EUROsociAL advises Costa Rica's Ministry of Finance on international best practices on transparency and information exchange for tax purposes
Costa Rica moves forward in the creation of a Register of Shareholders
Coordinated by the Public Finance area of EUROsociAL, a programme funded by the European Union, there was an expert advisory mission from 4th to 8th April 2016 to the Costa Rican Ministry of Finance regarding international best practices on transparency and information exchange for tax purposes.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Information Exchange for Tax Purposes brings together jurisdictions, both OECD members and non-members, that have made a commitment to transparency and information exchange and worked jointly to develop international standards on this subject. The Forum currently has more than 132 members and is the key international body for guaranteeing application of the standards agreed to at the international level regarding transparency and information exchange in the area of taxation. Through a process of in-depth review, the Global Forum exercises oversight to ensure that its members fully apply the rules they have promised to put into practice.
Costa Rica became a member of the Global Forum on Transparency and Information Exchange for Tax Purposes in 2010. In the latest evaluation by the Global Forum (October 2015), Costa Rica was rated overall as “partially compliant”, with a rating of “non-compliant” in some specific aspects. The aspects indicated as being non-compliant were incorporated as motions in the draft anti-tax evasion law. In general terms, the international standards require compliance in three areas: i) availability of information and records; ii) access to this information by the government; and iii) the existence of exchange mechanisms.
In this context, the Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica requested the support of EUROsociAL to learn international best practices used by tax administrations to collect and access information on the beneficial owners of legal entities, best practices for guaranteeing proper use of taxpayer information by tax administrations, and recommendations on computer security within tax administrations.
To do so, from 4th to 8th April, there was an expert advisory mission to San José by experts from Spain's State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT): María Rosado Bayón, Begoña Gómez Jiménez, and Juan Carlos Román Cortés. Employees of the Directorate-General of Taxation and Directorate-General of Information and Information and Communication of the Ministry of Finance participated in the activity.
Similarly, on Wednesday, the 6th of April, the AEAT experts held a conference on “international best practices on transparency and information exchange for tax purposes”, with the participation of deputies and legislative advisers from the Legislative Assembly, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Head of Section for Cooperation of the European Union Delegation, Matilde Ceravolo, and members of the press.
It should be noted that on this same day the Commission of Tax Affairs of the Legislative Assembly reached an agreement for approval of the Register of Shareholders, one of the measures incorporated into the draft anti-tax evasion law, as a result of the Forum's evaluation of October 2015.
This activity is part of the "Voluntary Compliance with Tax Obligations" action of the EUROsociAL Programme, financed by the European Union and coordinated by FIIAPP, in which the AEAT and the Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations (CIAT) are acting as operational partners.