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LatinNews Daily - 13 March 2019

In brief: Panama

* The European Union (EU) has removed Panama from its blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. Panama had been included on the EU’s first ever ‘grey list’ of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions in December 2017. The following month, just over a week after Panama signed a CRS Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement‎ (CRS MCAA) – the prime international agreement for implementing the automatic exchange of financial account information under the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance – the EU had said it would remove Panama from this list. The government led by President Juan Carlos Varela has pointed to recent efforts to address tax transparency concerns such as the fact that last month Panama became the 76th signatory of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Exchange of Country-by-Country Reports (CbC MCAA). The previous month Panama’s 71-member unicameral national legislature approved a new bill (Ley 591) which makes tax evasion a crime – long a demand by international organisations like the Organisation for Econmic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and other Latin American countries.