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Argentina expects $100 billion as US will share bank details

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The United States and Argentina on Monday agreed that their tax authorities would automatically exchange data on citizens’ banking and investments in each other’s countries. The Buenos Aires government hopes this will result in an estimated $100 billion that Argentines have been trying to house in the United States.

Financial data is already shared between the two governments on a case-by-case basis, but this agreement should give tax authorities automatic access to information about such investments, whether they are made as individuals or through companies and trusts, Economy Minister Sergio Massa said.

The agreement seeks fiscal transparency and “strict justice” so that “the Argentine who pays his taxes, fulfills his obligations and strives every day to contribute to the sustainability of the state, is not cheated by those who find mechanisms of evasion tax havens” , Massa said.

The agreement, which will take effect in early 2023, was signed by Massa and US Ambassador Marc Stanley. Massa said it reflects mutual trust and cooperation and “opens a more mature chapter in the relationship” between the two nations.

A previous deal signed with the US in 2017 during Mauricio Macri’s presidency proved worthless as Argentines could circumvent reporting rules by transferring funds between US accounts and the Argentine government had to make specific requests, a process , who provided information about it only 68 citizens, said Massa.

With this agreement, the IRS and Argentina’s AFIP will automatically share such information, leading to a flood of data not only on cash in bank accounts and corporate profits, but also on rents earned from real estate investments, Massa said.

Massa called on Argentina’s Congress to pass legislation that would encourage citizens to send their money back to Argentina and punish those who fail to declare their wealth with the full severity of the law. The government hopes to have such a law ready by the end of the year.

Previous governments have made similar efforts in the past, and yet Argentina estimates $100 billion in undeclared assets are held in the US alone.

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