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Source: Bloomberg
By: Carolina Millan

Argentines have declared $20 billion in hidden savings, hitting the government’s target more than four months before a partial tax amnesty comes to an end, Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said on Tuesday.

Argentines declaring funds can choose to either pay a 10 percent fine, or buy into government bonds and closed-end mutual funds to finance investment in the local economy. The fine will rise to 15 percent as of January, before the program expires on March 31. As of yesterday, $7 billion in cash was deposited in special bank accounts.

President Mauricio Macri announced the partial amnesty for tax dodgers in May as he seeks to capture revenue from an estimated $400 billion in offshore assets held by Argentines. The amnesty aims not only to increase government revenue but also to stimulate local investment at a time when foreign commitments are lagging government expectations. The economy is forecast to shrink 1.5 percent this year.