Colombia’s finance minister said on Tuesday that the United States will begin to share Colombians’ bank information in order to assist with curbing tax evasion.
According to the Ministry’s website, Colombians with US accounts with a balance of more that $50,000 will now see this information passed on to the National Tax and Customs Office (DIAN) in the South American country.
The information will not include the value of real estate but will aim to target those who are seeking to evade paying tax in their home country.
“The United States will begin to exchange information with DIAN. Every person liable to pay taxes in Colombia will be reported by the United States on the state of their financial assets in that country. Someone who has an account with an amount over $50,000 will be reported,” Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas explained.
“The automatic exchange of information with the United States on financial assets is the most important step in the fight against transnational evasion,” Cardenas said in a statement.
“It is essentially activity in the financial sector,” he added.
The minister also highlighted that there will be a significant increase in penalties for those who fail to declare income as the government seeks to close the net on tax evaders.
“The person who does not legalize it and who does not declare it, now has the possibility of doing so by paying a penalty of 13%. If it does not and the United States reports it, the DIAN receives that information and could impose fines of up to 170% of the value of the assets that it did not declare,” he said.
According to the official, in the next two weeks the DIAN will receive information on US financial assets concerning Colombians for 2014 and 2015.
Last year, following global embarrassment over The Panama Papers, the central American country agreed to share tax information with Colombia, tightening the net around its South American neighbor’s tax evaders.