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Buenos Aires Issues a 'Netflix Tax' For All Digital Entertainment

timothy posted about two weeks ago | from the that-is-not-nettily-neutral dept.

Media 165

New submitter DoILookAmused writes A few years ago, the Argentinean government implemented a 35% tax on all offshore buys using a credit card. In yesterday's press release, the city of Buenos Aires announced it will charge a 3% gross income tax for all streaming or media purchase abroad allegedly to bring it to "competitive prices with local media companies". This tax doesn't supersede the national 35% tax, which has sparked several reactions.

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Don't cry for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47829875)

Argentina!

Re:Don't cry for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47829903)

Boludo

They won't be crying (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about two weeks ago | (#47831925)

This is a smart move -- they won't see nearly as much of other countries undercutting their markets -- preventing the loss of domestic jobs and the outflow of non-government funds that US policies, for instance, have resulted in.

Kind of funny to see people complaining about them trying to protect their economy.

Guess I need to run wham-a-lart and buy some more inexpensive Japanese, Chinese and Korean stuff now. See you guys later.

Re:Don't cry for me (1, Troll)

bobbied (2522392) | about two weeks ago | (#47830173)

First she"s dead, then she's alive, finally she's dead again. Who? Eva Parone in the musical Evita.

So goes Argentina.

History repeats, over and over.... Peronism didn't work in the 50's and 60's, it's successor won't work now and the results will be the same as before.

To the slashdotters of the world (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47829911)

Argentinian here.

Please understand that policy in Argentina is usually just the result of the guys on top wanting more hookers or coke. Usually both. There is no justification to these taxes whatsoever other than "we want to steal more money for ourselves, but we already stole everything in sight... so we need you idiots to put more money in this account here so we can steal it."

Argentina is very much like your neighborhood friendly African nation, only with less ebola and civil war.

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about two weeks ago | (#47829987)

Why do you think we would have assumed that Argentina is different from the rest of the world?

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830005)

The guys on top should switch to Pepsi.

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about two weeks ago | (#47830045)

The guys on top should switch to Pepsi.

No, Royal Crown!

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (2)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about two weeks ago | (#47830817)

Why not Royal Crown spiked with Crown Royal?

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about two weeks ago | (#47830999)

I LIKE the way you think....

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about two weeks ago | (#47832089)

How about Crown Royal spiked with Royal Crown? In fact, forget about the cola.

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830087)

Argentinian here.

Please understand that policy in Argentina is usually just the result of the guys on top wanting more hookers or coke. Usually both. There is no justification to these taxes whatsoever other than "we want to steal more money for ourselves, but we already stole everything in sight... so we need you idiots to put more money in this account here so we can steal it."

Argentina is very much like your neighborhood friendly African nation, only with less ebola and civil war.

Argentina is also one of the richest countries on earth (in terms of fertile land, agriculture, turism, a very highly educated population etc...). The only problem is that it is inhabited by argentinians (with all their foibles and paranoias).
Not everything is bad though, world class steak from the pampa that literally melts in your mouth is exquisite..

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (4, Interesting)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about two weeks ago | (#47830995)

Argentina in the 50's was also on track to become a first world developed nation -- with GDP per capita on par with that of France (and ahead of Germany!) =(
Considering the lack of bombed out factories, a missing generation of working age men, what happened exactly?

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831651)

Our latest military coup pretty much destroyed our industrial capacity. That and Neoliberal policies by Carlos Saúl Menem made it impossible to be competitive on the international markets.

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (2)

whistlingtony (691548) | about two weeks ago | (#47831699)

Ahem. I'm forced to point out that neoliberal is not liberal... I'm afraid many people don't know that neoliberal is a technical term in economics. From Wikipedia: "support for great economic liberalization, privatization, free trade, open markets, deregulation, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy."

Or basically "capitalism with the gloves off"

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (2)

whistlingtony (691548) | about two weeks ago | (#47831723)

I should also note there have been a LOT of coups in Argentina, and the US has been behind at least the ones in the 70s... This is known, not conspiracy. Kissinger gave the green light himself, and those records have been recovered under a FOIA request.

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about two weeks ago | (#47830153)

Argentinian here.

Do you actually have Netflix there?

Apparently, the Slashdot editors think that all the paid video streaming services in the World are owned and operated by Netflix.

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830777)

Yes, we do have Netflix.

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (4, Insightful)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about two weeks ago | (#47830811)

Is the same shit here in Brazil. 60% tax in all international purchases made by individuals under the guise of "protecting" a nonexistent national industry (nobody makes Intel i7 in Brazil as far as I know).

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (1, Informative)

Nicopa (87617) | about two weeks ago | (#47830825)

I'm from Argentina and... Oh, god, please someone mod this BS message down!

