Economic buffoonery continues in Argentina, as the sinking government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner now requires consumers who make online purchases from foreign websites to produce a written declaration at a customs office, and then to pay a 50 percent tax on the items. Every. Single. Time.It won’t surprise anyone to learn that picking up your overtaxed purchase at a customs office rather than having it delivered to your home is a process that takes several hours, and the inconvenience is generating much anger and frustration. BBC News reports:
Individuals are allowed to buy items up to the value of $25 (£15) from abroad tax free every year, but it has been hard for custom officials to keep accurate records of consumers’ transactions. Once the $25 level is reached, online shoppers in Argentina need to pay a 50% tax on each item bought from international websites.The government tightened the restrictions later on Wednesday limiting tax-free purchases to two a year.One resident of Buenos Aires, who gave his name as Martin, described the tax as “crazy. . . . I lose half a day’s work, which is unacceptable.”
Like Argentina’s recent 35 percent tariff on foreign credit card transactions, and all the various currency controls President Fernández has introduced since 2011, this latest effort is unlikely to stop the country’s reserves from drying up. It is more than likely, however, to create plenty of backlash.