France, Panama to launch bilateral body to fight tax evasion
21 Aug 2019

France and Panama have signed a bilateral agreement in Panama City to create a group designed to curb tax fraud, announced Gérald Darmanin, French minister of public accounts. The move comes years after Panama was blacklisted amid the Panama Papers tax evasion scandal.

“With Panama’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Hector Alexander, we signed a memorandum to bring our tax cooperation to the level of international standards,” Darmanin said on Twitter.

The agreement includes creating a special group that will meet twice a year to improve the exchange of fiscal information.

While France and Panama already implement double taxation agreements, Paris is not satisfied with the information exchange.

Panama is considered a tax haven by France, and is included on its list of tax-dodging countries. Darmanin said the country has not yet been taken off the list because they are still creating the information-sharing process.

“For now, we will work, and when we have the relationship of trust between the two countries, when the automatic exchanges of information will be perfect, then we will actually study the removal of Panama from the French list of tax havens,” Darmanin told AFP.

Although France withdrew Panama from its list of tax havens in 2012, it was promptly put back on the list in 2016 after the Panama Papers scandal.

The French government is currently investigating 500 tax evasion cases by French nationals that were revealed in the trove of leaked documents. Around 50 have already been investigated, after information requests from Paris to Panama City. However, Darmanin indicated that the files were “sometimes incomplete.”

Read more at RFI

Photo (cropped): Jacques Paquier [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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