Tax Information: Pending Matter Involved in Controversy

Arguing that it does not comply with the standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, the OECD evaluated Guatemala negatively and recommended working on direct access to taxpayers' banking information.

Friday, August 2, 2019

As planned, following the temporary suspension by the Constitutional Court (CC) of the article of law facilitating access to taxpayers' bank information, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) decided to include Guatemala in the list of countries that do not comply with their fiscal information commitments.

The issue of the suspension of access to banking information has been the subject of controversy, since at the beginning of May, during the IMF visit, the agency also pronounced itself, affirming that the current situation, in addition to weakening the collection, could undermine Guatemala's compliance with international transparency treaties.

Juan Sebastián Blas, director of Analysis and Fiscal Policy at the Ministry of Finance, told that "... two steps were downgraded in the (investment) rating for non-compliance and 'so far the final document is being awaited'. The rating is 'non-compliant'. The actions of the CC on Article 30 "C" of the Tax Code had a direct impact on access to banking information."

You may be interested in "Banking Secrecy: Controversy Comes Back

Blas added that "... We had met the international standard in 2016, and now the qualification is that it does not meet the international standard in the exchange of information.

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Court Decision Eliminates Bank Secrecy

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One year after the suspension of taxpayers' access to bank information for tax purposes, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court ruled definitively and revoked the suspension.

The issue had been on hold since August 2018, when the country's highest court temporarily suspended the article of the law that in Guatemala granted companies access to banking information with a court order at the request of the tax authorities.

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In August 2018, the article of the law that in Guatemala facilitated access to banking information of companies with a court order at the request of the tax authorities was temporarily suspended.

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The tax authority insists that Congress approve the changes to the Tax Code and the Banking Law so that regulated entities provide information to the SAT for tax purposes.

The request by the department of the Superintendency of Tax Administration to Congress aims not only to improve monitoring tools and tax revenues, but also meet one of the conditions required by the OECD for removal from the organization's.gray list.

Guatemala Amends Bank Secrecy Laws

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The aim is to provide the Tax Authority with access to taxpayers bank accounts in order to comply with parameters of the OECD.

Guatemalan ministers have agreed to changes to bill 4326 to amend the Tax Code and the Law on Banks and Financial Groups.

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