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CABA begins to collect the Stamp Tax on cards: when will it be convenient to use cash or continue paying on credit

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From Friday, January 1, 2021, the stamp tax on credit or purchase card settlements or summaries began to apply in the City of Buenos Aires, which will be in charge of the cardholders.

The tax is 1.2% and is calculated on the debits or charges for the period included in the settlement or summary, regardless of the concept or the currency in which it is made. The deduction of adjustments from previous balances is allowed.

The tax will be included in the settlement or summary since the card issuers are the ones that will collect it. In other words, it will be paid together with the corresponding consumption and charges.

Thus, The City of Buenos Aires joins other jurisdictions (Buenos Aires Province, Córdoba Province and Tucumán Province, among others) that already apply the stamp tax on these settlements.

Stamps and Coparticipation

The Law of Federal Co-participation of Fiscal Resources No. 23548 establishes that “… With regard to the stamp tax, it will fall on acts, contracts and operations of an onerous nature implemented, on contracts for onerous title formalized by correspondence, and on monetary operations that represent deliveries or receptions of money that accrue interest, carried out by financial entities governed by Law 21,526. “

Likewise, the Law establishes that an instrument shall be understood to be any writing, paper or document from which the perfection of the acts, contracts and operations mentioned in the previous paragraph arises, in such a way that it covers the external characters of a legal title by which it may be required compliance with the obligations without the need for another document and regardless of the acts actually carried out by taxpayers.

On the other hand, Credit Card Law No. 25,065 indicates that the card issuer can prepare the executive proceeding against the cardholder, requesting judicial recognition of two elements: 1) The credit card issuance contract implemented in legal form and 2) The account summary that meets all the legal requirements.

The Supreme Court of Justice has already indicated several times that it is not possible to impose a stamp tax on non-self-sufficient instruments to demand compliance with the obligations that arise from the same EFE / Aitor Pereira / Archivo
The Supreme Court of Justice has already indicated several times that it is not possible to impose a stamp tax on non-self-sufficient instruments to demand compliance with the obligations that arise from the same EFE / Aitor Pereira / Archivo

The settlements or summaries of credit cards and purchase cards are not acts, contracts and operations of an onerous nature instrumented, as well as deeds, papers or documents from which the perfection of said acts, contracts or operations arises.

These settlements or summaries are documents that detail the consumptions made but are not self-sufficient to initiate judicial execution. It is required, in addition to them, the accompaniment of the credit card contract.

Our Highest Court has repeatedly issued regarding the fact that instruments that are not self-sufficient to enforce compliance with the obligations arising from them cannot be levied with a stamp tax (Among others: Yacimientos Petrolifos Fiscales SA c / Tierra del Fuego, Province of s / declaratory action of unconstitutionality of 04/15/2004, Petrobras Energía SA c / Entre Ríos, Province of s / declaratory action of 06/05/2007 and Shell Compañía Argentina de Petróleo SA c / Entre Ríos, Province of and Other s / Declarative action of certainty of 09/08/2009).

In consecuense, The reform of the Fiscal Code of the City of Buenos Aires that levies a stamp tax on credit or purchase card settlements or summaries is in clear violation of the commitment assumed through the Federal Tax Resources Co-participation Law, and would be unconstitutional .

Should I stop paying by card?

The answer to this question is that sometimes it will be convenient to pay for the purchase in cash or with money deposited in the account and, at other times, it will still be convenient to do it with a credit card or purchase.

When there is little time between the purchase date, the card closing date and the payment date, it may be convenient to pay in cash or with the money deposited in the account.

On the other hand, when there is more time between the indicated dates, it may be convenient to pay by credit card or purchase.

Credit or cash?
Credit or cash?

Recalculating

The difference will be in the return that can be obtained for the money between the date of purchase and the expiration date of the card statement.

If the investment generates a return greater than 1.2%, it will be convenient to pay with a credit card.

Here is an example:

Purchase amount: $ 20,000

Date of purchase: 04/01/2021

Credit card closing date: 01/21/2021

Credit card summary expiration date: 02/01/2021

Estimated return Low risk and high liquidity Open Common Investment Fund: 28% per annum

30-day fixed-term yield in pesos: 37% per annum.

If you pay in cash or with money deposited in the account, you avoid 1.2% of the stamp tax, that is, $ 240.

If paying by credit card, paying the summary will pay that $ 240 stamp tax.

However, if the $ 20,000 is placed in the indicated Common Investment Fund, an approximate return of $ 429 could be obtained.

That is, in this example it is convenient to use the credit card and pay the stamp tax because a profit of $ 189 ($ 429 – $ 240) is obtained.

Since there is a period of less than 30 days between the purchase date and the payment date, it is not possible to make a fixed term in pesos. If the term were equal to or greater than 30 days, the benefit would be higher given the rate of return of this type of investment.

It is important to mention that, in the case of human persons and undivided estates, both the yield that arises from the subscription and redemption of the Open Investment Common Fund and the interest of the fixed term in pesos are exempt from income tax.

Consequently, a purchase-by-purchase analysis must be carried out since it is convenient to use cash or money in an account to cancel a purchase when the time that elapses between that date and the expiration date of the card summary does not allow obtaining a yield of at least minus 1.2%.

It is convenient that those who use several credit cards analyze their closing and expiration dates to optimize their use. It may be advisable to modify the closings so that the expirations are staggered in the month and thus be able to use different credit cards according to the times of purchases.

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