March 24, 2020
Argentina announces emergency measures to address economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic
The measures temporarily suspend the time limits to respond to the federal tax, social security and customs authorities on certain issues. They also exempt medical supplies and vaccines from import duties. The Government is expected to implement additional measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Argentine Government has implemented emergency measures on tax, social security, customs and labor issues to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measures already implemented include the following:
- The federal tax authority suspended the time limits for responding to the federal tax, social security and customs authorities on certain issues (e.g., time to submit documents related to a tax audit) from March 18 to March 31, 2020; this measure does not include the extension of regular due dates previously established for tax return filings and payments.
- Federal tax authority offices are limiting on-site attention to taxpayers until March 31, 2020 and are rescheduling appointments; other Government agencies (e.g. Inspection Board of Legal entities) are limiting on-site attention.
- Workers over the age of 60 year (with certain exceptions), pregnant workers and workers included in certain health groups at-risk are no longer required to go to their workplaces.
- The Government exempted medical supplies and vaccines from import duties.
The Ministries of Treasury and Production announced the following set of measures, which are expected to be implemented shortly:
- Social Security tax exemption for certain companies engaged in activities particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., tourism, entertainment industries, restaurants, hotels and passenger transport activities), with the possibility of extending the exemption to companies dealing with logistic or supply-chain issues due to the pandemic
- Extension of the Program of Productive Recovering (in Spanish, "Programa de Recuperación Productiva" or REPRO) through which the Government subsidizes a portion of the salaries of private-sector employees
- Financing of working capital at preferred interest rates for food, personal care, cleaning, medical supplies and equipment for teleworking industries
- Renewal of the "Ahora 12" plan for final consumers to buy local products in fixed monthly installments and extension of the plan to purchases on-line, especially from local small and medium-sized enterprises
- Restrictions on exports of medical equipment and related inputs, which are essential in fighting the pandemic
- Launch of a program to promote the production of medical equipment and related inputs
- Acceleration of export drawbacks
- Increase in unemployment insurance programs
- Extraordinary payment for Universal Child Allowance (in Spanish, Asignación Universal por Hijo or AUH) beneficiaries
- Special bonus for retired people earning the minimum pension (i.e., lowest amount paid by the Government)
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