Overwhelmed by the
lack of reserves and the collapse of the collection
in a context of slowdown in activity, the Government reached into another box this Wednesday with a measure that suspends benefits to importers and withholds taxes to collect
$1 billion, the equivalent half a month of collection.
The official initiative immediately set off the
alarms in the field of foreign trade and the business sector
, where they described it as an advanced "collection" of the treasury in the midst of the drought, a tightening of the stocks in the face of the shortage of foreign currency and a drum of gasoline on inflation that already
exceeds 100% year-on-year.
Through general resolution 5339/2023, the AFIP suspended this Wednesday until December 31, 2023 the collection regime that allowed, through an exclusion certificate, large importing companies to be exempt from paying Value Added Tax (VAT) and Income Tax.
According to the agency, it is a regime applicable to definitive import operations of goods, including those carried out to the free area from third countries and from the free area to the general or special customs territory, unless they are exempted.
In this way, the
companies reached will no longer be exempt from said withholdings.
In this way, the Treasury canceled the current certificates and extended the term to compute the tax credit.
"The suspension of said regime implies an approximate increase in tax collection in customs terms of 20% in VAT and 6% in Profits. In terms of income, a figure close to 979 billion pesos is estimated," he said. the AFIP.
On the one hand, the affected importers must enter a 6% profit perception even when they have estimated that the affidavit that they are going to present for the current fiscal period will yield a favorable balance.
In other words,
they will suffer withholding and have a tax credit that could be useless
in the event of an unfavorable economic result.
Regarding VAT, they must advance a perception of 20% if the products they import are taxed at 21% and 10% if they are taxed at 10.5%.
But the perceptions entered today cannot be computed until the ninth fiscal period after the import clearance date, which implies that the fiscal credit will suffer a strong depreciation.
"Today they imposed
withholdings on profits and VAT on all imports until the end of the year from 16 to 20%
, it does not matter if you are exempt or have a credit balance. After 9 months (next government) these withholdings can only be compensated. In practice, after 9 months you lost 80% of its value," said an importer of electronics.
For tax official Sebastián Domínguez, the measure represents a significant "financial burden" for importers.
"The perception of VAT entered in March 2023 can only be calculated in the December 2023 affidavit. Analyzing the dates, it would seem that the objective is for the calculation to be carried out when Argentina has another government," he warned.
The calculation made by importers is that from the new perceptions, which now they will no longer be able to avoid due to the suspension of the benefit, the total charge will be 48.5%.
This is so because to 21% of VAT and 2.5% of Gross Income, now it will be necessary to add 20% of VAT perception and 6% of Profit.
"Although technically the perceptions are not taxes because they are computed on account of the corresponding tax, in practice they can be transformed into taxes and this is what will happen in most cases because importers have certificates so that they are not charged. apply," said Domínguez.
Within this framework, importers are already anticipating increases in their price lists of 15%, which in turn could generate a domino effect on the companies that supply.
And, on the other hand, it could also
fuel inflation due to a reduction in the supply of imported products.
Nor is a wave of legal claims ruled out.
The only imports that are left out of the resolution are those carried out by Micro and Small companies that have a MiPyME certificate, those carried out on behalf of the State and those exempted from national taxes by the 2023 Budget. On the other hand, it will affect medium and large, as well as small ones that cannot obtain the MiPyme certificate.
"They point to two things: make imports more restrictive and, second, a collection purpose, it is a measure of great importance because many companies worked with these exceptions to the perception of VAT and Profits, it does nothing more than continue increasing the cost
of imported goods"
, explained Esteban Marzorati, specialist and former director of National Imports.
In the technology sector, in fact, there is already a new wave of remarks as a result of the import stocks and the recent reinstatement of the 16% tariff on a large part of the notebooks.
So far in March, the prices of those devices so far in March
have increased by up to 67%,
according to the consultancy MRT.