Creating a shareholder list seems to be a complex job

There is a pretty good chance that an electronic list of the nation’s company shareholders will not be online any time soon.

Two technicians from the Banco Central told lawmakers this week that to set up such a system would take 18 to 24 months.

The two men, identified as Miguel Carballo Chavarría and Luis Guillermo Zumbado Chinchilla, spoke to members of the Comisión de Hacendarios and described the complexities of such a system.

The Ministerio de Hacienda and its tax-collecting arm, the Dirección General de Tributación, want to require companies to provide and keep current a list of shareholders or other types of beneficial parties. The tax collectors fear that individuals are syphoning money out of companies without paying taxes.

Top officials of the Banco Central have said the agency will be happy to handle such a list for a fee. But the two tech experts said that access tothe list would need to be restricted based on the job of every public employee.

Workers would only be able to obtain the information needed to do their job, and the system would have to track their every move.
Access would be by a digital signature card.

Proponents of the system say they believe the data can be kept secret.

The Banco Central information security staffers said that the bank has had experience with this type of high-security system, including the one now used for interbank money transfers.

The proposal for a national list of shareholders is part of a bill that is supposed to counter tax fraud.

Many business leaders oppose the idea of such a list because they fear the information might fall into the wrong hands.

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