Guyana and the United States have formally signed a governmental agreement to combat offshore tax evasion and ensure the implementation of the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
FATCA is a 2010 United States federal law that requires all non-US or foreign financial institutions to report on a US person assets abroad.
Guyana’s Finance Minister Winston Jordan described the formal signing of the governmental agreement as historic and significant.
He believes Guyana’s commitment to this automatic exchange of information will not only be beneficial the United States but Guyana too.
He said the agreement will allow for the detecting and deterring of any abuse of the tax system in both countries.
“We have always had tax information exchange with the Americans… it’s been in the law for over 25 years.”
Jordan said these types of arrangements are important because if left unchecked tax evasion can lead to macroeconomic instability and financial collapse.
“This signing represents the beginning of a new phase in tax and money laundering matters,” Jordan said as he reiterated the Guyana Government’s commitment to fighting attempts to evade taxes using offshore banking regimes.
Minister Jordan told the US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway that in order for Guyana to lend support it has already undertaken a number of measures to improve domestic legislation.
“We are not unaware of the burden and human cost placed on Guyana to implement these regulations… we will need technical assistance,” Jordan added.
Ambassador Holloway welcomed Guyana’s commitment to improving international tax compliance.
He underscored the importance of access to information from other countries for the enforcement of domestic tax laws.
Holloway was happy that the two countries have formalized what have been an ongoing trend of cooperation on tax related matters which commenced under the previous People’s Progressive Party administration.