We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

Punta del Este...
Level Contributor
3,654 posts
16 reviews
Save Topic
International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

A couple of days ago the Argentinian government imposed a 20% tax on every ticket or vacation package purchased within Argentina, or on the web from within Argentina, if the destination is outside Argentina. It's part of the government's efforts to keep Argentinians at home, which is part of the effort to conserve Dollars within the Argentinian banking system. If you pay income taxes in Argentina, you are (supposedly) going to receive (eventually) a credit for the travel tax paid, against your income taxes. What about if you are a foreigner buying such a ticket or package, for example a ticket on the Buquebus ferry to go to Colonia or Montevideo?

I bought such a Buquebus ticket today, as a foreigner, in person at a Buquebus office in BA. The sales agent told me the 20% tax is being added automatically to every ticket, no matter the nationality of the purchaser, and that there's supposed to be some kind of procedure (eventually) for foreigners to get the tax back (maybe). She told me the price of my ticket, supposedly with tax included, and sent me to the cashier to pay. The cashier asked me for identification showing I was a foreigner, then pulled up the price on his computer, and it was less than the agent had told me -- about 16% less. I did not ask him why, not wanting to raise any flags. With ticket in hand, I went back to the sales agent to ask why the cashier might have charged me less than she, the agent, had told me. She said it was because her system just gave an "approximation," while the cashier's system was "exact." She assured me the 20% tax was included in the price the cashier had charged me.

So I'm not sure what to tell people here: Maybe you have to pay the tax as a foreigner, maybe not. But it appears sales agents at Buquebus, at least, think you do.

By the way, the cashier was asking Argentinians for their Argentinian identity number (DNI), and entering that number in his computer and waiting for some kind of "response," presumably from the tax authorities, before selling the tickets. That slowed things down for everyone in line. So, be prepared for that.

Maybe someone else has good information on whether foreigners in fact have to pay this tax.

Argentina
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
5,567 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

Yes, Punta. Everybody has to pay the tax.

Although presented as "having no impact since it's to be credited to the tax's payers total of due income tax", it seems more like a way to make tickets bought in pesos less cheap: since the tickets (maybe not Buquebus, but air tickets for sure) have a price in US dollars that was calculated in pesos at the official rate of 5 pesos per dollar, it's a way of rising the rate of the "tourism" dollar by almost 20%.

You are right it's not exactly 20% though: it has to be 20% over the price of the "real" fare only, before taxes and comissions. (It's not legal to collect a tax on another tax).

My eldest son spent money in the US last year with his (Argentina issued) credit card. He got hit with the tax, which was 15% back then, and he was able to use it as a credit for his taxes. He says it was not easy, but he succeeded in the end.

On the other hand, thinking about this widening spread between the official and the blue dollar, I was thinking: shouldn't foreigners who want to travel domestically within Argentina buy their tickets in pesos once they arrive here? Instead of paying with a foreign credit card and get slapped with a fare based on the official rate?

Just a thought ....

Edited: 5:19 pm, March 22, 2013
Punta del Este...
Level Contributor
3,654 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

Vero, you are so right that tourists should buy their domestic travel tickets within Argentina using Pesos in cash, which they will have purchased at the blue rate. I guess the only issue is whether they risk unavailability of seats (on a plane, a bus, whatever) by waiting until they arrive in Argentina.

If this 20% tax on international tickets is billed as an "advance payment of income taxes," how does the government justify charging it to foreigners, who pay no Argentinian income tax? Oh, I'm sorry, silly me for thinking the Argentinian government needs a justification.

D K
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
20 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

Hey guys, a quick question about paying cash to buy tickets:

Is there a specific place that accept cash or do all of the aerolinas offices take cash for the ticket?

I was checking the website, and Aerolinas says that they accept credit/debit: www.aerolineas.com.ar/arg/main.asp…

And LAN said they accepted Cash payments via bank deposit are only accepted Monday through Friday between 10:00 and 15:00 hrs: lan.com/en_ue/…

I guess my question comes down to:

1) How do the bank deposits that LAN is referring to work?

2) Do all offices accept cash (peso's) when I book tickets?

3) What is the best way to buy these tickets? Airport or the sales office in shopping malls?

San Clemente...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
11,608 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

Tickets purchased online for either airline are going to require a credit card or a cash transfer. Tickets purchased in person at an airline office or ticket agency can be purchased in local currency as long as they are for travel within Argentina.

D K
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
20 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

Awesome! Thanks Ricardo!

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
532 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

Doesn't the black market in currency exist because of foreign exchange restrictions imposed on Argentinians by their government.? When do bureaucrats learn that more regulations only make people more insecure and leads to capital flight out of the country? Other countries have found that out. Why wait till the economy is dragged to the bottom before waking up?Who in Government truly believes this move will help the economy and in turn the people?

Edited: 11:35 am, January 28, 2014
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
565 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

HI All,

Sorry for the dumb question. How much would we be saving about if we were to buy the airplane tickets in pesos from Argentina ( BA to Eguazu ). ? Would it be also more difficult to book an hotel in Iguazu short notice?

Thank you

D K
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
20 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

just to confirm, I have heard people say that aerolineas does not accept peso's from foreign tourists.. is that true?

Columbia, Missouri
Level Contributor
47 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

I'm thinking of purchasing tickets from Aerolineas website for travel in February. Is this tax figured in already?

Punta del Este...
Level Contributor
3,654 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: International Tickets Purchased within Argentina

I haven't seen other threads bringing up to date the practices on foreigners' purchase of tickets for travel within Argentina and tickets for travel from Argentina to a foreign country (including Uruguay).

Based on my and my wife's experiences with Buquebus, the ferry from BA to Uruguay, in recent months, the current rules seem to be:

If you are a foreigner buying an international ticket (travel from Argentina to another country), you do NOT any longer have to pay the 20% tax mentioned in my OP, but you DO have to pay with Dollars or a credit card issued by a foreign bank. Is this consistent with others' experience recently? Is it the same for airline tickets?

As an aside, it seems Argentinians must pay the 20% tax but can pay in Argentinian Pesos. My wife, who can buy a ticket as an Argentinian or a foreigner (Uruguayan, American), always has the Buquebus agent run the numbers on the spot to see which is cheaper, in total.