Trust Bloomberg Tax for the international news and analysis to navigate the complex tax treaty networks and global business regulations.
By David Haskel
Nov. 21 — A panel appointed by Panama’s government to advise on how to cope with the Panama Papers scandal warned of an “urgent and serious need to reduce the high levels of perceived opacity.”
The group’s 23-page report, published Nov. 21, urged authorities to adopt international standards on financial transparency, increase the amount of tax information exchanged with other jurisdictions, upgrade legislation and beef up monitoring of financial activities.
“This will require decisions, investment, legislation and a high degree of commitment,” the report said. “The moment has come. The country can no longer postpone decision-making in this field.”
Meanwhile, President Juan Carlos Varela Nov. 18 warned France that Panama will retaliate if Paris keeps it on its list of tax havens beyond Dec. 31. He issued the warning as the panel presented its report to the National Assembly.
Among the report’s recommendations, which reminded the government that Panama’s key offshore banking industry accounts for 9.5 percent of its gross domestic product, were that the government:
The Central American nation has come under heavy international pressure after its financial and banking image was badly tarnished by the leak in April of 11 million documents from the local law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co., which triggered the scandal of global proportions widely known as the Panama Papers.
France immediately said it would return Panama to the list of uncooperative jurisdictions and it asked the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to do the same. The OECD at the time called the country “the last major holdout that continues to allow funds to be hidden offshore from tax and law enforcement authorities,” and sought to persuade the nation to clean up its act.
Panama answered with a two-pronged offensive, mixing warnings of retaliation with promises of improvement. The latter included setting up the panel of experts, which initially involved international experts such as Nobel Prize laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz later resigned, saying the government declined to guarantee that the report would be made public.
More recently, the country Oct. 27 signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, earning immediate OECD praise.
To contact the reporter on this story: David Haskel in Buenos Aires at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor on this story: Penny Sukhraj at email@example.com
The panel’s report is at https://www.presidencia.gob.pa/tmp/file/1503/INDEPENDENT%20EXPERT%20COMMITTEE.pdf.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)