U.S. to Discuss Tax Treaty, Information Sharing With Argentina

  • $500 billion estimated held abroad by Argentine tax evaders
  • Countries look to facilitate exchange of tax information

The U.S. will discuss a bilateral tax treaty that will allow for the exchange of tax information with Argentina’s Finance Ministry, said U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

The U.S Treasury and Argentina’s tax agency will soon begin assessing the country’s ability to receive tax information on Argentine residents in the U.S. so the process can be expedited, Lew said in Buenos Aires. The U.S. Treasury has invited representatives of Argentina’s Treasury to begin consultations next week and will also discuss its efforts to combat money laundering through increased information sharing, including by giving technical assistance to Argentina’s financial crimes investigations unit.

A tax sharing agreement would come amid Argentina’s push to persuade tax evaders to declare an estimated $500 billion of assets held abroad in a tax amnesty plan. The country has looked to increased tax sharing agreements among countries, such as one by member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an accord to which the U.S. is not a participant, to promote Argentines’ participation in the plan.

"We’re looking at the possibility of advancing our coordination on tax issues, with the idea of allowing an automatic exchange of information among countries, something which is of essential importance at this time in which we’re advancing on a new fiscal transparency regime approved by congress," Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said in a joint event with Lew in Buenos Aires.

Tax evaders have until March 31 of next year to participate by buying certain government bonds, investing in closed-end mutual funds or paying a penalty of as much as 15 percent.

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