Bank Secrecy Act in Guatemala

The government wants to make progress in meeting OECD requirements in order to bring the country out of the list of "gray" countries regarding tax information exchange.

Monday, November 5, 2012

An article in Prensalibre.com reports that Pavel Centeno, finance minister, said that "Guatemala has not advanced in the work to meet all the demands of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), since one of the points pending is the opening of bank secrecy for tax issues, it risks staying on the gray list of non transparent countries. "

According to Centeno, the situation "will limit foreign investment", and he laments that "nearly 10 months after the installation of the current legislature the law has not been approved .... Centeno's concern has become more evident because the Constitutional Court suspended, on an interim basis, another tool for money management control, which provides that transactions amounting to Q30 thousand and above can only be made through banks. The Court ruled that the disposition which had been repealed remain in effect, that only Q50 thousand and upwards should be reported. "

The BSA has been rejected by the corporate sector. "The issue of banking secrecy is touted as being a requirement of the OECD, which is completely false, and we think what they are doing is looking to remove bank secrecy for tax purposes, to which we fully disagree ", explained Andres Castillo, president of the Coordinating Committee for Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (Cacif).



More on this topic

Guatemala To Sign its First Double Taxation Treaty

January 2012

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).

Panamanian Banks Rejects Tax Haven Accusation

November 2011

The Panama Banking Association has asked the government to respond to statements made by the French president and claim compensation for damage caused to the country.

Mario de Diego, executive vice president of the Panama Banking Association (ABP), said that if the concern of the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), "is that the Panamanian banking system is safeguarding funds originating from these countries, statistics show the opposite."

Guatemala At Risk of Being Considered a Tax Haven

August 2011

If Congress does not approve the bank secrecy law, the country will remain on list of countries which do not contribute to fiscal transparency.

In light of a visit by representatives of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Victor Mancilla, head of the Superintendency of Banks (SIB), reiterated to Congress the urgent need to pass the Law on Banks and Financial Groups, which would mean the elimination of bank secrecy and the need to sign agreements on tax information exchange with at least 12 countries.

Guatemala Wants Out of OECD’s Grey-List

April 2010

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.

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