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Keith Mangan
New member
Username: Kreation

Post Number: 20
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 11:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

HI
Has anyone experienced bringing large amounts of cash into Argentina through customs on your person.I am just wondering what way they work it here;do they convert the dollars to pesos and back to dollars????;do you get whisked away to some place to explain why you are bringing it in; or is it just a case of filling some forms???

I have never experienced bringing house-prices through customs and was wondering if anyone had any knowledge on the topic?
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Apartmentsba.com
Advanced Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 482
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 11:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Keith,

I would NOT recommend doing this. First of all, it's illegal to bring in more than $10,000 US without declaring it. After they caught the Venezuelan guy bringing in $800,000 dollars without declaring it things are tough here. MANY people still bring in more than $10,000 without declaring it but I wouldn't recommend it.

There is no reason to carry cash on the plane. If they catch you keep in mind the fine is 50% of whatever they catch you with.

If you are talking about declaring the funds I would have to assume they would tax you on those funds but I've never known anyone that's actually declared it. I've talked to MANY people that brought it on with them and did not declare it.

It's not the wisest thing bringing in large amounts of cash even if you plan on declaring it. It's also dangerous. All it would take is one phone call from the airport security personnel to some thug friend of his to follow you and you can EASILY get robbed on the way to the city.

Simply open up an account at a legally registered money exchange firm in Buenos Aires and wire the money in legit. It will be much safer and easier. Good luck.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1673
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 7:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Keith, what Mike said... unless your last name is Yoma.
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Apartmentsba.com
Advanced Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 485
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 7:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Roberto,

I travel quite a bit throughout South America and I'm amazed at some of the things I've seen in airports. I remember in Colombia twice (once in Cali and once in Bogota) at the airport the airport security personnel found cash on travelers going through the x-ray machine and they were sitting there counting out each bill in front of everyone! They didn't even bother going into some private room.

One time this guy ahead of me in line was sweating bullets and they stopped him. On him in his pants (lined on his leg as well as his coat pockets) he had tons of $100 bills. It was surreal as the airport security called someone and the person was sitting right there in front of everyone counting it. I'm not sure how much was there or what happened to the guy. I had to run to catch a flight to Medellin but it was really surreal watching that.

I wouldn't recommend to ANYONE traveling in South America to carry large amounts of cash with them on airplanes. Before it was VERY easy in Argentina but they are cracking down on this. LOTS of locals from Argentina have their money over in Uruguay and they bring it over in cash but I know a lot of people that are scared to do this now after the Wilson $800,000 incident. Those that do avoid the airlines and take their chances with Buquebus.

This is a pretty surreal country with things having to do with the banking system.... I once was at a property closing for a building and there was $3 MILLION in hundred dollar bills on the table. I'm used to doing cash transactions but still it was VERY strange sitting there having them count each bill one by one. The seller of the building demanded cash as he was buying another property that same day.

Talk about a HUGE bank transfer fee. I joked to the seller at the closing that it would have been much cheaper bringing it on a carry on bag to avoid the bank transfer fees. Obviously this was before the Wilson incident...


PS - Keith also remember that when you go to SELL your property as a foreigner, AFIP can and do ask how you brought in your money into the country. They will see if it was legal "white". To be honest, they aren't too concerned with wires that were sent in before 2006 when the "black" system was really prevalent but in 2006 they enacted a sort of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism act here so they are more careful with transfers after that.

Keep in mind when you buy a property it's important to use a "white" money transfer firm that is registered with the Argentina Central Bank so the transaction is "white" and you can justify the entry of funds into Argentina. There are lots of firms that are "black" but it's important that you do it legitimately.

On one transaction that was a purchase before 2006 and the client (American) using a "black" bank AFIP asked him how he got the funds to Argentina to purchase. He was honest and said he used a money exchange firm but couldn't remember which one. They asked him for a copy of his bank statement in the USA on that transfer and also asked to see copies of his tax return so he could justify the income. He was allowed to sell after providing those things. He also had to show proof of the rental taxes that he paid during the ownership, his tax returns for the asset/property tax as well. He then paid the 1.5% transfer tax and was able to sell.

On these white firms, they typically have a list of things including your tax returns, bank statements, even a resume, etc. They want to make sure you aren't a drug dealer, terrorist or money launderer so they can see how you came up with the funds to purchase in the first place.
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Keith Mangan
New member
Username: Kreation

Post Number: 21
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 7:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cheers for the input;

Mike ;The idea was to declare it at customs; but I kind of forgot where we are for a sec..I love the place but, well we all know the trouble with trust down here.

The reason it came up was I heard another story today of someone transferring money through down here and he got robbed outside the bank;that's the third in a few months.
He had had to notify them a few days before of the amount; so someone let the cat out of the bag.Scary stuff..

I suppose I'll check around for a reputable Bank/Casa de Cambio; and hope all goes well.

Regards
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Apartmentsba.com
Advanced Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 486
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 8:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Keith,

Yes, sometimes it's easy to forget this is really a third world country we are talking about. The banking system is truly third world!

