As published on: step.org, Tuesday 11 July, 2023.
The report focuses on the 15 signatories and one observer of the Punta Del Este Declaration, under which the countries committed to improve tax transparency in Latin America by strengthening co-operation and AEOI between the different tax administrations. The 15 members of the declaration are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Bolivia is an observer.
The OECD highlights various key achievements, including the region identifying EUR27.8 billion additional revenue through AEOI, exchange of information on request (EOIR), voluntary disclosure programmes and offshore tax investigations. It also notes that 15 countries are signatories of the OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Three countries (Argentina, Costa Rica and Paraguay) have joined an “innovative” pilot project examining the use of information from tax-treaty channels for the anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-corruption fight.
The report points to this being an area for ongoing focus in 2023. The OECD seeks to broaden the number of countries participating in the project as it develops the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Wider Use of Treaty-Exchanged Information.
It also notes that 2023 will see Latin American countries supported in effectively implementing tax transparency standards. This support includes capacity-building around AEOI and EOIR infrastructures to ensure requirements around transparency of beneficial ownership are met.
“More Latin American countries should consider participating in AEOI and benefiting from it”, the report says. “The [Punte Del Este Declaration] Initiative will continue to carry out activities to raise awareness, build knowledge and provide technical support to help interested jurisdictions implement all the building blocks necessary to start AEOI in an appropriate timeframe.
“Latin American members already engaged in AEOI will be offered assistance to develop and implement effectively a sound compliance strategy to ensure that financial institutions comply with their [Common Reporting Standard] obligations.”