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Guatemala Demonstrates Commitment To Tax Transparency

by Leroy Baker,, New York

06 December 2012

Guatemala has become the second Central American country, after Costa Rica, to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, allowing it to be removed from the 'grey list' of countries that have not yet substantially implemented the internationally-agreed standard on transparency and information exchange.

Signing the Convention, Guatemala’s Vice-Minister of Public Finance, Dorval Carias said: “This will enable our tax administration to engage in effective exchange of information with a growing number of countries including some of Guatemala's most important trading partners. It also strengthens our tax system and sends a clear signal to the international community that Guatemala is committed to joining the network of countries that collaborate to fight international tax evasion."

At the signing ceremony, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Deputy Secretary-General Richard Boucher, congratulated Guatemala, stating: “This demonstrates the country’s strong commitment to advancing the international tax agenda both within Guatemala and across Central America. Guatemala’s example will encourage other Central American countries to join in this important area of international co-operation.”

The Multilateral Convention, developed jointly by the OECD and the Council of Europe, is the most comprehensive multilateral instrument available for international tax co-operation and exchange of information. It provides a multilateral basis for a wide variety of administrative assistance, including information exchange on request, automatic exchange of information, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in the collection of tax debts. Countries have been able to sign the amended treaty since June 2011. The agreement creates a legal framework to boost cooperation between governments to tackle tax evasion, and ensures compliance with national tax laws and respects the rights of taxpayers.

Current signatories to the amended Convention are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | tax compliance | tax avoidance | law | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | Guatemala | mutual assistance agreement

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