As far as robberies they happen here. That's my point...these thieves many times have inside men or employees on the job. I really don't trust many people here in Argentina. Just a handful of people that have proven time in and time out they are reliable and most of them have been around in Argentina a LONG time.

The key is NEVER carry money around yourself. There are security guard firms you can hire that will guarantee the money transfer. Most times it's only u$s 200 - $300 for a LARGE amount of money. ALWAYS try to arrange so that closing is in YOUR bank but I know that isn't always possible as typically the seller also wants to close in their bank for the same issues. Typically the buyer gets to do the boleto in their bank and the seller in their bank or vice versa.

Even with these money transfer firms I don't like using their security personnel as I've found that it's better to be safe here in Argentina when it comes to money. I wouldn't be surprised on these banks if they are letting the thieves know the person is going to leave, get on their Nextel and bingo....you get robbed. It would be impossible to finger the bank employee. Better to be safe here than sorry.

These legitimate money transfer firms can recommend a security guard/armored car firm that will GUARANTEE the transfer. Best to let them handle it. Not worth it to lose the cost of an apartment or house simply because it got robbed on the date of the closing. Cheers.
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WTMendoza.com
Intermediate Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 246
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 8:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

This is great reiteration about not carrying a backpack full of cash with you - and these are terms of the transaction that should be addressed and negotiated EARLY, not at the last minute when buyer or seller position is weaker , with anticipation to close.

AptsBA, sounds like you will spearhead AptsMiami soon? cheers
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Gloria Melgar Estevez
Member
Username: Glorita

Post Number: 87
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 11:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My uncle took $86000 in cash on his person 7 years ago to buy a house. He passed undiscovered. I would not recommend it however. In the family we were all opposed, including his wife.
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Apartmentsba.com
Advanced Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 487
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 7:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gloria,

LOTS and LOTS of people carry cash into Argentina. All the time. Daily. The thing to keep in mind however, is your uncle most likely was a resident and had a DNI. When he goes to sell his house he won't have a problem selling and AFIP will NOT ask him how he brought his money into the country.

The truth is AFIP is terribly unfair as MANY local citizens have never paid their asset tax on the properties they own here in Argentina and when they go to sell their properties, AFIP doesn't scrutinize them nor see if they are up to date on their taxes. This is quite the OPPOSITE as a foreigner or non-resident of Argentina.

For a non-resident AFIP requires that you get an AFIP permit to sell your property as a non-resident. It's a process that involves them checking to see if you have been paying rental taxes (21%) on that income while you rented it out. They also will make sure you paid your asset tax (currently 1.25% per year for non-residents). It's not as easy as saying your friend was using it or you used it. AFIP is not stupid. They make you show each and every page of your passport for the term you owned the property. They look at your utility bills (gas, water, telephone, electricity). I've even seen them talk to doormen in the building so make sure that you aren't dishonest with them.

Last year I had a foreigner trying to hire me to help him sell his property that he bought years ago. He was renting it out and never paid any rental taxes to AFIP. He lied to AFIP and told them he used it and also his friend was living in it. (He never initially told me me was renting it out). When I found out he rented it out and didn't pay the taxes I told him I couldn't help him and "fired him". Sure enough, AFIP went and talked to this guy's doorman in the building and the doorman confirmed the guy lied and was renting it out. AFIP was VERY angry with him. The penalties, interest and fine for lying was steep. I never found out if this guy ever was able to sell it or not.

So, when people are talking about bringing in cash on them into the country it should be very clear to note the requirements when you sell the property. As a local it's a cinch and easy. As a foreigner you better make sure that everything was done properly or you can have problems when you sell.

MANY locals move cash undeclared daily from Uruguay from their accounts. I can't tell you how many times I've heard locals say they need to "make a trip to Uruguay to bring money over". Everyone that lives here locally knows what is going on.

Really, Argentina would be in pretty good shape if they enforced all the current tax laws. NO new taxes are needed...they only need to enforce for locals instead of just for non-residents all the asset taxes.
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WTMendoza.com
Advanced Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 251
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 9:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Agreed often times you will find a person being a friend of someone in AFIP so AFIP can easily focus on foreigners more since "nobody knows them", - but either way, it doesnt relinquish a foreigner or a local from this obligation but yes it is unfair

speaking of foriengners and locals, I took great amusement at a newspaper article over the last year, pointing out how AFIP and RENTAS uses google earth to monitor improvements on properties to support tax increases, etc.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1677
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 1:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I remember that, Sean. The guy also appeared on TV earlier this year with a demonstration on how they target farm 'evasores' by inspecting their lands through satellite imaging (via Google).
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1685
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 2:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here is a regulation from 2001, still in force. There is a maximum of u$d 10,000 that can be entered legally.

http://biblioteca.afip.gov.ar/gateway.dll/Normas/R esolucionesGenerales/reag01001172_2001_12_02.xml
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WTMendoza.com
Advanced Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 257
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 3:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

An interesting point here is that the $10k usd can be declared , central bank wise, as funds to buy a property.

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