Mexico’s tax agency, the Tributary Administration Service(Servicio de AdministraciónTributaria), is looking more closely for tax evaders who stash their secret funds abroad.
Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena, who oversees the agency, said Mexico is negotiating with 11 entities that are believed to be havens for offshore accounts, including the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Aruba, to establish agreements over exchange of information. Ortiz Mena told El Universal that Mexico has already renegotiated agreements with countries such as Switzerland, Singapore and Colombia to bolster their access to information related to offshore accounts.
Governments around the world, including the United States, have stepped up their efforts to track down tax evaders who set up such funds to avoid having to pay taxes in their own countries. The current economic crisis appears to be a factor in the additional scrutiny over tax revenue as governments struggle to meet budget shortfalls and pay for other social service needs.
In Mexico, residents have indicated they are willing to pay additional taxes as long as there is greater transparency that the government is properly using the funds.Findings by the National Survey of the Cabinet of Strategic Communication has found that as many as 32.5% of Mexicans would accept higher sales taxes if there was better access to how the money was being spent. If this group is added to the number of people who support higher taxes in general – 23% – the survey findings reveal that 55.5% of Mexicans would go along with taxes, compared to 40% who reject more taxes. The survey results came from 16,000 interviews throughout the country.
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Arteaga, Jose Manuel. “El SAT vaporevasores con cuentas en paraisosfiscales.” El Universal August 28, 2009.