San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Corruption

Finance Ministry investigation finds 120 companies, corporations linked to Panama Papers

Finance Ministry officials disclosed results of the first part of an investigation that found 120 Costa Rican companies and corporations linked to cases in the so-called Panama Papers.

Ministry and Tax Administration officials have found 79 companies and 41 corporations from the real estate, agricultural, commercial, legal and consultant sectors in the documents so far. Of these, the Ministry has fully identified a total of 69, and the remaining 51 are still under investigation.

Finance Vice Minister Fernando Rodríguez said at a press conference that these companies created a total of 410 offshore companies in Panama.

Officials have concluded that “behind the creation of these companies there is a clear intention to dodge tax responsibilities,” he added.

The Panama Papers were published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists last year.

The ministry’s research found various fraudulent strategies such as avoiding distribution of profits and dividends; reporting financial expenses above 50 percent of net income; and reporting expenses higher than 80 percent of the companies’ gross income.

“Others filed income tax declarations of zero, or showed an irregular and unjustified increase in their assets,” the ministry reported.

The Vice Minister said the institution will continue with the investigation, but noted that at this point he does not have an estimate of how long it will take to finish.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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