Of course all expenses paid with a credit card must be in accordance with your declared earnings.
But, as AFIP started allowing future travelers to buy an average of 100 US x day x person at the official rate, and now are autorising next to nothing, the general consensus seems to be "let's take via ATM's what the AFIP didn't allow prior to departure".
These can't be huge amounts of money anyway, since CC's usually don't allow cash advances higher than 10 or 20% of one's monthly limit.
I asked an accountant friend of mine what would people answer if asked to justify how they had spent the cash obtained abroad (that cash one presumes they take back here as savings), and he told me that "taxis" is one of the favorite non-debatable items. Certainly not enough for the big players ...
Those who aren't above the table on taxes, might have to pay in cash or with a foreign credit card. That won't allow to take advantage of the low official rate, but, one can't have it both ways, I'm afraid!
About a week ago there was an article in La Nacion about AFIP "cracking down" in some way on those taking fistfuls of credit cards to Colonia, Uruguay to take out cash advances in Dollars for friends and family. Exactly what Vero was talking about in Chile. I can't remember what AFIP was doing, but I don't think it was auditing. After all, if the credit cards are in several names, AFIP would have to do a lot of cross-checking with Buquebus passenger manifests to figure out that these people didn't travel. Maybe someone else recalls what this was. AFIP is playing whack-a-mole all over the place, trying to shut off all access to Dollars.
A well informed person who does not post here brought the above article to my attention. It relates to my previous post. My memory was faulty, as usual. First, it was less than a week ago, and second, it is the Central Bank, not AFIP, that is blood-hounding credit card advances. Basically, anyone taking out more than U$S 5k between Sept.-Oct. 2012, or U$S 10k between Jan.-April 2013, as credit card advances outside Argentina has to provide the Central Bank with receipts showing the money was spent outside Argentina, or receipts showing that it was exchanged for Pesos within Argentina. In other words: People cannot simply stash away in their home piggy banks this amount of Dollars taken out as credit card advances in the exterior. Penalties are unspecified, as far as I know.
The basic rule of the Kirchner government is this: An Argentinian is not supposed to save in Dollars, period. Hence, the blue market, the only practical way an Argentinian can get Dollars to save.
Cold - Ok, it was difficult to follow your original post and your follow up post still is a bit confusing. What kind of tour is this that is $300 US dollars? Can you explain exactly what the tour is? Also, the tour guide is asking for a $25 US entrance fee separate from the $300 US? You mentioned that you checked online and the fee was less. Just so we have all the facts, how much exactly is "much less". What is the price quoted online for the entrance fee?
Patitoaway - I agree with your point that many people want it both ways. That's one of the biggest reasons why I almost NEVER hung out with American ex-pats in Buenos Aires. I just had no desire to hang around with most of them. In my 8 years living in Buenos Aires, the vast majority of them didn't take the time our courtesy to learn Spanish, they were "perma tourists" that never took the time, expense or courtesy to Argentina to become permanent residents, many were working "under the table" and not paying taxes or contributing much to Argentina, and many of them wanted it "both ways" like you are mentioning. I do agree with your basic principle that "everyone has to eat". Especially individuals that are locals just trying to survive this situation.
And you are right Patitoaway that technically businesses aren't supposed to accept more than 1,000 pesos at a time, in principle that isn't really followed. Or it's just red tape. For example, I went to Carrefour (grocery store) and bought a bunch of stuff for my apartments and the bill was 3,000+ pesos. So it was a pain they had to ring up 3 SEPARATE receipts. I obviously could still pay in cash but they had to separate the stuff out so that once it got close to 999 pesos they had to ring it up and I have to pay 3 separate transactions which is a major pain and buzz kill and waste of time.
But it's NOT a problem paying over 1,000 pesos at restaurants. I had many 1,000+ peso bills at restaurants while I've been in town as I picked up the tab most of the times we went out with family or friends in groups. NO problem paying over 1,000 pesos.
Also, even major hotels like the Four Seasons I had NO problem paying a bill over 1,000 pesos. In fact, my wife and I got a Spa package with lunch included. We paid 2,500 pesos in cash and it was NO problem at all. I do agree that I doubt they would convert dollars at the informal rate. I do believe the Spa package they quoted in dollars but I just paid the 2,500 peso bill in cash (pesos) with NO problem at all.
Let's get real.....1,000 pesos is only about $100 US now..... not much.
Vero, yes I get your point but my point is this...even people that are working in white and paying taxes.... it's still a MAJOR pain when you get audited. Here in the USA, even when you are doing everything properly, it's a MAJOR pain to get audited. You spend time, money and accountant bills dealing with it.
