Is this what is coming soon to America? More taxes, more intrusions, more inflation, and no freedom?
The new measures make using plastic inside or outside the country less affordable by charging 15 percent in taxes on all foreign purchases that appear on credit or debit card bills, plus a 50-percent customs duty on any goods from abroad that might be brought back to Argentina. Internet purchases on sites such as Amazon, eBay and the Apple Store are included, along with anything bought using online services such as PayPal.
Consumers will pay the tax along with their monthly card bills. And for the first time, the government will be able to scrutinize each cardholder's entire bill, tracking their spending to capture anything unreported on customs and tax declarations. Argentines are taxed on wealth as well as income, so this gives tax agents powerful new tools to collect a piece of everything they own.
But travelers are learning that their pesos are no good outside Argentina, and saving them at home isn't an option either, with inflation running at 25 percent or more a year.