The U.S. has Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEAs with the following offshore financial centers:
The TIEAs with Antigua and Belize were terminated.
Fortunately, Panama law allows entities to redomicile corporations and foundations to other countries...
In a ceremony at the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Tuesday, November 30, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Panamanian Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Juan Carlos Varela signed a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) between the United States and Panama.
The Department of State has the honor to refer the Embassy of the Republic of Panama to the
Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the
Republic of Panama for Tax Cooperation and the Exchange of Information Relating to Taxes
(“the Agreement”), signed today, and to confirm on behalf of the Government of the United
States the following understandings reached between our two Governments (“the Parties”):
With respect to subparagraph 1(a) of Article 3 (Taxes Covered) of the Agreement, it is
mutually understood by the Parties that the term “all federal taxes” includes the following
taxes imposed by the United States:
With respect to subparagraph 1(b) of Article 3 (Taxes Covered) of the Agreement, it is
mutually understood by the Parties that the term “all national taxes” includes the
following taxes imposed by the Republic of Panama:
Real Estate Tax
Notice of Operations Tax
Tax on Banks, Financial and Currency Exchange Companies.
Tax on the Consumption of Fuel and Oil Derivates
Tax on the Transfer of Movable Goods and the Provision of Services
Tax on the Consumption of certain Goods and Services
Tax on the Transfer of Immovable Goods
With respect to Article 9 (Costs) of the Agreement, it is mutually understood by the
Parties that costs that would be incurred in the ordinary course of administering the
(a) Federal income taxes;
(b) Federal taxes related to employment;
(c) Federal estate and gift taxes; and
(d) Federal excise taxes.
domestic tax laws of the requested State shall be borne by the requested party when those
costs are incurred for purposes of responding to a request for information. It is also
mutually understood by the Parties that all other costs are considered extraordinary costs,
and shall be borne by the requesting party. Examples of extraordinary costs include, but
are not limited to, the following:
fees charged by third parties for research and copying documents;
fees for non-government counsel or experts appointed or retained, with the
approval of the competent authority of the requesting Party, for litigation in the
courts of the requested party related to a specific request for information;
fees and expenses of a person who appears for an interview, deposition or
testimony relating to a specific information request. The fees and expenses will
be the ordinary amounts allowed under the laws of the party in which the
interview, deposition or testimony is held or taken.
The competent authorities shall consult with each other in advance if extraordinary costs
are likely to exceed $1,000, or in the case of subparagraph (c) of this paragraph, $100, in
order to determine whether the requesting Party will continue to pursue the request and
bear the cost.
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of Panama intend
that the Agreement enter into force as soon as is practicable following the enactment of
any legislation by Panama that is necessary under its domestic laws in order for Panama
to comply fully with the terms of the Agreement. The Government of Panama expects
that this legislation will be enacted before the end of 2011. As soon as practicable after
such legislation has been enacted, the Government of the United States and the
Government of Panama intend to take such actions, including exchange of notifications,
as are necessary to cause the Agreement to enter into force in accordance with its terms.
The United States understands that, with respect to the necessary legislation referred to in
paragraph 4, Panama intends to enact legislation requiring the identification of the
owners of bearer shares. The United States further understands that such legislation:
will require resident agents acting for Panamanian entities to obtain and
maintain in their records information sufficient to identify the owners of
those entities, even in cases in which shares of those entities are issued in
bearer form, including, where the owner is a legal person, information
sufficient to identify substantial owners of that legal person. For this
purpose, a resident agent will not be required to obtain and maintain
information sufficient to identify substantial owners of legal persons in
cases where the resident agent acts for a professional client that is part of
an organization that is required to maintain information on such entities
and that has agreed to make available such information to the resident
agent when requested;
will require resident agents to produce ownership and client identity
information in their possession in response to a proper request under the
Agreement, whether with respect to newly-formed entities or entities in
existence at the time the legislation is enacted; and
will require resident agents to obtain such ownership information with
respect to entities existing at the time the legislation is enacted within a
five year period from the date of the enactment of the law.
It is mutually understood that under laws currently in effect, each party is authorized to
obtain and exchange information, including information held by financial institutions and
other fiduciaries, pursuant to a request under a tax information exchange agreement,
regardless of whether the requested party has a domestic tax interest in such information.
Under section 274(h) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, an individual may deduct from
income expenses incurred with respect to attendance at a conference or convention held in
Panama in the same manner and to the same extent the individual would be permitted to
deduct such expenses with respect to attendance at a conference or convention held in the
United States, provided that there is in effect between Panama and the United States a tax
information exchange agreement meeting the requirements of section 274(h)(6). It is
mutually understood that the Agreement is intended to meet those requirements.
It is mutually understood that the entry into force of this Agreement does not prevent the
Parties from discussing the possibility of an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation
in the future.
The Department has the further honor to propose, on behalf of the Government of the United
States of America, that the present note and the Embassy’s affirmative reply thereto confirming
that the Government of the Republic of Panama shares these understandings shall constitute an
agreement between the two Governments on these points which shall enter into force on the
same date as the Agreement.
Department of State,
Washington, November 30, 2010