Casco Life

2024 The End of Casco Viejo Law – What does this mean?

Panama, Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo


On January 16th of this year, what has been known as the Casco Law officially expired. From developers to new clients, we have experienced a lot of confusion regarding what this means. Therefore, we wish to address here the most frequent questions we have been asked:

  1. What happens with the law?

What truly expired is not the law as a whole, but the tax incentives it provided.

2. What were the tax incentives?

All developments that obtained their occupancy permit within the law were entitled to the following:

  • 30 years without property tax
  • 10 years without income tax
  • Access to financing 3 points below the prevailing mortgage rate. This benefit was maintained for the duration of the loan and extended to both commercial and residential properties. It’s important to emphasize that if the project obtained its occupancy permit within the law, it retains the first two benefits even if it is delivered later. Remember, the benefit starts from the issuance of the occupancy permit. That day is the “first day” of the benefit.

Regarding the banking benefit, it did disappear. In this sense, banks began 2024 with a change in internal policy, ceasing to offer the benefit to those applying this year, regardless of whether the property had the occupancy permit required by the law.

  1. What happens now?

The new reality is divided into two:

a. New projects, or projects that did not obtain their occupancy permit in time: these properties will pay the normal taxes that are paid in Panama City. What is the normal property tax in Panama? Here we share a blog about it: CLICK HERE.  and a video HERE.

b. Existing buildings (resales): if you are buying an apartment, commercial space, or building that was remodeled within the law, you should know that it was not just one law but three, and each had different conditions. Depending on when the property was built, the main benefit of property tax exemption may still exist in different durations. And it may be that the benefit of years without income tax has expired or has relatively little left. This is where the experience of the real estate agent and your lawyer comes into play.

We also recommend this work by the accountant Derick Brown related to property taxes (and other taxes related to your investment): CLICK HERE

  1. What mortgage rate applies in 2024 for investment purchases in Casco Viejo?

If you are buying an investment property in Casco Viejo in 2024, you will be paying the normal local market rate. Remember that investment purchases carry a tax called FECI, which is 1% added to the rate. That is, if your rate is 7.5% within your profile and according to the policy of the bank you apply to, if it is not your primary residence, 1% FECI will be added. The total will be 8.5%.

5. Will the Casco Law be renewed in the future?

It’s hard to say. This year is an election year, and the process of proposing a law is not simple. Elections in Panama are in May, and the new government team takes office around September. This makes it quite difficult to think that there will be a new tax incentive law soon.


The Historic Quarter of Panama is the second most important showcase to the world after the Panama Canal… a showcase that is revisited and renewed with each visit. As a UNESCO site, it is a beautiful place, with characteristics that make it special as a site to live and invest in. Today, Casco is growing, and from San Felipe to Santa Ana it offers something for everyone. We invite you to share your objectives with us and discuss which options may best suit what you are looking for!

Live, Work,

in Casco.
Arco Properties is the leading real estate agency focused exclusively on residential and commercial properties in Casco Antiguo since 2005. We are the only real estate company specializing in Casco Antiguo that donates 10% of its profits and 5% of the time of its staff in volunteering to non-profit organizations dedicated to the revitalization of the Human Heritage of the Casco Antiguo.
Arco Properties is an affiliate of Grupo Conservatorio. We are committed to inclusive and sustainable urban revitalization. We believe in the value of socially diverse communities and in building one affordable apartment for each high-end apartment.

For more information

  • Panamá: +507-228-6650
  • Calle 4a y Ave A, Edificio Cuatro Casas,
    Planta Baja, Casco Antiguo.