I just think it will become a point VERY soon where all the government (be it AFIP or the Central Bank of Argentina) all they do is compile lists from ALL the locals that are going abroad often. They can easily get this as they already have this information on their governmental computer system with customs. They can compile a list of all Argentineans that are leaving often on trips abroad, spending frequently with their credit cards abroad, using their credit card for cash advances, etc.
Not to say these people are doing ANYTHING wrong. But I'm sure this regime could make things very uncomfortable for these people if they wanted. After all, with each passing month it's not 3 separate systems of Executive, Legislative and Judicial with checks and balances. I think you get what I'm hinting at here. I really think that's the path things will go.
I believe this is what you will see next in the press to come in the next year or so. Extensive lists or spreadsheets being compiled that cross matches all of these groups that I mentioned above.
Thanks for posting that link. I didn't see it last week. Yep, that's the type of thing I'm talking about in my last post. See, you should start to see more of these types of restrictions and controls. It doesn't matter if someone gives someone else their ATM or Credit card to withdraw abroad.
The point is there are mechanisms in place where the government can EASILY compile data for those groups that I mentioned (locals that are going abroad more than X times a year), those that often use their credit and debit cards abroad, and those that withdraw cash from ATM machines at all from abroad.
Furthermore they can easily cross reference ALL 3 data points to red flag those that match all 3. Again, NOT saying these people are doing ANYTHING wrong or illegal because they most certainly are NOT. Totally legit and totally legal. But their life could be made into a nightmare. To the point where I could guarantee you those weekend trips for shopping trips to Miami would be put to a halt.
As mentioned, this is NOT just 100,000 to 200,000 wealthy people as the government would try to portray. Not even just business owners or wealthy. It's the everyday man. NO ONE wants to save in pesos. Case in point, a friend of mine recently fired his property manager as they were doing a HORRIBLE job of managing his property.
He went into the new office of his new property manager. This guy is American and all the employees knew it. So he said right when he first entered, all these office staff were asking him if he was interested in selling his dollars. They gave him a fairly bad rate of 8 pesos to $1 US considering where it was on the blue market. But he said he did it as he felt bad for them. I'm not talking about owners of the company. I'm talking about the receptionist and low level office staff desperate not to lose their savings.
And the biggest tell of all is even the maid they sent to clean his apartment asked him (she couldn't speak English and his Spanish isn't great) if he would be willing to exchange any of his dollars. She only had a few hundred pesos! But this highlights the point of what the true reality is of this situation. It's NOT just the wealthy elite.. It's the everyday person on the street. The low level office workers and even very low level uneducated poor like maids.
Saint, you are so right that it's not just the "elite," as the government wants people to believe. It's the taxi driver, it's the maid, it's the waiter in the restaurant -- everyone is desperately seeking Dollars.
When the government says that its prohibition on buying Dollars at the official rate "only affects a few, the elite," what they really mean is that these are the only people with enough earnings and assets to really suck billions of Dollars out of the Central Bank if they were allowed to buy Dollars at the official rate with those earnings and assets. In other words, these few are the "targets" of the government's policies, the ones whose right to protect their savings the government could care less about. But the policies aimed at these "elites" actually hurt everyone, right down to the maid who wants to put aside her meager savings in Dollars.
exactly my point from a few days ago at this forum. this situation is affecting those with the least the most.
So so true Punta. Once again your post #136 is so spot on target.
Patitoaway #137 - Yes everyone is affected but this is a problem that the government created.
Of course the afip has the information of all your expenses abroad. I gather not many posters have done their tax returns this year. So here i explain: last year the goverment introduced the 15percent tax on all purchases abroad. This tax can be offset your income tax. So, when you are about to do your tax returns you go to the tax office website put in your tax number and there all your tax retentions in your credit cards appear in detail. You use the annual amount and with one click you use this amount against your income tax for the year. In my case i also used it for the federal assets tax. In other words it is a tax credit. And in other words the tax office knows exactly how much money i spent, when, where and in what country. They do not need to do so much cross reference. All the information is neatly digitalized.
Exactly Patioaway. But even if you didn't try to capture back that tax deduction, they still have that information. I know many locals that did a ton of shopping and they do NOT plan to try to capture that tax credit back because they are afraid that they will get hassled with the other businesses they own.
I kind of laughed and told them, "do you think the government doesn't already have this information?". LOL.
The government has all of this information whether you try to capture the tax credit back or not. And I'd assume people that have BIG expenses won't even try to capture back this credit. But I don't think they realize the government might hassle them anyway.