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Advantages of buying Real Estate through a Panamanian Corporation

Panama offers a center of international services that substantially benefits persons and companies desiring to use corporations established in Panama for the purposes of tenancy or to direct commercial activities in different parts of the world. Among the many advantages of Panama, we may consider the following:

1. The country is virtually located in the crossing of the world, with the best air and maritime transportation, for passengers and for cargo, as well as excellent communications systems of telephone, fax, and cable with the rest of the world.

2. There is a unique banking system that includes 120 banks with offices in Panama, among which there are the biggest and best known banks that operate internationally, supported by strong laws regarding banking secrecy.

3. The monetary system of the country uses the international American dollar as its means of exchange.

4. There are no capital taxes (shares, bonds and other investments) kept by Panamanian corporations.

5. The law on Panamanian income tax exempts from its stipulations the following:

 

  • a. To direct from an office established in Panama operations that are completed, carried out or take place abroad.
  • b. To invoice, from an office established in Panama, the sale of merchandise or products for a value higher than the one for which such products or merchandise have been invoiced to the office established in Panama, as long as such merchandise or products are exclusively managed abroad.
  • c. Corporative dividends or shareholding when such dividends or shareholdings spring from income that is not produced within the territory of the Republic of Panama, including income arising from activities mentioned above in points a and b.
  • d. Interests accrued from funds kept in fixed-term deposits or savings accounts.

6. There are no fiscal treaties accorded with other countries.

7. The Colon Free Zone offers unique opportunities for storage, repacking and re-embarking, free of taxes, of all types of goods.

 


 

PRIVACY

The shareholder or group of shareholders controls a corporation, its goods and activities. According to the law of Panamanian corporations, the shareholders are anonymous, i.e., there is no legal obligation of registering their identity by an Authority, neither there is any obligation to disclose such information to such government entity. Consequently, if the active good is an immovable asset, the shareholder is who in fact controls the property, at the same time keeping its privacy from third parties. Thus, if it is important to keep the privacy regarding the properties kept by someone, the corporation allows such person to control the goods and meanwhile no one may be able to relate the person with the goods. The exemption to this protection is that the Judicial Authorities have the right to know the identity of the shareholders of a corporation in case of a criminal process or enquiry related to the corporation or shareholder.

 

ASSET PROTECTION

The corporation is a LEGAL ENTITY separated from its shareholders, with its own equity. This characteristic allows a corporation to possess its goods and assets, which are not connected or associated with the personal goods of the shareholder. This legal structure creates the advantage of using a corporation to protect its own assets (REAL ESTATE). If the property is bought by a corporation, (under its name and account), it becomes an asset of the corporation, completely separated from the personal goods of the shareholder, which means that the property will be covered for the risk of any obligation in which the shareholder may incur as a consequence of his/her daily activities.

 

FISCAL PURPOSES

Since the owner of the assets is the corporation, the transfer of the property to third parties may be made through the transference of shares from the corporation, so that the new shareholder will have control over the property. To transfer the shares of the corporation that is owner of the property instead of transferring the property directly has the following advantages:

 

  • 1. The transaction is not subjected to legal expenses such as registration fees and notarial expenses.
  • 2. The transaction will be carried out rapidly.
  • 3. The payment of some taxes will be avoided (2% tax on transference of real estate). The shareholder who sells or transfers his/her shares to third parties is obligated to pay income tax over the gains obtained due to the sale.