“Lief, great article on Panama. I lived there while on active duty for six years. The new government of Panama just signed a tax information exchange agreement with the United States. Does this bother you?
“That is the reason I took my money to Belize when we met at your seminar in June last year. This tax treaty is what bothers me the most about Panama at this point. Your thoughts?”
–Howard H., United States
All that said, bottom line, no, the information exchange treaty doesn’t bother me as it doesn’t really affect me. As an American, we’re supposed to report our offshore bank accounts on the FBAR form we file with the IRS each year anyway (as long as they contain more than US$10,000). And we always have. So, practically speaking, this new agreement doesn’t change anything for us. The U.S. government has known about our Panama accounts all along.
Of course, generally, I read this as just another sign that the United States is tightening the noose on anyone trying to protect and preserve his assets and income offshore.
Which is why it’s more important to take steps to do so now than ever before.
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