Argentina and Uruguay fine-tune details of money bleaching

 The authorities of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP) of Argentina transmitted to the Uruguayan real estate operators that the bleaching of capital that implements the government of Mauricio Macri will not inquire backwards on the funds and properties of the contributors.


The statement came in a meeting last Friday between the officials of the neighboring country and the Housing Chamber of Uruguay (CIU), after a consultation with local businessmen about what was the main concern that the Argentinians who consulted to appraise their properties. "We told them that the great fear was what was going on behind us," CIU president Gabriel Conde told El Pais.


AFIP officials responded that they will reassure customers that whoever declares 100% of their goods without inconsistencies will have no problem. "To the one who does the things well, backwards they will not inquire to him," was the message according to Count.


The money bleaching law promoted by the new Argentinean government, allows the taxpayer to declare assets or foreign exchange of their property not registered with the AFIP in exchange for a general rate of 10% that is zero if they buy public bonds (which will serve to Finance a pension adjustment for some 2.5 million people).


On the same day of Friday, the head of the AFIP, Alberto Abad, and several advisers met with the director of Uruguayan Revenue, Joaquín Serra. Yesterday the country's media reported that the meeting progressed in negotiations for the AFIP to access tax information retroactively to prevent the money from Argentineans deposited in Uruguay is transferred to another country to avoid money laundering.


Serra told El País that it was "a working meeting" as both administrations routinely carry out.


He explained that Argentine officials presented some details of the money laundering law and Uruguayans reported on the approval in Parliament of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (a multilateral agreement that establishes the basis for the exchange of data with foreign tax authorities).


Indeed, by acceding to the Convention, Uruguay opted for a clause allowing information to be exchanged for up to three fiscal years back from its entry into force next year. This will enable Argentina to request from the DGI data from 2014 onwards, in line with the provisions of the tax agreement between the two countries that has been in force since 2014 and does not allow retroactivity.


In return, Uruguay from 2018 will automatically exchange data on balances and income in bank accounts for 2017 with Argentina and other foreign tax authorities that adhered to the multilateral agreement, promoted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


Serra also said that at the meeting, the authorities of both countries evaluated "the functioning of the exchange of tax information in force since 2013." According to El País, the DGI rejected 58 requests from a total of 161 that arrived from Argentina between 2013 and 2016.


"The two tax administrations exchanged information and worked together on various issues on a permanent basis," said the head of the DGI.


Property Blanching


The Argentine law establishes that the taxpayer to take advantage of the laundering of properties must present two appraisals and the one of greater value will be taken to define the cost of the property. One of the aspects sought to clarify the CIU when meeting with the AFIP was the characteristics that the document must have to be taken as valid.


The Argentinean authorities clarified that from Uruguay, only valuations made by real estate agents or auctioneers will be accepted, since the Argentinean regulations also accredited appraisals of insurance companies and banks.


Regarding the formal issues of the document, Conde said that calls for "a comprehensive analysis, not only of property but of the market and comparable properties."


The CIU will send a communication to all the members informing "the minimum characteristics that must contain the report" in line with the requirements of the AFIP.


In addition, the managers of the real estate industry will analyze if a suggestion is made that "in an extraordinary way and for this unique application (money laundering in Argentina)", the value of the appraisal will be flexible to meet the high demand.


Conde explained that currently the suggested tariff for appraisals is 1% of the value of the property plus IVA (added-value tax), but clarified that the effective cost varies in each real estate in function of "the market and the relationship with the customer."


Prior to Friday's meeting, the CIU held a meeting last Tuesday with the AFIP authorities in Buenos Aires. "We have a direct line and an open dialogue," Conde said.


Appraisals are requested throughout the country.


The president of the Chamber of Real Estate, Gabriel Conde, said that the consultations for the appraisal of properties by Argentinean clients "is a constant throughout the country," although the greater activity is clearly recorded in coastal resorts. "Undoubtedly we will have an extra job" in the coming months, although so far "are more queries than formal" appraisal requests, added the real estate entrepreneur. The Argentine law allowed a period of exception for the bleaching of properties abroad until March 31, 2017. As stated a few days ago the president of the Argentine Bank, Carlos Melconian, predict that the bleaching has a positive impact on the economy Uruguayan.


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