Significant Changes to Call Centers Activity

Law 52 of October 17, 2018, which regulates call centers activities for commercial use amends the tax incentives received by these companies.

The legislation provides that in order to make use of the tax incentives, the company must have a concession to provide the service, for which it must be registered with the National Public Services Authority. Once the application is approved, call centers will be exempt from direct and indirect taxes, contributions, fees, duties and the like except for:

2% of complementary tax.
Operation Notice Tax: 0.5% per year will be paid with a minimum of USD$100.00 up to a maximum of USD$50,000.00.
Real estate transfer tax.
Property tax.
Special interest compensation fund, except loans secured with bank deposits (FECI).
Employer and worker contributions and social security benefits established by the social security.
It is also established that transactions with related parties will still be subject to the transfer pricing regime. This rule applies to related parties abroad, as well as related parties established in Panama.

The new regulations do not apply to call centers registered in the Panama-Pacific area, which will be regulated exclusively by Law 41 of 2004.

Finally, the law contemplates special immigration categories for investors in this activity, in addition to granting certain concessions regarding the labor management of workers.