Imagine if a place like Panama had upwards of 800,000 undocumented immigrants in her country. Things would be chaotic to say the least, well that’s exactly how many drivers licenses the State of Californian has issued to illegal aliens (or undocumented persons if you are one of those PC freaks) who have legally received a DL.

Now having this type of government issued photo ID which is the primary means by which North Americans use for common everyday identification is a precursor for other government benefits and free stuff. This would include but not limited to welfare, SSDI, prenatal and postnatal State health care benefits and services, emergency room visits at no cost to the patient and free education through K-12 plus college tuition assistance among other free stuff all because one has a legitimate DL yet are in the USA illegally.

This is all paid for by hard working taxpaying American Citizens including legal immigrants all who pay into the national Social Security system as well as federal and or state income tax coffers. They also pay sales, property, CA State redemption and special consumptions tax, VAT and a host of other taxes deemed appropriate by Government entities at all levels.

So as an American Citizen do you feel comfortable or even violated by all the free stuff the Federal, States and local governments give away to undocumented persons or illegal intruders who have paid little or nothing into the “system” but get to milk the cash cow?

Like most people,  I have worked very hard all my life with the anticipation to receive an equitable piece of the pie once I retired so I take issue with those who have contributed very very little or nothing yet get to indulge in the fruits of honest hard working taxpaying citizens. According to IRS statistics about 50% of all households in the USA pay very little or no taxes at all.

So what does this have to do with living in Panama? Well if you legally live here as a bona fide resident expat then you have legal tax shelters available that should help you keep more if not all of your retirement income.

Having lived and worked all around the world including decades living in Panama I can certify that paying taxes to the American Government can and should be a thing of the past once you enter your retirement years assuming you meet the IRS requirements and are considered a bona fide resident of a foreign country like Panama.

You can learn more in Publication 54 of the US Tax Guide for US Citizens Abroad @

Views: 330


You need to be a member of Boquete Panama to add comments!

Join Boquete Panama

Comment by Walter R. Steiner on January 10, 2017 at 1:15pm

On a per capita basis, Panama has probably the same (or more) "illegals" than the U.S.

What about "border hoppers" or "permanent tourists"? Are they considered "legal" in Panama?

What about those that work "underground" like e.g. selling home-made stuff (!)  without paying taxes, are they more upstanding citizens than the "undocumented immigrants" that end up picking fruit at below-minimum wages?

Comment by El Gato on January 10, 2017 at 8:05am


its not my blog I would let you spew whatever hateful garbage you like.

You are the person who wants "censorship" on the main page so are you a hypocrite?

I sleep well with the knowledge that The Donald is President and it is going to be GREAT!

Have a good day guy.

Comment by El Gato on January 9, 2017 at 7:26pm

Kelvin is a broke ass gringo so he pays no taxes.

He hates anybody that has succeeded in life and is a bitter individual.

A "democrat"

Comment by Steve Gibson on January 5, 2017 at 10:24pm


 I thought you had promised no more BS on this site and no more sleazy attacks on people. I pay my taxes each year BY THE LAW and I take the time to read them. I believe that America started on the premise of unfair taxation on expats from England. Correct me if I am wrong. If you want to send extra money to DC, then by all means go ahead. I can think of a lot of better uses for it. 

Comment by Steve Gibson on January 2, 2017 at 6:33pm

Taxes paid to Panama are deductible from US taxes.

Comment by Pantah on January 2, 2017 at 12:49pm

Steve, I think one has to pay SS taxes on the earned income that the corp pays to the tune of 12.4%. Maybe Medicare taxes too. If one sells rental property in Panama at a profit, is there a way to offset in the US to avoid double taxation?

Comment by Steve Gibson on January 1, 2017 at 7:18pm


  You are correct about paying US tax on sale of property in Panama if you sell if it is owned in your name. This triggers income to the IRS known as "unearned income". There is no exclusion for "unearned income" according to the IRS. If your property is owned as investment property by a Panamanian corporation and the property sells then the corporation can pay you a salary and your spouse for "administrative or maintenance fees" which would then be classified as "earned income" which carries an exemption of +/- $99K/per year per person ( married couple) if living outside of the USA for +/- 11 months per year. Of course the corporation would be responsible for taxes  on gains above the adjusted  base. So if you can't live in Panama with an income of $198K/year then this is all moot. 

Comment by Glen Fraser on December 31, 2016 at 12:22pm

Your absolute correct Patrick without a state of residency to register as a voter one cannot vote. Fortunately I m not bothered by this as I choose not to vote either way so no loss to me. It also causes drivers licensing issues and hassles with credit card requirements to have a US address. For the CC, VA, SS, and DL I use my step son’s address in CA for administrative purposes only. SS in not a problem right now as I am not received anything from them but they do want /require a POC but I have largely ignored them because they aren’t giving me benefits so they don’t get to have my address however I do have an on line account with them to stay up on my earnings and future eligibility for ROI.

Comment by Patrick on December 31, 2016 at 11:21am

"and no longer possess a state of residency so no state taxes (if any) in the absents of a state." which means that you have also given up your right to VOTE. 

My Panamanian born daughter, a U.S. Citizen turning 18 next year, also cannot VOTE because of no State residency. Seems unfair that illegal people in the U.S. can vote but not a U.S. Citizen living outside the country!!!

Comment by Glen Fraser on December 31, 2016 at 8:18am

You got me on that one Pantah as I know very little about IRA’s as I have never had one nor participated in that type of retirement system. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other road blocks to paying taxes in ones retirement age- whatever that may be for an individual. For me I was technically eligible for my first retirement @age 44 but way to young for me to stop working so I continued to work for several more years until I saw the down fall of the US economy approaching. Now @age 55 I enjoy one of three retirement’s revenue streams that I have secured with the second just 5 years away and of course SS @age 62+ assuming that this program will still be solvent by then.

So for my situation I have no federal tax liabilities as I no longer generate taxable revenue streams and no longer possess a state of residency so no state taxes (if any) in the absents of a state.

In all fairness everyone’s situation would be different but in my case I have the perfect combination of circumstances at the optimum time. The only thing that I can see that may be taxable for us is SS but that is too far away to be certain.

Perhaps things may change under a new presidency but for now our situation is working out well and the IRS does not play into the scenario. And although not required we submit a 1040-EZ form every year to the IRS with all zero’s and sign the bottom and the IRS has never audited or challenged our reporting (if you want to call that reporting) or tax status.

BTW I get my taxation advice and instructions directly from the IRS web site.

Local Sponsors

In Need Of Help in Boquete? A ride to a doctor? Need groceries delivered while ill? Need Spanish translation for a medical visit? Visit from a friend? Whatever the need, we are there to help. The Stephen Ministers at San Juan Bautista Church.
Call 6886-6818.

© 2017   Created by JLM Foundation.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service