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Argentina Increases Taxes on Purchases Abroad to Counter Drop in Foreign Reserves

Thursday, December 5, 2013
By David Haskel

Dec. 3 -- Seeking to halt a steep drop in foreign reserves, Argentina raised to 35 percent from 20 percent the Income and Personal Assets taxes levied on credit and debit card purchases made outside the country.

Additionally, the 35 percent charge will also be applied to foreign currency purchases made for travel and tourism purposes, according to General Resolution No. 3550 issued by the Federal Administration of Tax Revenues (AFIP) and published Dec. 3 in the official gazette.

“There's a foreign currency drain due to tourism and other activities, and we need to be very careful in the management of reserves,” Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said in explaining the move, which will make it more expensive for Argentines to travel and to use their cards to order goods from overseas.

Argentina's reserves Dec. 2 dropped by $200 million to a 7-year low of $30.9 billion. According to the latest official figures, Argentines in September spent $278 million on foreign purchases, a 17.3 percent increase over the same period last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Haskel in Buenos Aires at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cheryl Saenz at

Text of General Resolution No. 3550 is available, in Spanish, at

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