Argentina says $116.8 billion declared in record tax amnesty

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s government said on Tuesday $116.8 billion in assets were declared, mostly from abroad, in a record tax amnesty it hopes will help spur domestic investment and economic growth.

The government collected 148.6 billion pesos ($9.652 billion) in taxes and fees from the amnesty, revenue that will help the government meet its target for a fiscal deficit of 4.2 percent gross domestic product this year.

“We believe that the size and volume of assets that have been declared is a vote of confidence not only in this government but in the country,” Finance Minister Nicolas Dujovne said.

While some Argentines were encouraged to normalize their assets or bring their money back home by President Mauricio Macri’s business friendly reforms, others were pressured by banks facing stricter regulations.

According to the AFIP tax agency, 80 percent of assets declared were from abroad, mostly from the United States and Switzerland.

Analysts estimated that some $400 billion in undeclared funds were being held outside Argentina before the amnesty.

Other Latin American countries including Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia have held amnesties in recent years or are starting soon.

Reporting by Nicolas Misculin and Maximiliano Rizzi; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; editing by Diane Craft