Thirteen foreign banks with operations in New York will have to report on their relations with the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca including communications, telephone records and any transaction made.
An article on Bloomberg reported that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) in New York has asked 13 banks with offices in that State, among which are Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group AG, Commerzbank AG, ABN Amro Group NV and Societe Generale SA, to provide communications, telephone records and other records of transactions, between their branches in New York and employees or agents of the law firm, Mossack Fonseca & Co. The banks in question are not accused of any wrongdoing.
The Panamanian government has announced its willingness to review current practices in the legal and financial system and collaborate with other governments in legal proceedings over financial and tax offenses.
Following the massive leak of financial information from a Panamanian law firm, the Government announced that it is evaluating the practices relating to its financial system and that it will collaborate with other jurisdictions to investigate citizens suspected of criminal activities, including tax evasion. The announcement was made by President Juan Carlos Varela.
Legal tax engineering is a mandatory business practice for anyone who wants to be competitive in today's globalized world, and only those who are not entrepreneurs can afford to refuse to acknowledge this fact.
With the same firmness that we criticize businesspeople who evade taxes or bribe officials to get a contract, we must defend every business practice which is framed within the law to pursue the best use of available resources to generate wealth through the production of goods and services, which is what businesses do.
In Costa Rica a bill intends to discourage the use of "tax havens", controlling the legitimacy of the costs incurred in those territories.
At present the bill under discussion in the Committee on Financial Affairs, is expected to publicize a final report in mid-March. The initiative "... also excludes deductions for expenses to be made or paid by resident individuals or entities in tax havens."
The Panamanian Association of Business Executives is proposing regulating cooperatives, pawn shops and casinos, signing the memorandum of IOSCO, creating a new law on money laundering and strengthening the Financial Analysis Unit.
During the second business forum called 'gray lists: Check Mate for Panama?', the Panamanian Association of Business Executives unveiled their proposals, action lines and suggestions for improving the conditions of the country and getting off the "gray list" it has recently been included in.
Many and varied are the interests which on one hand keep Panama on unwanted lists and on the other try to clean up the country's image as a tax haven.
Strengthening regulatory standards of bodies such as credit unions and the system of bearer shares are part of the changes that need to be made in the financial system in order to improve the country's position on this issue.
The Minister of Finance announced that the country did not pass the first stage of the review by the OECD because it has not implemented a law immobilizing bearer shares.
An assessment of tax transparency and exchange of information that would have been made by the Global Forum Organization for the OECD will prevent the country from being removed from the list of tax havens.
In light of its inclusion in the list of countries who do not have sufficient "fiscal transparency", Panama has requested a supplemental report that includes all measures implemented in the area since May 2010.
A statement from the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Panama reads:
The country has not been able to pass the first filter set by the Global Forum on Fiscal Transparency.
Accompanied by Uruguay and Barbados, among other countries, Panama is part of the list of countries that, according to the OECD, do not meet certain rules to promote tax transparency, for example, the implementation of information exchange agreements.
As the country progresses in making tax information more transparent, large fortunes seek shelter in the last tax havens, which include Panama and Costa Rica.
As the pressure imposed by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) starts to produce results, money keeps fleeing from one place to another, as its owners try to hide it from their tax authorities.
As in Orwell’s fable, Central Banks assume the task of deciding who, among equals, “is more equal than others”.
Paul Laurent Solís analyzed the anathema that has become the label “tax haven”, and remarked the role Central Banks have assumed in Central American economies, especially when they become tools for whichever government that happens to be in power.
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The International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) is under the Ministry of Finance, with its Head Office located in Belize City. The Registration of Merchant Ships Act, 1989 as amended in 1996 governs the merchant fleet.
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