Argentina has one of the highest Human Development Index values: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about two weeks ago | (#47830877)

I'm from Argentina and... Oh, god, please someone mod this BS message down!

Argentina has one of the highest Human Development Index values: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Yeah almost as high as Cuba and we all know how well off they are...

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (1)

Nicopa (87617) | about two weeks ago | (#47830921)

Yes, Cuba has a high value of that... It's off topic.. Take whatever index you want. The parent post is still BS.

Re:To the slashdotters of the world (2)

juanfgs (922455) | about two weeks ago | (#47831771)

I'm argentinian as well (but not from buenos aires). As I read the tax is pretty much a tax applied to the company not the customer, arguably one of the most reasonable ( and minimal) taxes that have been applied since the current administration is in. The 35% tax mentioned on TFA is way more rage-inducing, as well as the 40% tax on all technological goods ( from cellphones to computers) which pretty much stabbed our slowly growing software development industry.

The parent AC here is oversimplifying the matter, even though I won't defend our politicians since they'd make blush the most corrupt of US senators. As of standards of living, we are way far (still) from being like an african country, but we are on our way to civil crisis and socioeconomical failure. Crime has gone up, welfare subsidies are not enough to maintain poor families, workers are going on strike, and the currency is devaluating by the minute.

Most of latest measures taken by the government are futile attempts to slow down a crisis that they almost averted ( during Duhalde and then Nestor Kirchner period), but then accelerated again during CFK government, skyrocketing government expending on ridiculous attempts to buy the poor people's will, among them there are, the increase of welfare subsidies to a point where jobs became non-competitive, buying rights for most ( if not all) sports events ( your usual pay-per-view match is watchable in Full-HD air TV here), and fundings to ghost factories (which is one of the many ways they get the money in their pockets).

The reason is pretty much clear, CFK government was plagued by political unstability, her own party splitted and they had to find a way to buy the will of the people and become a contemporary Evita. Most of the supporters of nestor kirchner left her, many with the hopes of finding their own way to the presidential chair ( such as trucker's union leader Moyano), still her party controls the majority of the senate and they even attempted to make the judges of the supreme court eligible via the means of common vote ( in an attempt to complete their control of the three government's powers).

The current government is basically riding a bull on a glass shop, and they don't really care about anything but to stay on top.

Oh, Argentina (5, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about two weeks ago | (#47829935)

For those who don't know, Argentina is on the brink of economic collapse yet again. Their occupying government has ruined the currency with wishful thinking as if it didn't just happen a decade or so ago. They've been trying to negotiate away all the bad debt they've run up and not everybody is letting them off the hook this time. Like good bureaucrats they're probably looking to tax anything that moves.

3% tax on Netflix? pfft - last time they confiscated pensions and retirement accounts. Oh, sorry, they didn't confiscate them, they replaced the negotiable cash value of them with government-backed bonds. Which rapidly fell to zero value.

FWIW, the US DoL floated an RFC on 'protecting' retirement accounts by replacing them with bonds a few years ago. Nobody should be undiversified in their retirement savings jurisdictions.

IRS Planning the same (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47829997)

Note that the IRS has recently begun demanding much more information about IRA and 401K holdings, instead of just transactions outside the account. Seizing retirement accounts is being planned, and though it will be sold as taking from the "rich", a whole lot of middle class people are going to find themselves poor and at the mercy of politicians who threaten that the other party is going to take away their handouts.

Re:IRS Planning the same (1)

nealric (3647765) | about two weeks ago | (#47830029)

I see tricorne tinfoil hats are back in style this season!

Re:IRS Planning the same (2)

digsbo (1292334) | about two weeks ago | (#47830375)

You see wrong. I have contacts in the financial services industry who believe that a significant partial appropriation through asset conversion to US bonds is unavoidable. When a knowledgeable, successful, financially prudent person who works in financial services forgoes the tax benefits of keeping retirement assets in a qualified account, you should certainly consider there's something to it.

Re:IRS Planning the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830783)

there's no way it would happen. probably at least a dozen people would consider asassinating anyone responsible for stealing that much from them.

Re:IRS Planning the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830993)

If that happens, I'm done obeying the law. Hunting season would be open.

Re:IRS Planning the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831423)

and that's why gun control is important. The folks in Argentina also said it would never happen.

Re:IRS Planning the same (1)

mysidia (191772) | about two weeks ago | (#47831753)

With the construction of mass incarceration camps; the government is well ahead of you: https://www.youtube.com/playli... [youtube.com]

The war on drugs has already given authorities a great deal of experience with imprisoning massive numbers of people and militarizing local police authorities; no doubt when they make their move, they could also declare martial law simultaneously and reassign control of local law enforcement departments to the military..

