Panama Property Taxes

Gestoria Cocle

Panama has a property tax on land and buildings that is applied throughout the country, and is payable either annually or on a 3 installment plan ( 1/3rd of the annual amount is due the last day of April, August and December).  There are a series of exemptions on all or part of this tax, which include:

  • Land and structure with a combined Valor Catastral (Tax Base) of less than $30,000.  This exemption is automatic and does not have to be applied for.
  • New construction can be exempted for a variable period of time, depending upon the value of the construction; the range is between 10 and 20 years from the date of occupancy.  This exemption is NOT automatic and has to be applied for with the tax authority (A.N.I.P.); the process normally takes 6 months or so.  If the exemption is applied for after the property is occupied, tax will begin to accumulate on the account, with penalty interest if not paid.  When a subsequent application for exemption is processed, the tax an penalties previous applied will be reversed.  This exemption passes with the property if sold before the exemption period ends.
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  • The land upon which the exempted property sits is NOT exempt from taxes.  This applies to free standing homes and commercial locations that are not registered as “Propiedad Horizontal” = P.H. (condominium).  If the Catastral Value is less than $30,000, no tax is payable.  If, however the land value exceeds $30,000 tax is payable on the Catastral Value of the land.  The tax rate is a sliding scale, increasing in percentage with the value of the property being taxed.
  • If the property is a building that has been registered as “Propiedad Horizontal” = P.H. (condominium) then the value of the undivided share of the property upon which the building is constructed is your tax base and taxes are due annually on this value.  The $30,000 exemption does NOT apply in the case of P.H. property, everyone must pay this tax.
  • In order to check your tax status with the government, you will need two things:
    • Your Tax ID number for the property (this is your Finca number as stated on the title deed at the Public Registry
    • A password to be able to enter the web site   This password must be applied for with A.N.I.P. and is called an NIT (Numero Identificacion Tributario) and consists of 4 numbers and 4 letters in the format 9999xxxx.  This approval process when applying for the NIT can take up to 10 days, so do not wait until the tax payment deadline to do this (or have someone do it for you).
    • An alternative would be to take your registered title deed to an office of A.N.I.P. and ask them to print out your tax record for the property.    You must learn the tax amount in order to be able to pay it; this can be done on-line when you have your NIT or in person at the ANIP office.

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