When studying tax issues in Latin America, along with any regional perspective, individual country differences must be taken into account. Despite this regional diversity, the tax systems of the vast majority of Latin America's countries share certain key characteristics: the composition of their tax structures; the technical, economic, political and administrative constraints they face; current trends in tax policy and administration; and a high estimated level of tax evasion.
Today's globalized world calls for the need to align tax policies and administrations with those used in other countries more advanced in the subject. A task not exempt of profound changes, in the process of improving tax administration to eradicate some of the restrictions mentioned above, it is essential to institute tax reforms that promote convergence, among the region's countries, towards a tax structure system that facilitates increased tax collections.
The purpose of this paper was to study the evolution and major features of the typical level and structure of the tax burden in the region over the last 20 years, identifying important differences between the countries and highlighting the principal obstacles and constraints that most of the countries have encountered in attempting to increase their tax revenues and modify their tax structures.