Whilst South Africans have enjoyed the opportunity to get Permanent Residency in Panama at a fraction of the cost of acquiring Residency anywhere else, using the Friendly Nations option, this opportunity is likely to come under threat next year.
The Panama Permanent Residency Visa has been classified as a potentially high-risk CBI/RBI scheme by the OECD. The OECD is the worldwide authority for information sharing for taxation purposes.
They have just released an article which will put pressure on Panama, specifically for the Friendly Nations Visa that afford SA Citizens the opportunity to get Permanent residence in Panama.
'Panama is free to establish its migratory and fiscal policies according to its objectives and benefits, as a sovereign country '
Translated from Spanish
Original Article By : Virna C. Luque
In recent days the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) included Panama in another black list, which made me question the base values of that organization that, according to its website, are 'objectivity, openness, audacity, avant-garde and ethics'.
The reason for this new inclusion in another of the OECD lists has to do with three types of migratory residency offered by Panama: friendly countries, own economic solvency and reforestation.
According to the OECD, these types of residency, in which recipients are not required to remain in Panamanian territory to maintain them, are or could be used to evade tax obligations in their countries of origin, by having a document of migratory residence in a tax haven, because, according to the OECD, this identification obtained by the resident who receives the residence allows him not to have to comply with the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) or Common Reporting Standard for the automatic exchange of information about accounts financial
Lords of the OECD:
• It is a Human Right to migrate. Any person has the right to move from their country of origin to another country, if they consider that the living conditions in that other country are better than those offered by their country of origin. Perhaps the countries of origin should start working on their internal policies and in this way stop the flight of citizens in search of better life and investment opportunities.
• In the Republic of Panama, obtaining a residence does not imply obtaining automatically the tax residence and / or Panamanian nationality (and therefore a passport). Immigration residency is not synonymous with tax residence under Panamanian jurisdiction. The norms adopted so that the Directorate General of Revenue of the Ministry of Economy and Finance grants a certification of fiscal residence to an individual indicate that, as a minimum requirement, the applicant must prove his stay in Panamanian territory for 183 days or more, in a year fiscal year or in the immediately preceding year. A foreigner residing in Panama may be paying taxes in the country and this does not guarantee obtaining a tax residence certificate with which he can withdraw from the tax authority of his country of origin. I recommend to analysts of the OECD to read article 762-N of the Fiscal Code of Panama and other applicable regulations.
• There are other countries that offer residence to investors with all the benefits that entails, which are not in this new OECD blacklist; for example, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, the United States of America, to name a few. It would be prudent to know the parameters used by the OECD to conclude that the residences offered by Panama are schemes with such a dubious objective, that they merit that the country be included in a black list.
In the last 15 years the financial system of Panama has worked and invested resources to adapt to the demands of organizations such as the OECD and prevent our country from being included in black and gray lists, something that has reduced competitiveness for the benefit of other countries. who coincidentally are prominent members of the OECD.
The Republic of Panama is free to establish its immigration and fiscal policies according to its own objectives and benefits, as a sovereign country. As a citizen of this country and associated with a prestigious law firm with an active and preponderant department in immigration services, I expect from the Panamanian Government a more patriotic attitude and to defend our sovereignty, our interests and our image. Enough of the outrage.