Re:IRS Planning the same (5, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about two weeks ago | (#47830663)

U.S. Hikes Fee To Renounce Citizenship By 422% [forbes.com]

To leave America, you generally must prove 5 years of U.S. tax compliance. If you have a net worth greater than $2 million or average annual net income tax for the 5 previous years of $157,000 or more for 2014 (thatâ(TM)s tax, not income), you pay an exit tax. It is a capital gain tax as if you sold your property when you left. At least thereâ(TM)s an exemption of $680,000 for 2014. Long-term residents giving up a Green Card can be required to pay the tax too.

Now, the State Department interim rule just raised the fee for renunciation of U.S. citizenship to $2,350 from $450. Critics note that itâ(TM)s more than twenty times the average level in other high-income countries. The State Department says itâ(TM)s about demand on their services and all the extra workload they have to process people who are on their way out.

You are no longer born a free person, you are born into slavery. You have to buy your freedom and the price will keep going up. At $450 the price was already 4.5 times higher than in most other countries. Now it will be nearly 24 times more than for other countries.

You should be able to renounce your citizenship and leave for free, instead you are going to be prevented from leaving at all eventually, they'll jack up the price to the share of your national debt that you are born into and that is borrowed on your behalf by your government and only the wealthiest slaves will be able to get out. They will definitely prevent you from leaving eventually if you have any debts at all, including your student debt. The 2350USD change is starting on the 12th of September 2014 [wsj.com] , you can still get out at a low low price of 450USD.

Those walls they are building on your borders, they are not there to keep others out, they are there to keep you in. IRS is part of that system.

Re:IRS Planning the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830461)

Do you have any evidence of this? At the moment you just sound like an officious conspiracy theorist.

Re:Oh, Argentina (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about two weeks ago | (#47830219)

Argentinian bonds? Ah, you mean toilet paper!

Re:Oh, Argentina (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about two weeks ago | (#47830405)

For those who don't know, Argentina is on the brink of economic collapse yet again. Their occupying government has ruined the currency with wishful thinking as if it didn't just happen a decade or so ago. They've been trying to negotiate away all the bad debt they've run up and not everybody is letting them off the hook this time.

Actually, it is the old debt default from 2001 causing them to default now. In two rounds in 2005 and 2010 some 92% of their creditors agreed to cut 65% of their debt through new bonds - over a barrel, of course. The last 8% want all of it with full interest, but they're not getting anywhere in Argentinian courts. However, now they've gotten a ruling in a US court that Argentine can't pay interest on the new bonds without also paying them in full. Which Argentine can't, because part of the agreement with the other 92% is that nobody else will get a better deal so it would invalidate everything. They could make a backroom deal to make somebody else buy out the last 8% and swap for new bonds, but that's basically paying these guys off and setting a very, very bad precedent for later debt negotiations.

Instead they decided to play hardball back and just default, meaning those 8% get nothing - and neither do the 92% who agreed to new bonds. It's basically a giant game of chicken, who backs down first - Argentine because they want to get back on the international financial markets or will the last 8% figure 35% today is better than dreaming of getting their 100% + interest back forever. Argentine actually manages their finances quite well at the moment, being cut off from international credit means they've had to bring their budgets in balance and from the looks of it they can stay defaulted for quite some time.

Re:Oh, Argentina (4, Interesting)

beltsbear (2489652) | about two weeks ago | (#47830457)

Close. Argentina did not play hardball. The US courts confiscated the money they had access to preventing the payments to the 92%. Argentina will not fund those payments anymore if the US courts re going to take the money before it gets to it's intended recipients.

Re:Oh, Argentina (2)

paazin (719486) | about two weeks ago | (#47830697)

It's basically a case of the US courts showing to the world that countries may not want to work within the US system to deal with bonds as it fair serious hindrance to sovereignty. The council on foreign relations stated it was probably one of the worst decisions in recent court history and could potentially move a great deal of finance from New York to other hubs.

Re:Oh, Argentina (3, Informative)

stdarg (456557) | about two weeks ago | (#47830979)

Argentina was forced by some creditors to sign agreements giving jurisdiction to US courts because the creditors did not trust Argentinian courts. Argentina bartered their sovereignty on the issue for better credit terms, now they are crying because they are being held to those terms by a court that is not corrupt and subject to their own control.

This whole deal shows the world that:
1. If you're selling bonds and plan on ripping everybody off, do not mess with US courts because they are not scared of your shithole government and they will confiscate your "sovereign" asse(t)s
2. If you're buying bonds from risky countries, do so under a stable jurisdiction like the US otherwise you can be completely screwed by some populist who thinks you're a criminal because you bought what they were voluntarily selling

Re:Oh, Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831177)

Lol, court that is not corrupt. Good one.

Re:Oh, Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831451)

they are being held to those terms by a court that is not corrupt

And in which planet is that court in?

Re:Oh, Argentina (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about two weeks ago | (#47832099)

Fine, make it "a court less corrupt than the Argentinean one".

Re:Oh, Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830801)

Actually Argentina isn't managing its finances well at all. It had fiscal deficit since 2008 which is the cause behind the currency crisis. The default means they will have to balance the budget eventually, but the president isn't going to do it since she wants the next administration to bear the political cost of austerity. If the currency crisis doesn't collapse the economy, the austerity will though.

Re:Oh, Argentina (1)

sdguero (1112795) | about two weeks ago | (#47830421)

If the US dollar collapsed I don't think it would matter which jurisdiciton your savings are in, everything is going to go with it.

I think I'd look at hard goods, like real estate, before putting part of my retirement into other currencies to hedge against trouble with the US dollar.

Re: Oh, Argentina (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830609)

If the U.S. dollar collapsed, so would the notion of property ownership(at least, in the U.S., probably elsewhere as well) You and everyone else had better do their damndest to make sure that never comes close to happening.

Re:Oh, Argentina (0)

lgw (121541) | about two weeks ago | (#47830977)

I don't see a USD collapse as that big a deal for the US. We'd figure something else out to use as currency and keep going. There could be a rough year or two while states figured out a tax strategy, but that's about it. (Everything important for day-to-day government operations is done at the state/local level, but most of the money that pays for it goes through the federal government first, which would be the issue).

It would really suck to be dependent on Social Security when the USD collapsed, but the US has done well though non-government charities before, and I'm sure we can again.

Investments stock and commodities are worth what the company or goods are worth - the dollar value (or new currency value) will adjust over time regardless of where the dollar goes. Bonds would be a mistake, though, and sovereign bonds doubly so.

Re:Oh, Argentina (1)

mysidia (191772) | about two weeks ago | (#47831827)

It would really suck to be dependent on Social Security when the USD collapsed

It would really suck to be dependant on Social Security today due to high inflation which is hidden through manipulated CPI numbers. If the USD actually collapsed, and the government didn't manipulate the CPI numbers to hide it ---- the cost of living adjustment should reflect an increased payout due to collapse in value at the next adjustment period.

Investments stock and commodities are worth what the company or goods are worth - the dollar value (or new currency value) will adjust over time regardless of where the dollar goes.

Investments in stock..... first of all, many of the major assets companies hold are cash; including cash in the bank and cash from sales. A collapse of USD could impair and halt many businesses, however. The winners would be ones who already incurred huge debts before the collapse to buy commodities which the companies owned that would suddenly be much more valuable than the debt.

Other businesses, such as service organizations and software companies heavily reliant on support contracts with customers would suffer tremendously.

Typical practice would be to sign a 3 year contract to do X service in exchange for a dollar amount agreed upon upfront. A USD hyperinflation event would suddenly make all those contracts go from being a valuable asset and source of profit to having negative value due to being a source of losses.

Re:Oh, Argentina (1)

mysidia (191772) | about two weeks ago | (#47831779)

I think I'd look at hard goods, like real estate, before putting part of my retirement into other currencies to hedge against trouble with the US dollar.

The trouble with real-estate is that taxes are high --- it is extremely illiquid - the entry price is high - ability to incrementally buy more in small chunks is extremely limited, plus you can incur other liabilities and maintenance cost, and real-estate also can be easily taken.

Re:Oh, Argentina (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47832187)

A survey some years showed that the vast majority of US millionaires made their money in real estate. When asked why, one replied "Because they ain't making any more of it!".

Re:Oh, Argentina (1)

plerner (2459036) | about two weeks ago | (#47830563)

Well, not everyone in Argentina thinks that we are on the brink of economic collapse yet again. Some, like my self, think we are in a difficult situation which has no resemblance at all with what happened a decade or so ago. I don't really see any new economic collapse coming, not for the moment.

thats to spendy (4, Interesting)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about two weeks ago | (#47829937)

a 35% tax on all offshore buys using a credit card

With that kind of tariff how long till all out of country purchases are made with bitcoin?

No llores por mi (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47829981)

Brazil is becoming Argentina
Argentina is becoming Venezuela
Venezuela is becoming Cuba

Re:No llores por mi (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about two weeks ago | (#47830061)

Cuba is becoming?

Re:No llores por mi (3, Insightful)

deesine (722173) | about two weeks ago | (#47830395)

Cuba? Oh yea, that place with all the old Chevys.

Re:No llores por mi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47832217)

Sure - but some of the best mechanics in the world!

