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Califican de ‘doble moral’ actuación de países de la OCDE

By Roberto González Jiménez

Published on La Prensa

July 11, 2016

 

They are engaging in some of the same practices they have criticized Panama for.

Members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are making adjustments to their tax regimes in an attempt to attract more business, which according to Panamanian lawyer Alvaro Tomas, shows a “double standard” with which these countries have dealt with Panama.

One such country is France, which has sought to attract businesses from the United Kingdom in the wake of its decision to leave the European Union.

France announced last week a package of incentives that includes discounts in income tax and the right to exclude foreign assets for the calculation of capital tax for eight years, rather than the five years referred to in the current regime.

The plan also includes deductions for non-wage benefits such as employer-paid schools for the children of their employees.

“We are not at war with London, but there is a competition and we want to transform Paris into the main financial center of Europe,” said Paris Region President Valérie Pécresse, at the annual conference of the French financial industry.

“We want to build the financial capital of the future,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.

“It is extremely curious, to say the least, after the diplomatic swagger and posturing made by the French government on the issue of tax competition, that it is now taking advantage of the departure of the United Kingdom from the Union European to offer a package of tax adjustments to attract investment to France,” said Tomas.

France not is the only country that has made offers of better tax conditions. The United Kingdom itself is considering changes to its tax structure to not only retain existing businesses, but to attract new ones as well. British Finance Minister George Osborne said that it wants to build a “super-competitive” economy with a low taxation for businesses.

Madrid is preparing a package of tax incentives as well.

Some of the countries that make up the OECD have dubbed Panama as a tax haven, despite the fact that those countries are now copying some of those same strategies.

“These were the countries that most pressured to Panama, and they are now having to resort to tax competition to keep or attract investment,” said the lawyer.

According to Tomas, the definition of tax haven, which would not fit Panama, is any jurisdiction that the difference in taxes between locals and foreigners.

“That would make it to France by definition in a tax haven,” he said.

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