This report contains the 2014 “Phase 2: Implementation of the Standards in Practice” Global Forum review of Panama.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work in the area of tax transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 130 jurisdictions which participate in the work of the Global Forum on an equal footing.
The Global Forum is charged with in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. These standards are primarily reflected in the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters and its commentary, and in Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and its commentary as updated in 2004, which has been incorporated in the UN Model Tax Convention.
The standards provide for international exchange on request of foreseeably relevant information for the administration or enforcement of the domestic tax laws of a requesting party. “Fishing expeditions” are not authorised, but all foreseeably relevant information must be provided, including bank information and information held by fiduciaries, regardless of the existence of a domestic tax interest or the application of a dual criminality standard.
All members of the Global Forum, as well as jurisdictions identified by the Global Forum as relevant to its work, are being reviewed. This process is undertaken in two phases. Phase 1 reviews assess the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information, while Phase 2 reviews look at the practical implementation of that framework. Some Global Forum members are undergoing combined – Phase 1 plus Phase 2 – reviews. The ultimate goal is to help jurisdictions to effectively implement the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
Following the first meeting of the Inclusive Framework on BEPS in Kyoto, Japan, on 30 June-1 July and the regional meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 21-23 September, more countries and jurisdictions are joining the framework. On 28 October, the Inclusive Framework on BEPS welcomed Panama as its 87th member.
Panama signed today the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, making it the 105th jurisdiction to join the world’s leading instrument for boosting transparency and combating cross-border tax evasion. The signing shows that Panama is now implementing its commitment to fully cooperate with the international community on transparency.
The OECD welcomes Panama’s decision to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which was formally communicated to the OECD in a letter from its Vice President and announced publicly on Friday 15 July 2016.
The OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes announced today that Bahrain, Lebanon, Nauru, Panama and Vanuatu have now committed to share financial account information automatically with other countries.
A special project meeting of the Joint International Tax Shelter Information and Collaboration (JITSIC) Network took place at the OECD in Paris on Wednesday 13 April, bringing together senior tax administration officials from countries worldwide to discuss opportunities for obtaining data, co-operation and information-sharing in light of the “Panama Papers” revelations.
Government officials from around the world have called on the OECD to convene a special project meeting of the Joint International Tax Shelter Information and Collaboration (JITSIC) Network to explore possibilities of co-operation and information-sharing, identify tax compliance risks and agree collaborative action, in light of the “Panama Papers” revelations.
The “Panama Papers” revelations have shone the light on Panama’s culture and practice of secrecy. Panama is the last major holdout that continues to allow funds to be hidden offshore from tax and law enforcement authorities
The international community continues making progress toward greater cooperation to ensure effective information exchange in tax matters. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes issued today 12 new reports that highlight action being taken by jurisdictions to implement the international standard for exchange of information on request.
Tax revenues in Latin American countries continue to rise but are lower as a proportion of their national incomes than in most OECD countries. Revenue Statistics in Latin America 2012 shows that Argentina and Brazil have the highest tax revenue to GDP ratio, while Guatemala and Dominican Republic stand at the lower end.