Guatemala: Tax Calendar September 2016

Memorandum on "The lifting of Bank Secrecy" and payment schedule for obligations in August 2016.

Monday, September 5, 2016

From a Memorandum sent by Tezó and Associates:

The lifting of Bank Secrecy

"Bank Secrecy" is regulated by Article 63 of the Law on Banks and Financial Groups, under the title "Confidentiality of Operations". 

Article 63 of the Law on Banks and Financial Groups, on "Confidentiality of Operations" states: "Excepting obligations and duties established by the legislation on money laundering or other assets, directors, managers, legal representatives, officers and employees of banks, can not provide information, in any form, to any person, whether individual or a legal entity, either public or private, which would reveal the confidential character of the identity of depositors to banks, financial institutions and companies of a financial group as well as the information provided by individuals to these entities."

The same aforementioned legal basis derogates confidentiality, establishing the following "exempted from the restrictions referred to in the preceding paragraph is the information that banks must provide to the Monetary Board, the Bank of Guatemala and the Superintendency of Banks as well as information exchanged between banks and financial institutions.

More on this topic

Banking Secrecy: Controversy Comes Back

May 2019

During its last visit to Guatemala, the IMF warned that if banking secrecy is not lifted in the country, compliance with "international transparency treaties" could be undermined.

After the last visit of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Guatemala, the international organization warned that reversing the decrease in tax collection involves strengthening the control of large taxpayers, improving the use of tax information to reduce non-compliance, reallocating resources to risk-based audits, and reconsidering the lifting of bank secrecy for tax auditing purposes.

Banking Secrecy Back on the Table

August 2017

A bill that is being discussed in the Congress of Costa Rica would allow the tax authority to lift bank secrecy for companies without needing authorization from a judge.

The bill proposed by MPs of the Frente Amplio party includes a fine of between three and 100 base salaries, for any financial institution that refuses to provide information to the Tax Department or who delivers it outside of the required deadlines.

Guatemala: Access to Companies Banking Information

January 2017

In February a law comes into force authorizing the lifting of bank secrecy of companies and individuals with a court order at the request of tax authorities.

Banks are preparing for the entry into force of legislation in February, modifying their processes in order to respond more quickly to requests from the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT).

Guatemala: Access to Companies Banking Information

August 2016

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.

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