Re:No llores por mi (1)

jcfandino (2196932) | about two weeks ago | (#47832361)

Not sure about the mechanics, But they have the best doctors.

No llores por mi (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830093)

Yep, that is pretty much what is going on.
And all with comu--, I mean, socialists in all spheres of power.

Re:No llores por mi (0)

bobbied (2522392) | about two weeks ago | (#47830261)

Yep, that is pretty much what is going on. And all with comu--, I mean, socialists in all spheres of power.

Call it by it's Argentinian name... Peronism. (You remember Eva Peron? What here husband started.. It's here again, world wide. )

Ok, Ok, Call it liberal progressive, it's the PC name of it today.

Re:No llores por mi (2)

Flavianoep (1404029) | about two weeks ago | (#47830225)

With all this human rights violations by the police, stagnant wages and salaries, and concentration of riches, I daresay that pretty much that US is becoming Brazil.

Brazil is becoming Argentina
Argentina is becoming Venezuela
Venezuela is becoming Cuba

Re:No llores por mi (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about two weeks ago | (#47831023)

The Terry Gilliam version?

Re:No llores por mi (1)

Flavianoep (1404029) | about two weeks ago | (#47831115)

Perhaps

Re:thats to spendy (3, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | about two weeks ago | (#47829993)

At that rate, I bet there's a market for Argentinians to mail me cash, which I'll use to establish them a Paypal account. Hell, if Paypal and I both take 10% they still come out on top.

Re:thats to spendy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830055)

At that rate, I bet there's a market for Argentinians to mail me cash, which I'll use to establish them a Paypal account. Hell, if Paypal and I both take 10% they still come out on top.

I'd like to take advantage of your kind offer. Please list your mailing address.

Re:thats to spendy (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about two weeks ago | (#47830291)

You think he's going to take Argentine Pesos? I don't think so.... Pretty soon it's going to cost more to ship it than it's worth.

Re:thats to spendy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830731)

The vice president managed to buy the print, so the most it cost the better! We are fucked up :-(

Re:thats to spendy (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about two weeks ago | (#47830085)

That's assuming the mail doesn't get opened and the cash doesn't get confiscated before it gets to you.

Re:thats to spendy (4, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | about two weeks ago | (#47830099)

At that rate, I bet there's a market for Argentinians to mail me cash, which I'll use to establish them a Paypal account. Hell, if Paypal and I both take 10% they still come out on top.

Well, that would be great, if they could send you cash. If you want to take Argentina's currency, you are a fool, and if you require dollars, they cannot legally get them to send to you. If they could, they'd all be out moving all their local currency into dollars already.

Re:thats to spendy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830769)

My mother been in Argentina for a few years now.

Black market currency exchange is a thriving business there. There's literally a very nice and well spoken black market "currency exchange" runner who comes to your house, has a little chat with you and exchanges your pesos to dollars or dollars to pesos for about 20% cheaper than the official government exchange rate. It's part of a friendly organised "crime" gang.

Most of the locals are keeping their money cash, in their home, in dollars.

Re:thats to spendy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831427)

Cheaper? It's far more expensive. Only it has no restrictions, the Argentinian government has strict and cumbersome restrictions on currency exchange.

Re:thats to spendy (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about two weeks ago | (#47831233)

If they could, they'd all be out moving all their local currency into dollars already.

That's what friends who travel internationally are for :D

Re:thats to spendy (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about two weeks ago | (#47831253)

If they could, they'd all be out moving all their local currency into dollars already.

That's what friends who travel internationally are for :D

Don't tell customs any lies when they ask you if you have anything to declare then.. ;)

Re:thats to spendy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831251)

There is a market like that already.

Re:thats to spendy (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about two weeks ago | (#47831491)

Why would I be a fool to accept their cash? I wouldn't promise a conversion rate until I had it in hand and was at my bank, and if it's worth nothing all I lost was a few minutes of my time (and they're out all their money).

Re:thats to spendy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830131)

At that rate, I bet there's a market for Argentinians to mail me cash, which I'll use to establish them a Paypal account. Hell, if Paypal and I both take 10% they still come out on top.

The population is already used to dealing outside of the law regularly so it's actually a promising business model. The problem you'll have is the large volume.

Re:thats to spendy (2)

terbeaux (2579575) | about two weeks ago | (#47830211)

The country is under reporting inflation. Some peg it at 30%. The best way to hedge against inflation is to borrow a lot the currency that is devaluing and then purchasing something that holds its value. Bitcoin fits the bill nicely. Unfortunately, there is a limit on the amount of foreign transactions an Argentine can make. Listings on the Argentine "eBay" are selling BTC in pesos for twice what it is worth in the USA: http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-520567302-bitcoin-btc-la-moneda-del-futuro-_JM [mercadolibre.com.ar] This is probably dubious from a legal standpoint but selling mining contracts seems to be popular on the site as well.

