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Panama on October became the 105th signatory to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
The OECD, which sets global standards on tax information exchange and tax transparency, said the signing shows that Panama is now implementing its commitment to fully cooperate with the international community on transparency.
"Panama's decision to sign the multilateral Convention is a confirmation of its commitment to take the necessary steps to meet international expectations in the fight against tax evasion," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said, during a signing ceremony with Panama's Ambassador to France. "It also sends a clear signal that the international community is united in its efforts to stamp out offshore tax evasion. We will continue our efforts until there is nowhere left to hide."
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is expected to publish in early November a peer review assessment of how Panama's legal framework and practices over the last three years match up against existing international standards of transparency and exchange of information on request.
"The forthcoming report will reflect Panama's past record on transparency issues. [This] signing, combined with very recent legislative changes opening the door for wide-ranging international cooperation, illustrates the good disposition and commitment by Panama to move forward in the area of tax transparency," said Gurria.
The Convention provides for all forms of administrative assistance in tax matters: exchange of information on request, spontaneous exchange, facilitating tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations, and assistance in tax collection. It guarantees extensive safeguards for the protection of taxpayers' rights. It also allows automatic exchange of information on option.
The OECD said the global Convention is seen as a critical instrument for swift implementation of the new Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, developed by the OECD and G20 countries, which is slated to go into effect from 2017.
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