National Executive Power – Decree 796/2021

On November 17, 2021, Decree 796/2021 was published in the Official Gazette, amending Decree 380/2001, which regulates Competitiveness Law No. 25,413.

By virtue of this Decree, transactions with cryptocurrencies are not exempt from the tax on bank credits and debits, commonly known as the “check tax”.

The referred decree introduces certain amendments to Decree 380/2001, which regulate the Tax on Bank Current Account Debits and Credits.

In its Section 7, the new regulation includes a subsection to Section 10, which establishes the exemptions to the check tax.

The new text establishes that “…the exemptions provided in this decree and in other regulations of similar nature are not applicable in cases in which the transfer of funds is linked to the purchase, sale, swap, intermediation and/or any other operation on cryptoassets, cryptocurrencies, digital currencies, or similar instruments, in the terms defined by the applicable regulations.”

Consequently, the exemptions that apply to other operations by Payment Service Providers (“PSP”), will not apply to transactions with cryptocurrencies.

Likewise, it should be noted that the tax will not be applied directly on the final buyer of the cryptocurrencies, but on the collecting accounts that serve as a platform for the operation.

It is worth mentioning that Argentina is one of the countries where the crypto ecosystem has grown most rapidly, as a result of the devaluation of the peso, hyperinflation and restrictions to operate in the Unique Free Foreign Exchange Market.

In this regard, Argentina is the Latin American country with the highest volume of transactions in digital assets, and ranks fourth in the world behind the United States, China and India.

In the Latin American region, behind Argentina come Brazil, Chile and Mexico, respectively.

The tax on cryptocurrencies, which further increases the tax burden, may represent a disincentive to operate with digital assets, especially with intermediaries or exchanges, which is why the change has been negatively received by the crypto community.