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Panama: Double Tax Treaties

Introduction

Since Panama does not levy taxes on foreign source income, it has until recently refrained from negotiating double tax treaties. However, renewed pressure from the OECD and the G20 on the issue of tax transparency has forced the country into a rethink.

In April 2009, following that month's landmark G20 summit in London, Panama was placed on the OECD's 'grey list' of territories which have committed to, but not yet substantially implemented, the internationally agreed standard in tax transparency and information exchange. Later that month, the government of Panama announced the conclusion of the first round of negotiations towards a double tax agreement with the Netherlands, including tax information exchange provisions in line with the OECD standard. Panama’s deputy Economy Minister, Frank De Lima explained at the time that these negotiations "marks progress towards the removal of Panama from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s ‘grey list.’"

In 2010, Panama also agreed to launch negotiations towards a double tax avoidance agreement with Japan and Singapore, including information exchange provisions. Negotiations towards an agreement for the exchange of tax information with France were also launched in May 2010.

In April 2011, Panama approved a tax information agreement with the USA. Panama hoped that the approval would go some way towards gaining US Congress approval on a free trade agreement. The free trade agreemen was passed by the US Congress on October 12, 2011.

The OECD announced in July 2011 that Panama had moved to the list of jurisdictions considered to have substantially implemented the standard for exchange of information when it signed a tax information exchange agreement with France. This brought the total number of agreements to 12 - the international required minimum.

A DTA with Spain came into force in July 2011 and in September, a tax information exchange agreement with the country was signed by Panama. Israel and Panama initialled a double tax treaty in August 2011.

DTAs with France, Portugal and the Republic of Korea have come into force during 2012. Agreeements with the Czech Republic, Ireland, Israel, Italy and the UAE have been signed but are not yet in force.

Update: Canada, Panama FTA Receives Royal Assent - Canadian legislation to give effect to a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with Panama has received Royal Assent. With both sides having now completed their domestic ratification processes, they will soon proceed to set a date for the deal's entry into force.

Latest Panama Treaty Updates

Treaty Update: Japan - Panama
12 September, 2016
On August 25, 2016, Japan signed a TIEA with Panama.
Treaty Update: Japan - Panama
06 September, 2016
On August 25, 2016, Japan and Panama signed a TIEA.
Treaty Update: Japan - Panama
26 May, 2016
Japan's Ministry of Finance on May 23, 2016, announced that it had agreed a TIEA in principle with Panama.
Treaty Update: Panama - Belgium
02 September, 2015
Panama and Belgium agreed to resume negotiations towards a DTA at a meeting on August 26, 2015.
Treaty Update: Finland - Panama
13 January, 2014
According to preliminary media reports, the TIEA signed between Finland and Panama entered into force on December 20, 2013.
Treaty Update: Panama - United Kingdom
10 September, 2013
The DTA signed between Panama and the United Kingdom was forwarded to Panama's National Assembly for its approval on September 3, 2013.
Treaty Update: Panama - United Kingdom
31 July, 2013
Panama and the United Kingdom signed a DTA on July 29, 2013.
Treaty Update: Panama - Various
09 April, 2013
The Panama Government announced on April 4, 2013, that the nation will soon launch negotiations with Austria and Vietnam towards new double tax agreements.
Treaty Update: Panama - United Kingdom
05 April, 2013
Panama and the United Kingdom have agreed to the signing of a DTA in May 2013, Panama's ambassador to Britain, Ana Irene Delgado has announced.
Treaty Update: Panama - Canada
19 March, 2013
Panama and Canada signed a TIEA on March 17, 2013.
Treaty Update: Panama - Czech Republic
26 February, 2013
According to preliminary media reports, Panama has completed its domestic ratification procedures in respect of the DTA the nation signed with the Czech Republic, publishing a notice in its Official Gazette on February 21, 2013.
Treaty Update: Panama - Various
11 February, 2013
Panama's National Assembly, during a plenary meeting on February 4, 2013, approved the DTA and an accompanying Protocol signed between Panama and Israel on November 8, 2012, and a DTA and an accompanying Protocol signed with the UAE on October 13, 2012.
Treaty Update: Czech Republic - Panama
18 January, 2013
According to preliminary media reports, Czech Republic ratified the DTA with Panama on December 20, 2012.
Treaty Update: Panama - Various
04 January, 2013
According to preliminary media reports, two Bills that would ratify Panama's DTAs with the United Arab Emirates and Israel were sent to Panama's National Assembly on December 26, 2012.
Treaty Update: Panama - Various
01 January, 2013
Panama's Cabinet on December 26, 2012, approved the DTAs the nation has signed with the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
Treaty Update: Panama - Various
15 November, 2012
Panama signed TIEAs with the Nordic group of countries, which includes Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, on November 12, 2012.
Treaty Update: Panama - Israel
13 November, 2012
Panama and Israel signed a DTA on November 8, 2012.
Treaty Update: Panama - United Arab Emirates
17 October, 2012
Panama and the United Arab Emirates signed a DTA on October 14, 2012.
Treaty Update: Panama - Ireland
28 September, 2012
Panama's National Assembly on September 19, 2012, endorsed the DTA signed between Ireland and Panama on November 22, 2011.
Treaty Update: Panama - Ireland
30 August, 2012
Panama's Foreign Relations Committee on August 14, 2012, approved the DTA signed between Panama and Ireland as part of the nation's domestic ratification procedures.
Treaty Update: Panama - Czech Republic
27 July, 2012
Panama's Cabinet has ratified the DTA the between Panama and the Czech Republic, with a notification of the completion of ratification procedures published the Official Gazette on July 25, 2012.
Treaty Update: Panama - Czech Republic
09 July, 2012
Panama's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that a DTA between Panama and the Czech Republic was signed on July 4, 2012.
Treaty Update: Panama - Korea, South
20 April, 2012
According to South Korea's National Tax Service, the DTA between Panama and South Korea entered into force on April 1, 2012.
Treaty Update: Canada - Panama
17 April, 2012
According to the Canadian Department for Finance, Panama and Canada initiated negotiations towards a TIEA on March 27, 2012.
Treaty Update: Ireland - Panama
14 February, 2012
Ireland's Attorney General on February 9, 2012, published the text of the DTA signed between Ireland and Panama on January 24, 2012.
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