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Former Argentine President Mauricio Macri defends tax evasion

Contributed by Caporaso & Partners Law Office
09 September, 2021

The Ex Argentine President Mauricio Macri defends tax evasion by coming clean during an interview. Argentine tax pressure reaches 106.3%

Mauricio Macri defends tax evasion and recognizes that, in his country, "you have to evade taxes to earn money". Further, he added that that businessman who pays all of his taxes in Argentina will never be able to achieve "a return on his capital". Poverty in Argentina exceeds 40%.

In his televised dialogue with local media, Macri accused the current government, presided over by Alberto Fernandez. According to Macri, Fernandez was frightening off investors with new taxes. He also affirmed that his opposition party will not negotiate with the governing party to impose new tax rates, because they aren't in favor of more taxes.

Macri's inflammatory words disturbed various local politicians. The delegate Fernanda Vallejos said, "Macri is making an apology for a crime: tax evasion is defined in our penal code and is punishable with 2 to 9 years in prison. And he sullies the name of many businessmen who invest and produce here in Argentina."

What are the accusations against Mauricio Macri?

Macri's problems with the Argentine Justice Department have a long history that go back to the end of the 20th Century. Macri and his father were accused of smuggling auto parts between Uruguay and Argentina, through the offshore business, Opalsen, S.A.

Then, Macri was one of the politicians who was mentioned in the Panama Papers for having created offshore companies in the Bahamas and Panama. The Argentine Justice couldn't prove that they had committed money laundering actions through these companies; however, they continue to be investigated for possible tax evasion through these companies, in which Macri appears as the director.

During his presidential management, Macri ceded the control of his businesses to a "Blind Management Trust", with the objective of blocking accusations for interest trafficking. The Anticorruption Office is investigating this Trust, especially for Macri's actual participation in the Agropecuaria Guayquiraro firm.

Tax evasion is a necessary evil with incompetent governments

Federal agents are attempting to demonstrate that, since and other businesses have carried out transactions to Macri's benefit and that he knew about it. So, he was evading taxes and carrying out money laundering operations.

The Argentine Justice Dept. is also investigating the ex-president for irregular payments in the sales of wind farms in the country. Currently, Macri isn't covering any public position, so he doesn't have any immunity and can be tried.

Taxation in Argentina has been exacerbated by the subjection of Income tax for companies at 35%, which came back from the reduction adopted during Mauricio Macri's government. Furthermore, this year Alberto Fernandez's Government increased taxes up to 3% on the largest fortunes registered in the country.

Mauricio Macri defends tax evasion because of the tax burden that has reached 106.3%

Argentina is located at the top of the ranking as regards the tax burden on the formal sector of the economy. The country occupies the highest place in the ranking of real tax pressure, as the report of the World Bank "Doing Business" indicates.

According to the latest available data on taxes in Argentina, the Republica had more than 145 taxes in 2020. In one ranking, the tax pressure taxon Argentine businesses appears to be first in the region with 106.3%.

It was followed by:

  • Bolivia, with 83.7%
  • Venezuela, with 73.3%
  • Colombia, with 71.3%
  • Brazil, with 65.1%
  • Mexico, with 55.1%
  • Uruguay, with 41.8%
  • Panama, with 37.2%
  • Peru, with 36.2%
  • Paraguay, with 35%


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