WASHINGTON.- The United States government said it hopes to sign “soon” a new financial information exchange agreement with Argentina that will allow the government to more easily track and detect around 100,000 million dollars deposited in Argentine accounts in the abroad, a tool that the Minister of Economy, Serge Massaexpect to be able to use for reduce tax evasion and repatriate fresh dollars.
A Joe Biden administration official told THE NATION what was there “good progress” with the national government towards a reciprocal intergovernmental agreement under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or “FATCA”, for its acronym in English, which strengthens and accelerates the exchange of financial information between Argentina and the United States.
“We believe that good progress has been made in our negotiations with Argentina on a reciprocal FATCA Model 1A Intergovernmental Agreement, as well as with respect to the necessary revisions of the document, and we hope to sign it soon”, the official pointed out.
Argentina already shares financial information with the United States to detect funds from Argentines deposited in that country and reduce tax evasion, but the new agreement would allow queries to be carried out automatically, without having to submit a formal request for information, case by case. case. In the Government they believe that there are around US$100,000 million deposited in accounts abroad, and the information provided by the United States would help detect them more easily.
The new agreement was woven between the AFIP and the Internal Revenue Service of the United States (IRS). Massa brought the subject up on his first visit to the United States as head of the Palacio de Hacienda, and discussed them in his meeting with Democratic administration officials at the State Department, the White House and the Treasury Department where he was, for a few minutes, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Before that last meeting, sources from the Massa delegation had been very cautious about the chances that the new agreement would materialize, despite the fact that the technical work had already been completed. The last step was the final approval of the Treasury, a political decision that some experts saw as difficult to achieve.
But as the days went by, optimism began to gain ground, and after Massa’s meeting at the Treasury, the expectation turned decisively towards a definitive advance and the signing of the new agreement. Not only has the government of Joe Biden been permeable to the requests of the Argentine government and has sought to weave a fruitful relationship, but also the fight against tax evasion has been one of the great vectors of economic management led by Yellen.
The new agreement offers another clear sign of agreement between the Casa Rosada and the White House, and strengthens the link between Buenos Aires and Washington. But it also provides a gesture of trust, by allowing the government to access sensitive information that can be used for political purposes, and not just for the purpose of reducing tax evasion or encouraging the repatriation of funds that are outside the Argentine system.