Re:thats to spendy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830433)

With that kind of tariff how long till all out of country purchases are made with bitcoin?

I should probably find something to eat. I thought that said "made with bacon.

Re:thats to spendy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831213)

That 35% tax is actually a measure to plug a loophole created by a black market of foreign currency.

The government has been keeping the official exchange rate artificially low, supposedly to benefit... someone. I dunno who, because it's not industry. Probably the commoner, since many prices (electronics, real estate, including apartment rental) are expressed in dollars nowadays.

But that artificial lowness creates a loophole for offshore purchases. So, in a move like all the others, half-ass-baked and nearsighted, the added that tax to avoid that loophole. But they plugged a storm drain with a colander, so nothing was fixed, and lots of people were infuriated by the move.

So, now they're plugging another hole, again, in that half-assed way this government is so fond of. Big news.

Re:thats to spendy (1)

westlake (615356) | about two weeks ago | (#47831481)

With that kind of tariff how long till all out of country purchases are made with bitcoin?

No customs stamp, no delivery.

Bitcoins are a medium of exchange. They do not make your transactions invisible.

Re:thats to spendy (2)

mysidia (191772) | about two weeks ago | (#47831837)

No customs stamp, no delivery.

Not a problem for digital products delivered over the network.

here's some first hand info (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about two weeks ago | (#47830095)

it's a blog, but he supposedly went through it: http://ferfal.blogspot.com/sea... [blogspot.com] to answer the above...Argentina already has capital controls. credit cards, foreign money, all that.

About 35% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830325)

35% is not a tax. It is an income-tax prepayment.
Government refunds it with the income tax. And the people who does not pay income tax, can ask for a refund.
It is a stupid system, but it is not a tax.

To me, as an Argentinian, this 3% tax is logical. Netflix is doing business here, but they don't have an office here, they don't pay any tax for it, they don't create any jobs here, and that is wrong.

Local companies pay a lot more in taxes.

Re:About 35% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831471)

Where did you see that refund thing?

I've never seen the government giving cash back. It gives you credit for future income taxes on the assumption that if you buy from overseas, you're in a class that's going to pay income tax anyway. If that assumption doesn't hold out, there's no mechanism for getting the money back, AFAIK.

And if you do get it back, it's at the end of the fiscal year, when inflation has eaten its value anyway.

But, if you know what's the procedure to getting it back, I'm interested in links.

Re:About 35% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831773)

yes there is a mechanism

35% is high, yes, but ... (1)

pz (113803) | about two weeks ago | (#47830411)

The standard sales tax (VAT) in Greece is currently 23% for most things. (It varies, but that's the most common.) That's on top of the punishing property taxes, income taxes, taxes because you left your money sitting in a bank, taxes because it's Monday, etc. I jest, but only a little.

For those of you living in the US, can you imagine 23% states sales tax on essentially everything?

Argentina has instituted what amounts to a 35% import duty. Yes, that's a lot, but most things are purchased domestically.

Re:35% is high, yes, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830545)

Much of Europe has a VAT hovering around 20%. On top of punishing income taxes, etc. too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_of_Europe

A lot of that is to pay for the joy of mass immigration, or "guest workers", where one guy works, then brings in his family of 50+ who all live on welfare. So the corporation that hires him can push down salaries $3 an hour. Or straight out out immigration for its own sake. Assylum to anybody out of Africa. So they can vote liberal next election.

I swear the people here in my area are retards on a whole other level. Well, they did attend a central government indoctrination center for over a dozen years. Could explain parts of it.

Re:35% is high, yes, but ... (0)

AudioEfex (637163) | about two weeks ago | (#47830633)

Countries that charge a higher sales tax/VAT often get many more services for their taxes, however. A least in Europe. For example, I'm fine with a 20% sales tax if it buys everyone healthcare. The US would be far better off under a much more sales tax oriented system, to begin with (as we have no national sales tax, period, only by state).

Of course, you don't tax necessities like that (the basics, food, clothing up to a certain amount, etc), but beyond that - if you can afford a $4000 TV, you can afford a $4800 TV. If you can buy a diamond ring for $10,000, you can afford $12,000. It's a more fair system to pay for things, where you don't tax folks as much for working as for spending.

Now, of course, that's in a relatively more ideal world where we aren't spending trillions of dollars on the useless drain of a war industry it would actually be used for, so in this case I think it doesn't matter how they get the money out of us because it's not being used to improve our lives or our country anyway.

