Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Costa Rica: Bank Secrecy Under Discussion

Ministerio de Hacienda (Ministry of Finance) building downtown San José
Ministerio de Hacienda (Ministry of Finance) building downtown San José

QCOSTARICA – An initiative that is being discussed in the Legislative Assembly would lift bank secrecy with regards to tax matters, without the need for an order to be given by a judge

Reform to the Reforma al Código de Normas y Procedimientos Tributarios (Code of Tax Rules and Procedures) would allow tax authorities to access client’s bank information, if needed. This amendment is part of the requirements for the country to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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Legislator Johnny Leiva, of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), told that “… The initiative could jeopardize the privacy of individuals and could be used for illicit purposes, because information could be disclosed for any reason. This would be different if an investigation were involved, but in this case, it would not even be necessary. ”

For his part, legislator and chairman of the commission, Otton Solís, added “… The project could be considered a kind of agreement, where budgetary authorities in other countries request, with a detailed justification submitted in advance, the lifting of bank secrecy. This would be for cases such as investigations into crimes like drug trafficking or tax evasion. ”


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