Photo via Finance Ministry

It will soon be much more difficult to hide assets in the United States. That was the message that Finance Minister Alfonso Prat Gay and U.S Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gave when they announced that Argentina and the United States will sign an agreement in order to share fiscal information.

Basically, it’s a message for Argentines who have undeclared assets in the United States: bring back your money while you can because once the whitewashing period ends, we will find you. It was a similar message espoused by AFIP head Alberto Abad earlier this month to those who have assets in Uruguay.

“To accelerate the process of sharing tax data on Argentine residents in the United States, I have invited Argentina’s [tax collecting agency] AFIP representatives to visit Treasury next week for consultations, and I have instructed Treasury’s senior tax negotiators to visit Buenos Aires in the near future,” Lew said.

The news comes at a time when the Macri administration is pushing citizens to bring in undeclared assets back to the country as part of a tax amnesty law. The measure allows for the legalization of assets, no questions asked, by paying a 10-percent penalty.

There were also plenty of pats on the back between Prat-Gay and Lew. First, Prat-Gay thanked Lew by highlighting how Washington helped Argentina during the first months of the Macri administration. In line with the numerous remarks made by U.S. officials regarding Argentina over the past months, Lew returned the praise, saying that “a prosperous Argentina that is fully participating in the global economy is not only in the interest of the Argentine people, but also the region, the United States and the international community,” he said.

Moreover, the secretary of Treasury went on to highlight the policies implemented by the Macri administration and said that “we recognize that policies to prepare the Argentine economy for more balanced and sustainable economic growth may be difficult.” And he added: “Rebuilding institutions, re-establishing credibility, improving governance, and implementing structural reforms will not happen overnight.”

Photo via Finance Ministry
Photo via Finance Ministry