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Panama Must Put Its House In Order, Says OECD

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

06 April 2016


The OECD has said Panama must ensure that it fully implements international tax transparency standards, describing the territory as the "last major holdout" that allows funds to be hidden offshore.

Gurría said "the Panama Papers have shone a 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 OECD has been leading a global crackdown on these practices since 2009, working hand-in-hand with the G20. Through the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information, we have constantly and consistently warned of the risks of countries like Panama failing to comply with the international tax transparency standards. Just a few weeks ago, we told G20 Finance Ministers that Panama was back-tracking on its commitment to automatic exchange of financial account information."

"While the 'Panama Papers' data expose nefarious activities, they also show a decline in the use of offshore companies and bearer share companies, which is a testament to the incredible transformation effected in the last seven years to establish robust international standards on tax transparency, including on beneficial ownership."

"Establishing global standards and making commitments are just the start though. Effective implementation is the key to lifting the veil of secrecy once and for all and eradicating tax evasion. The time has come to make sure that no jurisdiction can benefit from failing to meet their commitments. In the run-up to September's G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, we must use every opportunity to deliver. The next G20 Finance Ministers meetings and the Global Anti-Corruption summit taking place in London in May will be critical."

TAGS: money-laundering | Finance | tax | offshore confidentiality | law | banking | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | enforcement | offshore | offshore banking | banking secrecy | G20 | standards | Panama

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