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23 September 2021

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Panama's National Assembly Considering Draft Bill Regulating the Use of Blockchain Technology and Crypto Assets

Panama's National Assembly is considering draft Bill No. 120, which was submitted on 6 September 2021 and provides for the introduction of regulations for the use of blockchain technology and crypto assets (cryptocurrencies) by individuals and legal entities in Panama. Among other things, the draft bill provides that individuals and legal entities in Panama may use crypto assets, including without limitation Bitcoin and Ethereum, for any civil or commercial operation not prohibited by law. Further, it is provided that crypto assets may be used for the payment of taxes, fees, and other obligations according to regulations to be issued by the General Directorate of Taxes.

With regard to the taxation of crypto assets, the draft bill provides for the amendment of the Fiscal Code to extend the scope of capital gains tax to gains from the sale of other movable property, including crypto assets with underlying value, which are defined as crypto assets that represent assets economically invested in Panama. While the general rate for gains from movable property remains 10%, the rate for gains from crypto assets would be 4%. It is also provided that transfers of crypto assets would be exempt from VAT.

Subject to approval, the draft bill is to take effect on the day following its publication in the Official Gazette.

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