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Wealth tax: 10 questions and answers to understand the project that has already received half a sanction

An image of the Chamber, yesterday afternoon (Adrián Escandar) An image of the Chamber, yesterday afternoon (Adrián Escandar)

The Chamber of Deputies gave half a sanction to the project that seeks to achieve great fortunes – promoted by the deputy Carlos Heller– and was one step away from becoming law.

The initiative has the endorsement of the hard core of Kirchnerism, but the rejection of a large part of the businessmen who see how this tax will negatively impact the country’s economy.

Many are the questions that arise about the proposal that will be analyzed in the coming days by the Senate. I will try to answer the most important ones below:

1. Is it a tax or an extraordinary contribution?

Despite the fact that the text speaks of an “extraordinary contribution”, the reality is that, due to its characteristics, it is a tax, since there is no consideration from the State.

Argentines who live in non-cooperative jurisdictions or with low or no taxation will also be obliged to pay for the assets they have in Argentina.

2. Is it paid only once?

The legislative proposal clarifies that it is a contribution “on an emergency basis and for one time only.” That is, unless there are changes in the future, it will be for the only time.

3. Who should pay it?

The tax must be paid by those residents who have assets (in the country or abroad) whose value exceeds $ 200 million.

4. What if I am Argentine and I live in a tax haven?

Argentines who live in non-cooperative jurisdictions or with low or no taxation will also be obliged to pay for the assets they have in Argentina, if together they exceed $ 200 million.

Foreigners must pay for the goods they have in Argentina, provided their value is greater than $ 200 million

5. I am a foreigner, but I have assets in Argentina. Do I have to pay the tax?

Yes, foreigners must pay for the goods they have in Argentina, as long as their value is greater than $ 200 million.

6. Do I have to consider contributions to trusts or trustees?

So is. The proposal is clear in this regard, stating that the basis of determination will be calculated “including contributions to trusts, trusts or private interest foundations and other similar structures, participation in companies or other entities of any type without tax personality and direct participation or indirect in companies or other entities of any kind, existing on the date of entry into force of this law ”.

The only ones that would be outside the orbit of the tax are the irrevocable trusts, since there is a disempowerment in this type of figures.

7. What are the characteristics of the $ 200 million floor?

This is not a minor fact. The $ 200 million floor that the proposal talks about is an exempt minimum. Unlike a non-taxable minimum, anyone who exceeds $ 200 million, even for 1 cent, must pay in full.

Not a minor detail is that, with the devaluation that occurred between the moment the proposal was presented and its half-penalty, the floor in dollars went from USD 3.35 million to USD 2.35 million.

Considering this point, it is very likely that more people are affected by the tax instead of the 12,000 that the Government projected at the time the initiative was drafted.

The only ones that would be outside the orbit of the tax are the irrevocable trusts, since there is a disempowerment in this type of figures

8. What are the aliquots that I must pay for goods in the country?

The tax that they must pay consists of two parts: a fixed part and a variable part. The fixed amount varies between $ 6 and $ 88.5 million, while the aliquots range from 2 to 3.5%, according to equity.

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9. If I have goods in the country and abroad, do the rates I have to pay change?

Yes, the rates and scales vary if there are goods both in the country and abroad. In this case, the following apply:

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10. Do I have any benefit for repatriating assets?

In the event that goods from abroad are repatriated –which represent 30% of the total value of assets in other countries–, the rates and scales that will be used in the case of assets in Argentina will be applied.

Finally, it will be necessary for the Senate to approve the project and for it to be published in the Official Gazette in order to know the date on which the collection of the tax begins.

The author is Founding Partner and CEO of Sasovsky & Asociados