BUENOS AIRES Argentina declared $97.842 billion in assets by the completion of a second phase of a tax amnesty program that ended on Dec. 31, the government said on Monday.
The vast majority, $84.13 billion, were assets held abroad, the AFIP tax agency said in a report. Argentines had until the end of 2016 to declare assets and pay a 10 percent fine to protect themselves from prosecution for tax evasion.
They can still declare until March 31, though the penalty for non-real estate assets will rise to 15 percent. Billions more are expected to be declared, particularly in properties, for which a 5 percent fine would remain unchanged.
President Mauricio Macri's center-right government hopes previously undeclared funds will be invested in Argentina to help the economy emerge from recession and boost revenue to help it trim the fiscal deficit in years to come.
With 46 percent of undeclared assets abroad held in the United States, the amnesty program is likely benefiting from a tax information agreement with the U.S. signed on Dec. 23.
Argentina's government said earlier on Monday that tax revenue in 2016 was up 35 percent from 2015 due to the amnesty as well as inflation seen at around 40 percent last year.
(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Alan Crosby)