Colombia’s finance minister on Tuesday said the country’s new tax reform restricts Colombians’ access to offshore tax havens.
According to Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas, the current administration is studying ways to “stop once and for all” the problem of offshore accounting.
A bill currently before Congress seeks to “regulate corporate operations, entities or companies located in tax havens.”
Reports that InterBolsa — Colombia’s largest, failed brokerage firm — may have evaded taxes via a Curacao-based investment fund raised doubts about the government’s ability to keep corporations and persons from hiding money overseas.
Offshore accounting aside, Cardenas said that Colombia’s tax policy is both efficient and comprehensive and has led to increasingly higher revenues.
The minister pointed out that in 2010, when President Juan Manuel Santos took office, Colombia raised over $35 million in tax revenue. This year, Colombia will rake in close to $55 million in large part because of “better tax management [and] an economy that has generated profits.”
“The rise in collection is one reason why the Colombian economy is going through one of its best moments,” said Cardenas.
These increased revenues have allowed the Santos administration to tackle some of their top priorities such as combatting poverty and lowering the Gini coefficient.
“Each and every one of those extra tax revenues [have been used] to reduce our fiscal deficit,” said Cardenas. “The philosophy of this government is to find…resources [that] will reach Colombians who are in poverty.”
The Finance Minister went before congress on Tuesday to support the proposed tax reform claiming it would lead to a “generation of formal employment, achieving once and for all…[an] unemployment rate in the single digits.”