This past July 15, the Uruguayan Executive Power sent to Congress a Bill of law with modifications to the banking secrecy and tax transparency norms. With this Bill the Uruguayan government not only set the amendments to the banking secrecy and tax norms but also set a series of norms regarding the registry of final beneficiaries and holders of registered shares or equity interest.
In this sense, the Project sets that the entities that are residents in Uruguay, including the sociedades anónimas (stock companies) with registered shares or bearer shares, trusts, investment funds or nonresident entities that act under the figure of permanent establishment or that have their head offices in Uruguay, are obliged to identify their final beneficiaries and the holders of the registered shares or equity interest and register said information in a record that will be kept for such purpose by the Central Bank of Uruguay. The final beneficiary is that physical person that either directly or indirectly holds at least 15% of the capital stock or of the voting rights, or that by other means exercises the final control of a corporation; this control may also be exercised through a chain of title. The holders of the registered shares must communicate in addition to the identification data of the holders, their interest percentages.
However, partnerships, agricultural, civil or de facto companies that are composed exclusively by final beneficiaries, as well as the corporations that are listed in local or foreign stock exchanges, investment funds, condominiums, community properties and concubinages are exempted from the obligation to provide identification.
The Executive Power will set the compliance terms of this obligation; however, they may not exceed the following dates:
Nevertheless, the Project proposes for this Registry to start on January 1, 2017.
The entities that will have access to the information existing in said Registry will be the Tax Administration Department (DGI, for its initials in Spanish), the National Secretary’s Office against the Money Laundering, Judicial Power, Public Transparency and Ethics Board, and any other entity expressly authorized in writing by the registered entity.
As for the sanctions for the failure to comply with this obligation, the Bill stipulates the following:
Image: Francesco Gallarotti
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