Exchange of information with the US on Argentines’ bank accounts: the reasons that could stop the agreement

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The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was enacted in 2010 by the United States Congress to address non-compliance by US taxpayers using foreign accounts. It is the basic concept behind the agreements signed between the United States and 113 countries. Given the large number of agreements with countries with high, medium and low economic development, It is surprising that Argentina is not included in that list.

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Clarione talked to the lawyer Martin Litwaktax specialist, based in the United States.

In his view, “it is a simple agreement to implement, there would be no reason in principle not to sign an agreement between the United States and Argentina”.

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– What would be the reason why Argentina has not yet joined that long list of countries that have signed the FACTA.

– The United States places special emphasis on fiscal secrecy is respected and this includes all taxpayers’ financial information. And Argentina is not exactly characterized by this.

– Can it become an insurmountable obstacle?

– We need to see how Argentine officials convince their American counterparts. But Argentina has a new record of violation in terms of protecting taxpayers’ information. The list with the citizens who joined the money laundering implemented during Mauricio Macri’s government was posted on a blog the week after money laundering ended. The same happened with those who had bought future dollar in the months preceding the expiry of the mandate of Cristina Kirchner. Even what is known as the “Cause Falciani”, the former HSBC employee in Geneva, Switzerland, who copied data from 130,000 secret accounts in which billions of dollars and undeclared euros rested. Argentine justice initiated legal proceedings based on this information (such as former HSBC Argentina boss Gabriel Martino) in which he was ultimately fired. In short, Argentina does not have an impeccable record in that of preserving fiscal secrecy.

– If the agreement is finally signed, what can happen to Argentine taxpayers who have accounts in the United States, both in banks and in financial intermediaries?

– That’s the deal once a year, the IRS (the US AFIP) passes a list with the account numbers and first and last name of the holder of that account, who opening it in his name has declared that he does not reside in the United States. If someone has opened an account and has not declared it, they will have to deal with the AFIP complaint. In any case, I insist, the negotiations, as can be seen on the Treasury website, have different degrees of advancement and are classified as such: the furthest from leading to an agreement is “in negotiation”, then follows “substantially in agreement “. , then “signed” and finally “in execution”. As far as I know, Argentina is not, today, in any of these categories.

– What interest could the United States have in signing this agreement?

– I don’t think your interests are directly related to FATCA. Yes, it could be for political reasons, related, for example, to a vote in a multilateral organization.

Source: Clarin

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