27/06/2023 - Published today during the 8th meeting of the Punta del Este Declaration Initiative held in Asunción, Paraguay, Tax Transparency in Latin America 2023 presents the latest progress achieved by 16 Latin American countries in tackling tax evasion and other illicit financial flows (IFFs) through transparency and exchange of information (EOI) for tax purposes. The event, which was opened by the President of Paraguay, Mr Mario Abdo Benítez, brings together participants from 13 countries and 7 partner organisations for two days of discussions on the latest developments and remaining challenges in the region. Representatives from the civil society will also participate in the launch event.
Latin American countries’ average tax-to-GDP ratio remains low in international comparison (20.7% in 2021 for the countries covered in the report, compared to the OECD average of 34.1%). To address the multiple challenges of tax evasion and IFFs, Tax Transparency in Latin America 2023 suggests practical strategies and action-oriented recommendations. The report underlines the crucial role of transparency and international co-operation in helping Latin American governments increase domestic resource mobilisation for the benefits of their citizens.
Major achievements in recent years include:
“I would like to commend the progress made by members of the Latin America Initiative in taking advantage of the exchange of information mechanisms at their full potential for tackling tax evasion and other forms of illicit financial flows,” said Oscar Orué, Vice Minister of Taxation of Paraguay and Chair of the Punta del Este Declaration Initiative. “Latin American countries will continue working together in the next years, including through the sharing of experiences to promote the use of the exchange of information infrastructures, so countries can fully translate their commitment to tax transparency into sustainable revenue gains.”
The report’s findings clearly demonstrate how Latin American jurisdictions that have developed and implemented a strategy to increase the use of EOI as a tool to support their audits and investigations gain tangible results. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) continues to design and promote specific programmes to improve capacities within Latin American tax administrations (e.g. Train the Trainer, Women Leaders in Tax Transparency). These efforts contribute to leveraging information-exchange infrastructures and ensure the full implementation and use of EOI, generating additional resources in a sustainable way.
“Within a few years, the Punta del Este Declaration Initiative has successfully led the ground for exchange of information to really take off in Latin America,” said Zayda Manatta, Head of the Global Forum Secretariat. “The Secretariat is fully engaged in helping all members achieve their objectives and will pursue and intensify its capacity-building efforts to support them in achieving their goals.”
Initially signed by four countries in November 2018, the Punta del Este Declaration now counts 15 signatories and includes all Latin American members of the Global Forum. It is currently supported by four development partners (Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation and World Bank).
The Global Forum is the leading multilateral body mandated to ensure that jurisdictions around the world adhere to and effectively implement both the exchange of information on request standard 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 capacity-building programme to support its members in implementing the standards and help tax authorities make the best use of cross-border information sharing channels.
For further information, journalists should contact Manal Corwin, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (+33 1 45 24 18 80), or Zayda Manatta, Head of Secretariat of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (+33 1 45 24 82 29).
The Global Forum capacity-building programme is supported by the following development partners: