Panama has signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, making it the 105th jurisdiction to join the world’s leading instrument for boosting transparency and combating cross-border tax evasion.

“Panama’s decision to sign the multilateral Convention is a confirmation of its commitment to take the necessary steps to meet international expectations in the fight against tax evasion,” OECD secretary-general Angel Gurría said during a signing ceremony yesterday with Panama’s Ambassador to France María Del Pilar Arosemena de Alemán.

“It also sends a clear signal that the international community is united in its efforts to stamp out offshore tax evasion. We will continue our efforts until there is nowhere left to hide.”

Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is expected to publish in early November a peer review assessment of how Panama’s legal framework and practices over the last three years match up against existing international standards of transparency and exchange of information on request.

“The forthcoming report will reflect Panama’s past record on transparency issues. Today’s signing, combined with very recent legislative changes opening the door for wide-ranging international cooperation, illustrates the good disposition and commitment by Panama to move forward in the area of tax transparency,” Mr Gurría said.

The Convention provides for all forms of administrative assistance in tax matters: exchange of information on request, spontaneous exchange, tax examinations abroad, simultaneous tax examinations and assistance in tax collection. It guarantees extensive safeguards for the protection of taxpayers’ rights. It also allows automatic exchange of information an option.