US LLC + Panama resident

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D0naldDuck

New member
Hi guys,
I’m planning to form a US LLC and run it from Panama as a Panama resident. I’m a EU resident now and the business is a service business.

Afaik this should have the following consequences:
- Zero tax since disregarded entity by US and forgein sourced income in panama
- No VAT liability when charging Europe b2c clients, given you provide a service, not just sellling a product.
- b2c payments running through stripe to EMI or bank account of the US LLC, then distributed to panama (on individual level, not a company).

Now I’m wondering:
1. Will Panama watch this kind of income for sure as forgein sourced? Has anyone up to date information/experience on this?
2. Will there be problems with banks/emis/stripe in this structure?
3. I read they changed the requirements for getting the friendly nations visa. Would it still be sufficient to be employed by your own company to get the visa?

Would be great if you guys could share some thoughts! :)
 

MiltonStone

Corporate Services
Mentor Group Gold
- No VAT liability when charging Europe b2c clients, given you provide a service, not just sellling a product.
That would be a competition advantage with Europe, if someone know if it is allowed or possible it's worth for large businesses to consider in their financial speculations.
 

Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
- Zero tax since disregarded entity by US and forgein sourced income in panama
Since there is nothing exactly equivalent to LLC under Panamanian law, check how LLC is treated there. Is it a partnership or is it a corporation?

- No VAT liability when charging Europe b2c clients, given you provide a service, not just sellling a product.
Not correct. There is/can be VAT liability. It's just not enforced much and as long as your business remains small, chances are no one will care.

- b2c payments running through stripe to EMI or bank account of the US LLC, then distributed to panama (on individual level, not a company).
Run it by a Panamanian tax adviser if you want to be sure.

1. Will Panama watch this kind of income for sure as forgein sourced? Has anyone up to date information/experience on this?
Panama has a history of leaving foreigners alone and not asking too many questions.

On the other hand, Panama once accidentally removed its territorial tax system. It took them a few months to sort out but they ultimately changed back.

2. Will there be problems with banks/emis/stripe in this structure?
Absolutely. Ever since the Panama Papers, Panama is considered a high-risk jurisdiction. You will struggle to open and maintain accounts with financial institutions.
 

D0naldDuck

New member
Thank you guys for your fast answers.
Not correct. There is/can be VAT liability. It's just not enforced much and as long as your business remains small, chances are no one will care.
Could you explain this statement in a bit more detail or add a few sources here?
If you imagine a non-EU company selling manually carried out services, for example translation services, (at least no physical products or electronically supplied services as defined by EU) to EU-B2C-customers, are you sure that this non-EU company needs to pay VAT in the EU?
 

marzio

Mentor Group Gold
At the same time be aware that if services are rendered from Panama "technically" you should pay 7% VAT to Panama.
 

D0naldDuck

New member
At the same time be aware that if services are rendered from Panama "technically" you should pay 7% VAT to Panama.
Now imagine you hire contractors from all over the world to do the actual translation (example) work in this case, so you are more or less a platform. Would you say its still considered "rendered" in Panama? Because now, the real service is executed in a third state, the one of the contractor. But since the relationship between contractor and the US LLC is B2B, not VAT should be levied here as well.
 
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Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
Could you explain this statement in a bit more detail or add a few sources here?
If you imagine a non-EU company selling manually carried out services, for example translation services, (at least no physical products or electronically supplied services as defined by EU) to EU-B2C-customers, are you sure that this non-EU company needs to pay VAT in the EU?
 

marzio

Mentor Group Gold
@Sols doesn't this contradicts what is written here?

 

D0naldDuck

New member
Thanks, Sols! :)

This source states that VAT is levied when selling to Consumer in the EU (telecoms, broadcasting or electronic services):

I'm quite sure "(telecoms, broadcasting or electronic services)" refers to this rule for specific (mainly very automized) electronically supplied services:
Electronically supplied services
https://www.eurovat.com/pdf/EVR_FactSheet_OnlineServices.pdf

Not to manually carried out services.
 

Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
@Sols doesn't this contradicts what is written here?

Contradict what? On that page:

Buying electronically supplied services online if the seller is established outside the EU

When buying electronically supplied services online, VAT is due.

The seller will charge the VAT rate applicable in the country where you are established, have your permanent address or usually reside.

Example: If a private person residing in Sweden makes use of a Japanese on-line library, Swedish VAT will have to be paid on the amount the Japanese company charges.
What is the contradiction?
 

Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
This source states that VAT is levied when selling to Consumer in the EU (telecoms, broadcasting or electronic services):

I'm quite sure "(telecoms, broadcasting or electronic services)" refers to this rule for specific (mainly very automized) electronically supplied services:
Electronically supplied services
https://www.eurovat.com/pdf/EVR_FactSheet_OnlineServices.pdf

Not to manually carried out services.
If you're sure about that, then you're good to go. Hopefully all relevant EU tax authorities agree and/or never pay you attention.

The contradiction or at least the lack of differentiation between products and services sold by NON EU Business to EU customers.
Maybe I'm missing something but the information seems to align. Non-EU businesses selling electronically provided services to EU consumers are subject to VAT.
 

marzio

Mentor Group Gold
31Z4rC.jpg


If the nature of services rendered is NOT automated then the VAT rate applicable is the seller's country.
 

Sols

Staff member
Mentor Group Gold
If OP is certain that the services being rendered fall outside of the definition of electronically provided services, then VAT wouldn't apply. I missed the example of translation services earlier. That seems like a type of service which wouldn't be subject to VAT in this setup.
 

D0naldDuck

New member
31Z4rC.jpg


If the nature of services rendered is NOT automated then the VAT rate applicable is the seller's country.

If OP is certain that the services being rendered fall outside of the definition of electronically provided services, then VAT wouldn't apply. I missed the example of translation services earlier. That seems like a type of service which wouldn't be subject to VAT in this setup.


Thanks guys.

Do you see any problems regarding VAT (or other taxes) here?
"Now imagine you hire contractors from all over the world to do the actual translation (example) work in this case, so you are more or less a platform. Would you say its still considered "rendered" in Panama? Because now, the real service is executed in a third state, the one of the contractor. But since the relationship between contractor and the US LLC is B2B, not VAT should be levied here as well."

Structure like: B2C clients in EU buy translation service --- US LLC in panama sells service without VAT --- Translation service will be provided by contractors that US LLC hires, some in EU, some in other countries all over the world.
 

marzio

Mentor Group Gold
Would you say its still considered "rendered" in Panama?

Probably not because you are not rendering any manual service in Panama instead you are facilitating the service between the contractor and the end buyer.

It can be also said that since you are not rendering any manual service in Panama you could fall into the automated services category and in this case you should charge VAT but i honestly don't know.
 
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