13/11/2020 – Organised by the Global Forum Secretariat and held virtually on 12-13 November 2020, the Punta del Este Declaration third annual meeting brought together more than 80 participants from 15 Latin American countries and 8 organisations. Representatives reflected on current challenges to fully implement and benefit from exchange of information (EOI), and highlighted its importance and other forms of administrative co-operation in supporting domestic resource mobilisation in these challenging times.
The meeting’s Statement of outcomes recognises the achievements in Latin America and paves the way forward. With a work plan for the period 2021-2023, a governance and a clear set of goals for its capacity-building activities, the Punta del Este Declaration Initiative is expected to bear even greater rewards for its members.
Ms Maria José Garde, Chair of the Global Forum, praised the outcome of the meeting: “Since the establishment of the Global Forum, the progress of Latin American jurisdictions towards transparency has been remarkable. They have demonstrated their commitment and considerable headway has been made. With a clear working plan to achieve the Punta del Este Declaration’s objectives, the 13 signatories will be able to fully benefit from EOI and accelerate their fight against illicit financial flows”.
Recent advances, such as Guatemala and Honduras joining the Punta del Este Declaration point to a positive outlook for transparency and EOI in Latin America. The implementation of beneficial ownership requirements and automatic exchange of information is also moving forward in the region.
The meeting allowed participants to take stock of the progress, discuss a broad range of topics and explore solutions to sustain the Initiative’s momentum. More specifically: (i) the recent international development in taxation, (ii) the current work on tax and crime, (iii) means to ensure more effective and timely access to beneficial ownership information, (iv) the relevance of cross-border assistance in tax collection, (v) the possibility to facilitate the use of exchanged information for non-tax purposes, (vi) the potential of automatic exchange of information and (vii) the effective use in the region of financial account information exchanged automatically.
Organisations represented at the meeting included the Federal Public Service Finance of Belgium, the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies, the Ministry of Finance of Spain, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Tax Administration of Norway and the World Bank Group.
The Global Forum is the leading multilateral body mandated to ensure that jurisdictions around the world adhere to and effectively implement both the standard of transparency and exchange of information on request and the standard of automatic exchange of information. These objectives are achieved through a robust monitoring and peer review process. The Global Forum also runs an extensive technical assistance programme to support its members in implementing the standards and help tax authorities make the best use of cross-border information sharing channels.
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