CIAT participated in the 10th Meeting of the Latin American Initiative – Punta del Este Declaration

On May 30 and 31, 2024, under the auspices of the Spanish Cooperation Agency (AECID) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes held in the city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, the 10th Meeting of the Latin American Initiative, known as the “Punta del Este Declaration”. Its main purposes are to promote cooperation in all its forms, maximize the use of information exchanged for tax purposes and promote the use of information for other non-tax purposes (e.g. anti-money laundering, anti-corruption, customs offenses).

The meeting was opened by the Chairman of the Punta del Este Declaration, Mr. Oscar Orué, the Chairman of the Global Forum, Mr. Gaël Perraud, the Director of the AECID Training Center in Cartagena, Mr. Miguel González Guillón, a representative of the Inter-American Development Bank, Mr. Erivaldo Gomes and the Head of the Global Forum Secretariat, Ms. Zayda Manatta.

Participants included authorities and technical officials from tax administrations and other areas of government from 8 Latin American countries; and officials from AECID, Spain’s Institute of Fiscal Studies, IDB, International Financial Corporation (IFC), World Bank and CIAT.

The progress report of the Latin America Initiative was presented at the meeting. This report provides very encouraging data on the progress made by the countries in the use of information exchange tools and their impact. The participants also presented successful experiences of Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Paraguay and Panama in the exchange of information upon request, access to the last final beneficiary, use of automatic information exchange and use of information for other purposes. International organizations and institutions presented their initiatives to promote the topics inherent to the Punta del Este Declaration.

The CIAT, through its Director of International Cooperation and Taxation, Gonzalo Arias, had the opportunity to present its initiatives in the area of transparency (e.g., verification of tax identification numbers for optimal use of automatically exchanged information, the guide on trusts and complex structures, the initiative on access to public information -DIP-, the Manual on International Tax Planning Control, technical assistance and technical meetings, among others) and to moderate a session on strategies for the successful implementation of the exchange of information upon request. On this last issue, it was agreed to create a working group to prepare recommendations that may be useful for tax administrations to develop their own strategies.

Finally, it is noteworthy that on this occasion, Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Paraguay and Peru signed the Competent Authorities Agreement, within the framework of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, to make broad use of the information exchanged for tax purposes for other non-tax purposes.

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