Argentina’s federal tax revenue office, AFIP said that trips to the Malvinas Islands, as well as expenses are included in the new 20% levy imposed on credit and debit card purchases in foreign countries, despite the fact the Falklands are considered Argentine territory, because of geopolitical reasons.
AFIP was strongly criticized by Argentine opposition sectors for treating the Malvinas as a foreign territory from a fiscal point of view particularly the 20% levy on foreign travel and expenses.
The issue surfaced in the Buenos Aires media following the recent referendum in the Falklands which received ample coverage from the Argentine media that travelled to the Islands.
AFIP head Ricardo Echegaray ratified the decision supported by a release from the agency stating that it can not “oblige lenders installed in the Malvinas Islands to carry out their operations in Pesos” and that the use of Argentina’s currency in the disputed territories will be accomplished “once the UK abides by the United Nations resolutions and, in a peaceful way, acknowledges the sovereignty” of Argentina “over the Malvinas Islands.”
According to AFIP, geopolitical matters are not controlled by the organism run by Echegaray and must be settled by “international law”, responding also to media versions that flared up the controversy over Echegaray’s statements that new AFIP resolutions span trips and purchases to the Falkland Islands.
Opposition leaders actually questioned the official with Radical Party for the province of Jujuy Miguel Giubergia calling on his resignation.
“Echegaray must leave the AFIP today for stupid or traitor,” Giubergia said and added that the head of the tax agency “admitted” that “the Malvinas Islands are not Argentinean for the AFIP, regardless of all the diplomatic efforts” carried out by Argentina over the past years.
And raising even more the tone of his criticism, the opposition MP accused Echegaray of “recognizing the British sovereignty over Malvinas”.