Government unifies three dollar exchange rates

The savings and Qatar dollar, as well as all dollar purchases made with debit or credit card, are now subject to a rate of AR$731 per US dollar

In the midst of financial turbulence and the skyrocketing of the blue dollar, the AFIP ordered that the debit and credit card dollar and the Qatar dollar be unfied. As of Tuesday, credit and debit card payments, as well as purchases abroad, will be subject to a 25% tax regardless of monthly spending (until Monday, the cutoff point for this surcharge was payments over US$300 per month). 

Additionally, there will be a new tax on the savings dollar. All three will be more expensive at a current exchange rate of AR$731 per US dollar. 

Two exchange rates were in place until Monday: one for purchases under US$300 per month (solidarity exchange rate), and another for payments over that amount (the exchange rate known as Qatar dollar).

In its decision, which was published in the Official Bulletin, the government highlighted that, due to the “intention of sustaining the impulse of fiscal policy redistribution, tax and equity administration reason advise” changing the current tax scheme applicable to income tax and personal property tax, which had different percentages depending on how they were applied.

This resolution backtracks the reduction of the surcharge that weighed on the Qatar dollar, which was in force for credit or debit card payments over US$300. Following the 22% raise of the official dollar after the PASO primaries, the AFIP decided to lower personal property tax to 5%. Tuesday’s decision takes it back up to 25%, which was set in place a year ago, on October 13, 2022.

Monthly payments per person will no longer be taken into account to determine which surcharges are applied: all credit and debit card purchases, as well as dollars obtained at the official exchange rate — which has a US$200 limit — will have the same charge. Surcharges now reach 100%.

Why the AFIP changed the surcharges

The measure was taken while the blue dollar is soaring. The gap between the blue dollar and the savings and the tourist exchange rate (which had already been unified at AR$642.29 per US dollar) was 50%, while the gap between the savings and the Qatar dollar (valued at AR$660.64) was 46%.

This caused a serious distortion since those who made payments abroad enjoyed a exchange rate advantage given that they were able to make payments at either AR$642 or AR$660 per US dollar, which they could cover by selling dollars in the informal market at AR$965.

This raise means a 14% devaluation of the savings and credit and debit card exchange rate, while the Qatar dollar suffered a 10.7% devaluation.

Qatar, solidary and credit and debit card dollar: the unified exchange rate

Official dollar exchange rate: AR$365.50

30% PAIS tax: AR$109,65

45% surcharge: $164,48

25% surcharge: $91.38

Total: AR$731.01

It is worth mentioning that this is still much lower than the blue-chip exchange rate of AR$840 per US dollar, as well as the blue dollar, at approximately AR$1000.

The change in the exchange rate increased the cost of savings and expenses, especially for tourism abroad, at a time when reserves are falling.

The resolution establishes the following: Transactions included in subsections a) and e) of Article 35, Law 27,541, and in subsection b) of Article 13 bis, Decree No. 99/19, will be charged two extra surcharges, one worth 45%, and another worth 25%.

The levies applied will be considered payments on account of future taxes, which will vary according to each person’s tax situation.

  • The 45% surcharge will be considered payments made on account of personal property tax for people included in the small taxpayers simplified scheme (RS, for its Spanish initials) who are not charged income tax. For other taxpayers, they will be imputed to income tax.
  • The 25% surcharge will be treated as payments on account of personal property tax for individuals and undivided estates, with refunds allowed in certain cases. For the rest, this tax will be imputed to income tax. 
  • The final exchange rate is the following: official dollar, AR$365.50 per US dollar, plus the added charges of 45%, 30% and 25%.

People who are not required to pay income tax have the option to impute these surcharges to said tax, provided that they informed this situation previously.

Originally published in Ámbito


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