PANAMA CITY.- Panama must reinforce "tax transparency and ensure effective exchange of information" to maintain its position as a "competitive destination" for the international financial industry, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"Measures to reinforce tax transparency and ensure effective exchange of tax information should remain among the priorities of the political agenda" said the IMF in its annual consultation of the Panamanian economy known as "Article IV."
The agency highlighted the necessity to address "persistent deficiencies to preserve Panama's position as a competitive and attractive destination for international business and financial services."
"Particularly," according to the report, "it is essential to demonstrate the availability of proprietary information and reliable accounting records of all entities registered in Panama."
It also stated that its legal framework of "Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism" (PBC / FT) should be "fully aligned with international standards, including converting tax offenses into money laundering offenses."
The Fund welcomed the authorities commitment to implement the automatic exchange of tax information in 2018 and the ratification of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).