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Argentine cardholders to report all charges to tax agents

Julie Sherrier

The Argentine government has issued an edict that should make every cardholder cringe. All credit and debit card transactions will be reported to the country’s tax authority to keep its citizens from making purchases at that country’s “black market rate” rather than the “official rate,” according to a Sept. 4 article in Forbes.

The tracking, plus a measure tacking a 15 percent tax onto every purchase outside the country made with an Argentine card, is meant to stem a flood of foreign purchases. Argentines have discovered that by using a card outside the country, they can avoid the country’s rampant inflation.

The ruling initially just included credit cards, but Monday it was expanded to debit cards, too, as well as online purchases outside the country.

Prior to the new rulings, only purchases of more than $645 had to be reported, according to The Associated Press. “Now, every single purchase by every co-signer must be reported,” writes AP reporter Michael Warren. “And if the totals show people are living large while claiming to be paupers, they could get into big trouble,” says Warren.

Why should we care? If it can happen in Argentina, can it become a trend to keep foreign spending under control? For all we know, other struggling countries may think this is a good idea.

See related: Congress asks if data brokers invade consumers’ privacy, Privacy’s latest frontier: Your shopping habits

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