Re:35% is high, yes, but ... (1)

xvan (2935999) | about two weeks ago | (#47832405)

Argentina has instituted what amounts to a 35% import duty. Yes, that's a lot, but most things are purchased domestically.

Argentina has an import duty over the VAT... So that's + 21% +35%. That's been like that since I can remember.

To make the math easier for you, customs set a unique 50% tax on imports to local market. And that's only over the goods.
You still have to pay if you need to send money out of the country via a wire transfer.

For some reason CCs were exempt from this, now another 35% tax was set, deducible from your income tax... But as anywhere else, almost all Argentinians fake their income declarations, so they can't justify their foreign expenses and never get the reimbursement.

35% Tax is not a tax (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830419)

35% Tax is a prepayment of income tax ("Impuesto a las ganancias") So, my credit card charges me that 35%, but then my employer discounts that from my income taxes. It is a stupid system, but not a new tax.

As for the 3%. All companies offering services here have to pay gross income taxes. Otherwise, every foreign company can come here, make profit and take it all to their home countries, leaving nothing for us. The netflix tax is tottaly fair.

Re:35% Tax is not a tax (3, Interesting)

mspohr (589790) | about two weeks ago | (#47830629)

Thanks for explaining the 35% fee is actually prepayment of income tax.
This is probably useful for getting some income tax from people who buy stuff but somehow manage to declare no income.

Re:35% Tax is not a tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830739)

However, if they overtax you through the prepayment, I wish you good luck to get AFIP (IRS equivalent) to give you the money back.

Tropico 5 (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about two weeks ago | (#47830477)

I was playing Tropico 5 [wikipedia.org] last night.

Coincidence? Inquiring minds want to know.

Falkcountry Iscountry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830527)

Las Malvinas sin .... British!

Suck it up Argies!

Re:Falkcountry Iscountry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47830953)

Las Malvinas sin .... British!

Suck it up Argies!

Had the French not betrayed the Argentinians by giving the exocet codes to the British the conclusion of the war would have been very different.

Sad (5, Insightful)

Nicopa (87617) | about two weeks ago | (#47831073)

I'm form Argentina and it saddens me that this post comments will fall among these categories:

  • Peple saying "don't cry for me XXX".
  • Argentines explaining that Argentina is the worst country, worse than the worst.
  • Uninformed right-wing people talking about Cuba, communism.

Even the summary is wrong! That 35% is not a tax, just a pre-payment of the income tax that you can recover.

All hope is lost.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831701)

Argentines explaining that Argentina is the worst country, worse than the worst.

It is you that you hate argentina
You are the reason why facist politicians have been on top for the better last 60 years.That Includes the current ruling oligarchy.
You cant see 5 minutes past your face.
Always sacrificing the future for a tiny inprovement in the present. And last years not even that. Last years has been sacrificing the future for a past that never was.

Why do YOU hate argentina so much?

Re:Sad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831809)

income tax that you can recover? Why should people need to "recover" this income tax that they should have never paid in the first place? Your comment looks like the statement "everyone can buy dollars at the official rate". Please realize that the perception people have from their everyday living is more realistic than your official view, which probably just means that you belong to the top class and their golden bubble. Send my regards to Cristina, but don't try to brainwash me. Argentina is not the place to be unless you belong to the top class.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831871)

That 35% is not a tax, just a pre-payment of the income tax that you can recover.

All hope is lost.

If you have it back? why take it in the first place?

I'll tell you why: IT IS A TAX. A tax dedudictible from another tax, but still a tax and a tax that acomplishes nothing that it was set to do, to get people to spend less foreing currency.

The fact that the 35% tax is deductible from the income tax is completly absurd: People earning more than a arbitrary number set by the goverment pay income tax so to them that money is lost. So what are they going to do? Travel and spend foreing currency.

Basicaly the goverment stimulated the people with more money to spend, to spend it outside the country!

And what happens with those who don't pay income tax:
Sure, you can place a request at the AFIP (think IRS) to get the money back. But then you face extensive inquiry, and believe me, If they want to find something they will find something even if there is nothing to find.
Anyway. It will be six months to a year before you can get your money back, ANNNNND taking account our 50% projected annual inflation (Thats right! Double digits! And also its been 40% this year already and with 4 months to go I think 50 is pretty optimistic) you lost a quarter to half of the value.

Debt or tax (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about two weeks ago | (#47831705)

People cannot at the same time complain about debt and taxes. Debt is there because there is not enough taxes.

Of course the big question is who should be taxed. Someone reminds me what was the higher rate for income tax under Roosevelt?

Re:Debt or tax (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47832179)

People cannot at the same time complain about debt and taxes. Debt is there because there is not enough taxes.

