Tax Evasion in Guatemala Reaches 7% of GDP

There is urgent need to strengthen the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT) with audit and control instruments.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tax evasion reached $ 2,500 million, and businessmen insist that before a tax reform is passed, increasing tax burden and affecting competitiveness in the country, it is required "to improve the fight against tax evasion and customs smuggling."

Sergio de la Torre, former president of the Coordinating Committee for Agriculture, Commerce, Industry and Finance (Cacif), said: "Hence the importance of approving the Anti-Evasion Law II initiative and the proposed exceptions to banking secrecy, which is in Congress, without increasing taxes. Just by allowing SAT to access bank accounts for tax verification purposes we will make a lot of progress in the fight against tax evasion."

Businessmen are also concerned by a possible negative economic impact of the coming election year in Guatemala, particularly the difficulty of making business decisions due to political uncertainty.



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Guatemala: Insistance on Regulating Banking Secrecy

November 2014

The new head of the Superintendency of Banks intends to resume the discussion in Congress of a bill which would regulate banking secrecy in the country by way of tax audits.

With the aim of improving tax controls, the Superintendency of Banks (SIB) seeks to reform national legislation for the regulation of banking secrecy in order to access "... Banking information of taxpayers, under guarantees of confidentiality."

Guatemala Seeks to Raise $58 Million with 'Anti-evasion Law'

April 2011

A new attempt is being made by the Álvaro Colom government to increase tax collection by enforcing the so-called 'Anti-evasion Law'.

The bill contains administrative measures to improve control over and auditing of existing taxes as well as standardize aspects that seek to combat tax and customs fraud and smuggling, according to a communication from the Finance Ministry.

Honduras: Anti-Evasion Law Faces Criticism

October 2010

The new law would empower the Tax Authority to investigate bank accounts, which currently can only be done by courts of law.

Leaders of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP) noted that the Anti-Evasion Law violates bank secrecy.

Within the criticism drawn by the bill, the executive director of COHEP, Armando Urtecho, told Tiempo.hn that they consider harmful, the law to grant an administrative officer the power to break bank secrecy, as it always has been prerogative of a judge and for concrete facts but not to be made public."

Fiscal Policies and Systems

March 2010

High taxes and evasion eroding economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.

New IDB study says governments must simplify tax systems and reduce evasion

Complex tax systems and widespread evasion are distorting investment decisions by companies in Latin America and the Caribbean, reducing the efficiency of markets and preventing governments from investing in infrastructure, education and other key public goods.

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