Tax Offenses to be Part of Criminal Code

A bill to include tax offenses in the Penal Code concerns Panamanian business.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A statement from the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) reads:

The CCIAP promotes compliance with the duties of the state and recalls the importance of respecting the rights of taxpayers

Panama, January 15, 2012 .- The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) promotes compliance with the duties of the state and expresses its concerns regarding the Draft Law No.123, which adds tax crimes to the Criminal Code, an initiative presented at the National Assembly.

"In the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, we encourage all sectors of society to fulfill their duties to the State, including those who are paying taxes to the treasury, which promotes the country's social development. However, we are concerned that the Bill seeks to include tax offenses in the Penal Code, "said Federico Humbert Arias, President of the CCIAP.

"The initiative, which was recently presented and hurried to the National Assembly, is unnecessary, because our tax code already includes penalties, both monetary and in the form of deprivation of liberty, for those who break them," said Humbert.

"Our union believes that the tax authorities must exercise their supervisory powers with strict standards of transparency and independence, in a non-selective way and, above all, respecting the rights of taxpayers, which are listed in Law 8 of 2010, among which include the right to be treated with respect, be considered as a taxpayer who complies with their tax obligations, while there is no conclusive evidence otherwise, and the right to confidentiality of data collected in the investigation, " said the president of the business group.

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