PANAMA: Shares Financial Accounts Data with 31 Countries.

(International Investment) -- Panama has started sharing client data with tax authorities in dozens of countries in order to meet OECD global fiscal transparency standards and avoid being put on a blacklist.

Around 660 reports from 337 financial entities make up the first automatic exchange of information made by Panama with 31 jurisdictions, under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the country’s tax authorities announced.

Thus far, Panama has committed to exchanging information with jurisdictions including Australia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK.

The objective of the process is to comply with transparency of the exchanges of financial entities in the country, as well as to determine and identify specific areas of taxation at the local level.

“Today Panama is taken into account in the context of transparent nations, which has an impact at the economic level, but this does not end the issue, there are still more elements to fulfil”, said the deputy head of the Directorate General of Revenues’ (DGI) Information Exchange Section, Martín Barcela, according to EFE.

According to the entity, with this commitment Panama benefits from continuing to be part of the international financial community by maintaining access to banking correspondents, allowing monetary financial flows free of restrictions or tax withholding by avoiding being included in the discriminatory list.

Panama’s chief taxman, David Hidalgo, said that more jurisdictions will be included in the exchange next year, adding that it is important for the country to “respect these standards and our commitments, so as not to be on a blacklist of tax havens.”

The Panamanian government is attempting to further its public progress in fighting money laundering, after the ‘Panama Papers’ scandal. The parliament is weighing a tax evasion bill supported by the International Monetary Fund. If approved, the bill would see a penalty of five years’ imprisonment for tax evasion above the sum of $300,000.

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