or receives money from a group, such as lenders, suppliers and bondholders of political debt. "
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