So lowering the spending is not an option?

the 35% is not a tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831725)

the 35% on credit card purchases is actually an advance payment for income tax, it is taken into account when you do your tax return.
Thing is: Argentina shadow economy is on par with less developed countries. Nobody pay their taxes so it is kind of complicated for them to do their tax returns. Still you can fill some forms to get your money back, but... you guessed it, since a lot, sorry: A LOT of people evades like mad they are afraid to ask our IRS (AFIP) for their money back.
So in a way the people like me who pays their taxes are kind of happy that all the guys that evades since the old times are finally paying SOMETHING and afraid of do what needs to be done to get the money back.
You guys in USA could simply not understand the level of tax frauds and evasion that Argentina deals with.
Thousands and thousand of restaurants, professionals, shops avoiding accepting credit or debit cards and instead of giving you an invoice they give you papers with your bill.
Using credit cards is actually seen with disdain, carrying cash is seen as a sign of wealth.
Whenever you have a holiday A LOT of restaurants and other attractions for some reason (go figure) have a "problem with the system" and can not process credit or debit card, you are forced to pay in cash (and of course they dont give you a legal invoice)
It is like that since... ever.

"Although Argentina and Chile have similar levels of development, tax evasion differs markedly in the two nations. More than 85 percent of taxpayers in Argentina acknowledge that they cheated on their taxes during the previous year, and over 50 percent admit to failing to pay more than 20 percent of their legally owed taxes. In Chile, on the other hand, less than 20 percent of taxpayers admit to cheating on their taxes, and very rarely do they fail to pay less than 90 percent of their true tax dues. Income-tax noncompliance in Argentina exceeds 50 percent of legally expected revenues, and 35 to 50 percent of the expected revenue from the compliance-friendly VAT remains uncollected each year.
Tax evasion in Argentina is a well-entrenched phenomenon. In contrast to Chile or the United States, where many taxpayers report cheating in small amounts, taxpayers in Argentina participate in bold, large-scale evasion schemes. In Argentina, evading taxes is not a peripheral activity or a way to make a quick extra buck but rather an institutionalized behavior and a source of revenue deemed legitimate by Argentine society. Chileans also try to maximize benefits and reduce their taxes, yet most taxpayers do so within the margins of the law. Some participate in tax evasion, but the majority of taxpayers who cheat do so marginally.

The magnitude of tax evasion affects national prosperity. Whereas the lost revenues in Argentina exceed US$45 billion per year (15 percent of GDP), in Chile the estimated lost revenues are US$4.7 billion a year (less than 7 percent of GDP). In recent years, the Argentine government has spent more on controlling tax evasion than on programs for fighting poverty and unemployment. In order to collect taxes, Argentina spends three times as much as Chile and over four times as much as the United States. The budget of the tax administration is twice as large as that of the education department and almost three times larger than that of the social-welfare department."

Most of the argentineans that cries out loud about the 35% and look up to USA and think things like "something like this would never happen in USA" forget the fact that most of them would be in jail if they would want to do in USA the same thing they do here.

Finally even when this is a topic that I care about and I try to be as informed as I can, I have never heard of anyone going to jail for tax evasion in Argentina. Let aside something like the Wesley Snipes case in here, that is absolutelly impossible.

As a matter of fact there was a well known case some years ago involving one of the most famous and popular TV stars in argentina (Susana Gimenez) she imported a luxury car by using a special tax rate reserved for handicapped persons. Somehow this got detected and she called the then president (Carlos Menem) and ask him what to do.
He was the president so you would think that he would say something like "well. pay what you must and carry on", right? Well, no. He went like "make the car disappear, throw it in a lake or something"
Some time later the car was found in a barn covered in hay.
The conversation between the president and the TV star was actually made public by the star as a "funny story"
That is the kind of society we have here. Yet, they whine.

Now regarding this 3% which IS a tax around here is being called the "Clarin tax" because the economic group that pushed it (Clarin) have their own movie service. and is in close relationship with the buenos aires administration.

Would You Like To Know More? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47831851)

"The only good bug is a taxed bug!"
- Rand M. Person

Today the bugs of Klendathu made their latest attack, this time a wave of new taxes on the poor innocent people of Buenos Ares. 98% of the population is presumed taxed at this point, but reports are still coming in of survivors being found amidst the wreckage and debris of this once beautiful economic destination.

What can you do to help?

Everyone has their part to play. Whether you send files via digital lockers to those in need, or simply share links with those poor souls in search of the latest Federation entertainment and news, every bit counts. Help today is another step on the road to ending the Bug menace for good.

The best way to help is to Enlist! Now more than ever the brave men and women of the Federation need YOU. And remember, enlistment means Citizenship.

Would You Like To Know More?

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