Foreign companies in Argentina, carrying out their business or activity in Argentina, must have a local legal vehicle, of which the most common legal entity types are the following:
- Corporation (Sociedad Anónima or SA).
- Local Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada or SRL).
Argentine corporations and limited liability partnerships (LLPs), as Argentine residents, are subject to the Argentine tax system. Branches of foreign companies, whatever the nature of their activities, are taxed under the same rules as those applicable to corporations and LLPs.
Several documents are required to register an entity with the relevant authorities. Some of said documentation must be filed in the original language, duly translated and certified with the Apostille issued pursuant to The Hague Convention or legalised by the Argentine Consulate of the company's place of origin.
At present, the minimum capital requirement to incorporate an SA is ARS 100,000. There are no special requirements regarding the minimum amount of capital for SRLs.
A branch does not require capital contributions unless it is engaged in certain specific activities (e.g. banking and financing). The branch must carry its financial statements separately from those of the foreign company.
The three legal types are subject, in general terms, to the same legal, tax, and accounting regulations.
In the last few years, the AFIP has introduced several information regimes aimed principally to monitor transactions with local and foreign related parties.
By means of General Resolution (AFIP) 3572, a database in which local taxpayers must disclose their relationships with domestic and foreign related parties has been created. For purposes of this rule, the definition of ‘related party’ is broad and goes beyond economic or legal ownership.
Additionally, GR 3572 has introduced an information regime pursuant to which Argentine taxpayers are required to report, on a monthly basis, all their transactions with local related parties.
Intergovernmental agreements (IGAs)
Argentina has been very prolific in relation to the signature of tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) over the past few years.
The authorities have signed around 24 TIEAs, including those with Andorra, Aruba, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Curacao, Ecuador, Guernsey, India, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Macedonia, Monaco, Peru, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, and Uruguay.
Argentina has also taken an active part in the OECD’s BEPS initiatives and tax transparency discussions. During Berlin’s global forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, Argentina joined the list of 54 countries that agreed to implement an automatic financial information exchange in accordance to OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS) as of 2016.
In this respect, several Argentine regulatory authorities (i.e. Central Bank, Securities Exchange Commission, and Superintendence of Insurance Companies) have already issued a set of regulations compelling local financial institutions to implement the necessary procedures to be in compliance with OECD’s CRS. The regulation establishing the CRS was finally issued in December 2015 and is effective as of 1 January 2016.
Notwithstanding the above, a Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) IGA with the United States (US) has not yet been signed. In this regard, it is to be noted that Argentina has recently entered into a TIEA with the United States that is expected to set the basis for the signature of an IGA in the near future.