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Bonnie

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Everything posted by Bonnie

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/business/trump-panama-hotel-tax-evasion.html The owners of a luxury hotel in Panama City that ousted the Trump Organization as property managers last year accused it on Monday of evading taxes in Panama and creating a “false light” around the hotel’s finances. The accusations, made in a legal filing in Manhattan federal court, are fraught with potential diplomatic and legal complexities for President Trump. They essentially assert that his family business cheated a foreign government, a claim the Trump Organization characterized in a statement as “completely false.” The president’s company, the filing alleges, “also made fraudulent and false claims to the Panamanian tax authorities” to “cover up its unlawful activities.” This was originally detected during an audit last year by that country’s tax agency, according to the filing. It was not possible to immediately verify accusations in the filing that the Trump Organization did not fulfill its obligation as managers to ensure all the hotel’s taxes were paid, including those related to the Trumps’ management fees. Panamanian law imposes a tax on commissions paid to foreign businesses, but the Trumps’ management fees may have qualified for an exemption. The filing does not make clear how much money may be owed — or for how long the Trump Organization may have failed to pay the taxes — but suggests that the company’s actions on this and other matters exposed the hotel’s owners to millions of dollars in liability. The Trump Organization said the accusations were misdirected. “To the extent any taxes were to be withheld,” the company’s statement said, it was the responsibility of the hotel owners, not the Trump Organization, which “did not evade any taxes.” The statement added that the tax decisions were made on the advice of an international accounting firm. The filing comes as the Trump Organization is waging battle with congressional Democrats investigating the president’s personal finances. While those investigations present more immediate political threats to Mr. Trump, the Panama dispute could open a new line of attack on the president’s business and provide fodder for his critics. The filing also alleges, among other claims, that the Trump Organization understated employee salaries in reports to the Panamanian social security agency, which may have reduced the hotel’s social security tax payments. Collectively, the company’s actions made “the financial and operational performance of the hotel appear in a false light,” the filing says. Advertisement
  2. Fireworks welcome? The animal support groups likely will have something to say about this.
  3. I remember it well and, being somewhat new to Panama, how odd the whole procedure seemed. But what I really remember best is that the sticker they left was impossible to remove from our wrought iron gate, leading ultimately to our having to repaint the whole d—n thing.
  4. Ricky, I am no longer the CLV for the Embassy.The new CLVs, Denese Rodgers and George Chin, can be reached at clvboquete@gmail.com. It was my experience that these community outreach meetings are announced only a couple of weeks ahead of time. Persons who are enrolled in the STEP program receive all Embassy messages, including those announcing community outreaches. Also, the CLVs generally announce the outreaches on two forums, including this one, and various community Facebook pages.
  5. I have Skype here in Panama. I don't understand the difficulty you're having.
  6. The problem clearly is on their end, as evidenced posted by Mr. Bondoux demonstrates. Call their attention to that, and make them understand that ONLY Wells Fargo customers are experiencing the problem here in Panama. Then, the next time you're in the U.S., change banks.
  7. Dr. Franklin Anguizola is the best cardiologist in Chiriqui. He and his wife have bought a house in Boquete and apparently want to spend more time here or maybe even move here full time. What a plus for Boquete!
  8. I had to look up what impugnacion means, thinking it had to do with impugning and wondering what the heck that would have to do with the election. In fact, it means contested or challenged. I wonder how long this will take.
  9. Is this a fundraiser? If so, for what or whom?
  10. It would be helpful to know exactly which products these are. Those of us on medication for high blood pressure may need to see a doctor for a prescription change.
  11. The alternative is to buy your own sturdy bags. I bought some Pricesmart bags many years ago, and they're still going strong though they look a little ratty. I recently purchased online a mesh bag for fruits and vegetables and two inexpensive but good quality nylon bags.
  12. The worst of this for me is resetting everything. My generator doesn't extend to the garage door opener or the electric gate. I try not to open them when the power is out, but I had to today to admit some workmen. So I did so manually. It took me almost an hour to reset them. Too, on my DNS, the IP address changes , requiring reactivation, and my IPTV has to be completely rebooted, including disconnecting everything for a period of time and then rebooting. Resetting the clocks are nothing. But the rest took up the better part of an 1-1/2 hours after the four-hour outage this morning.
  13. Anyone else except those of us in Palo Alto without electricity this morning?
  14. Rumor is that the government had a large, outstanding bill with Copa. I think it's in the process of being remedied.
  15. Other reports indicate that he had a fairly extensive criminal history of child, woman, and animal abuse back in the States. Undoubtedly, he was here in on tourist visa that he renewed regularly, so he didn't have to undergo a law enforcement check. With all the griping about how burdensome the enforcement of the tourist visa limitations are, has anyone considered that lax enforcement allows scum like this to remain in Panama indefinitely?
  16. If this is true--and I have no doubt that it is--it is reprehensible. The one thing that is still inexpensive here is labor, so there is no excuse for an employer not fulfilling his obligations to pay social security. Not to pay s.s. is to leave the worker without health insurance and without a livable retirement. Anyone who shirks this responsibility should be ashamed. It also goes a long way to explain why the s.s. system here seems always to be in crisis. Penalties for not paying, I understand, are substantial. But there are not nearly enough government inspectors and enforcers. But, in Boquete at least, I have found that many employees are fully aware of their rights and are willing to fight for them. And they usually win. I have a full time gardener who earns $420 a month. But I pay all social security, not just the half I'm obligated to. This is a substantial benefit to him--about $50 a month--and it relieves me of having to address the issue of salary increases on a regular basis. Graciela's point is also well-taken. Most everyone is aware of a major, lucrative business here in Boquete that routinely hires employees for six months and then lets them go before longterm s.s. obligations kick again. Disgraceful.
  17. My interpretation is that so log as a foreigner doesn't vote or contribute money, any other participation in politics is allowable--even though it doesn't explicitly address the expression of political opinions.
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