Argentine Senate creates tax on large fortunes to fight pandemic – 12/04/2020

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The Argentine Senate passed a temporary law today that creates a tax on large fortunes, according to local press reports. The project was approved by 42 votes in favor and 26 against, after a long (and heated) debate broadcast live on YouTube.

The objective of the government of President Alberto Fernández is raising at least 300 million Argentine pesos (about R $ 18.9 billion, at the current price). The funds, says the government, will be used in plans to combat the covid-19 pandemic.

“There is no need to sell machinery or land. Taxation falls on equity financing,” said Finance Director Mercedes Marcó del Pont, and reproduced by the newspaper “Clarín”.

Mercedes also said that the tax – popularly known as “tax on millionaires” – should reach “almost 12,000 taxpayers, who have net availability 25 times higher than the tax they must pay”.

The launch of the new tax occurs amid an already fragile economy: the unemployment rate in Argentina reached 13.1% of the active population in the second quarter, a record in the last 15 years, during the most restrictive moment of the confinement against the pandemic of the Covid-19.

The Argentine GDP (Gross Domestic Product) decreased by 19.1% in the second quarter of 2020. The data were released in September.

Argentina has been in recession since 2018. Projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimate that the country’s GDP will fall 9.9% in 2020.

The country currently records 1,454,631 cases of coronavirus and 39,512 deaths due to the disease. In number of cases, Argentina is in 9th place, behind countries like the United States (14,343,430), India (9,571,559) and Brazil (6,487,084), according to a survey made by Johns Hopkins University.





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