STEP LatAm News Digest wrap-up – June’s top stories


Want to know why FIFA and FATCA were big news items in the Latin American private wealth sector last month? Welcome to the wrap-up of the top five most popular stories in the STEP LatAm News Digest throughout June 2015. In case you missed them, here are the worldwide industry news stories most viewed by our readers.

Effect of signing up to US FATCA: Law firm Posse Herrera Ruiz explains the effect of Colombia’s accession to the US’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Starting in June, the two countries will automatically exchange tax information on a monthly basis: the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will share tax information about Colombian residents who have bank accounts in the US (including names, tax ID numbers and income or dividends paid into their accounts) to Colombia’s tax authority (Sp: Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales) and Colombian financial institutions will share the same information with the US when the accountholders are US taxpayers.

Latin American countries investigate FIFA officials: Brazil, Costa Rica and Argentina have opened domestic investigations into possible tax evasion, money laundering and bribery allegedly committed by current and former officials of football associations. Costa Rica and Argentina are actively supporting a US investigation into the matter.

Colombia and US sign FATCA IGA: Colombia has signed a Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the US. The agreement is intended to combat offshore tax evasion by establishing the exchange of information between the two countries. It will also enable information about US taxpayers in Colombia to be referred by financial institutions to the country’s tax authority (Sp: Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales de Colombia, DIAN).

There’s gold offshore: Mark Bridges TEP considers the future of offshore tax planning.

Foreign tax exemptions disallowed: Panama’s Varela government enacted Law 27 in May 2015, introducing important fiscal reforms. Non-residents’ income from Panamanian public bodies, non-taxpayers and loss-making companies are now subject to withholding tax, and there is no exemption from Panamanian withholding tax if the ultimate recipient of the income can claim tax credits in their country of residence.

The STEP Industry News Digests provide a round-up of relevant industry news for trust and estate practitioners and other professionals in the wealth management sector. They provide brief summaries of topical news stories gathered from news providers internationally, providing a quick reference for busy practitioners to all the relevant news and issues. STEP’s news digest services include twice weekly UK and International editions as well as a bi-weekly North America Digest (focusing on the US, Canada and Mexico), and a Latin America Digest.

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Follow @STEPLatAm for regular industry news across the region.

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