Spanish version

TRANSPARENCY

Panama to adopt international standards

The standards are ones proposed by the OECD.

They will go into effect over the next two years and are focused on the sharing of tax information.

Spanish version

Temas:

European governments are raising the pressure on Panama to strengthen the transparency of its financial and legal systems.

France and Germany have issued action plans to fight against tax evasion and singled out Panama as one of the protagonists in that arena.

France returned Panama to its list of states and territories not cooperating with tax inquiries and asked the country to share all financial information related to French taxpayers.

In addition, it has sought to renegotiate the current tax agreement between the two countries.

For its part, the Ministry of Finance of Germany also sought Panama's cooperation.

"Panama needs to join the system of automatic exchange of information as quickly as possible," it said.

In addition, it requests the country make adjustments to make it easier to find out the owners of Panama companies.

"Shareholders or managers should be required to provide regular reports of the economic activities that their companies engage in. We require complete transparency," it said.

The German government warned that: "if Panama does not cooperate quickly, we will promote the idea that certain financial activities that are carried out in Panama should be scorned internationally."

France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy, Europe's five largest economies, called on the G-20 to create a blacklist of tax havens, and sanction countries that do not cooperate in the fight against tax evasion.

"We want lists that allow the implementation of sanctions against countries that do not respect the rules," French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said.

Yesterday, Panama announced that it would adhere to standards created by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Panama had rejected signing that agreement, most notably because the United States has refused to do so. But revelations in documents leaked from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca have placed pressure on Panama to act, which prompted it to agree to the OECD demands.

Vice President Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado said the country would "immediately begin with the implementation of the automatic exchange of tax information."

Told about the statement by Panama, OECD officials said it was "really good news."

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