Press Room

December 14, 2017

From Panama: Tax Fraud Regulations

Javier Said Acuña - RBC Attorneys at Law in Panama, a member firm of


Panama is promoting transparency on its tax legislation. Tax fraud could be considered a criminal offense.  

The Government of Panama has been collaborating with international organizations such as the Organization for the Economic Co-operation and Development and Caribbean Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, to adopt international regulations that could help its tax legislation to be more transparent.

Part of the initiative was to classify tax fraud as a criminal offense and include it in the preceding crimes of money laundering. As a result, there is a project of law (hereinafter PL) already filed before the National Assembly of Deputies. The PL criminalizes the tax fraud, including among other actions, the omission in a tax return of taxable income; false information in the tax return; keep accounting books with false information, voluntarily simulate lots, and the default of the tax payment. To be considered, crimes need to reach amounts equal or greater than U.S. $300,000.

Prison sentences are from one to three years plus the imposition of a fine from two to five times the amount of the defrauded tribute. It also intends to expand the crime of money laundering with prison sentences from five to 12 years, describing a series of behaviors such as crimes preceding the laundering of capital, including tax evasion.​