Any freelancers here billing in USD/EUR? Central Bank wants to force pesification of your income...

mellamanjorge

Registered
Hello all,
is there anyone writing bills to clients abroad, i.e. exporting his service as a programmer or journalist or author? Are you aware that we (yes, me too) might have to bring in our foreign currency to Argentina and change to pesos within 5 business days after receiving the payment? In the press there are confusing reports that it only affects judicial persons (i.e. companies), but apparently the central bank also wants to enforce this on simple freelancers. At least that's what I understand from the (not very helpful) answer to an enquiry my accountant made:

La liquidación de divisas abarca también a la exportación de servicios​
El Directorio del Banco Central de la República Argentina dictó hoy medidas que establecen parámetros en el mercado de cambios, que tienen como objetivo mantener la estabilidad cambiaria y proteger a los ahorristas. Lo hizo a través de la comunicación A6770. La norma regula los ingresos y los egresos en el mercado de cambios. Esta normativa mantiene la plena libertad para extraer dólares de las cuentas bancarias, tanto para personas físicas como jurídicas, no afecta el normal funcionamiento del comercio exterior y tampoco introduce ninguna restricción a los viajes.​
La medida establece que los exportadores de bienes y servicios deben liquidar sus ingresos de divisas en el mercado local. Para las exportaciones que se realicen a partir del 2 de septiembre de 2019: deberán liquidarse los dólares como máximo 5 días hábiles después del cobro o 180 días después del permiso de embarque (15 días para las commodities). Mientras que para las exportaciones oficializadas antes del 2 de septiembre de 2019 que se encuentren pendientes de cobro, tendrán que liquidarse los dólares como máximo dentro de los 5 días hábiles posteriores al cobro (incluyendo anticipos y prefinanciación).​
Para los egresos, no hay restricciones para la compra de divisas para el comercio exterior.​
Thoughts, anyone? Has anyone else enquired about this and received different answers? Particularly interesting would be if this affects recipients of payments abroad. While I do have a local account, all of my billing goes to a German bank. I'm not willing at all to bring that money in and exchange for pesos, less so in the current business and exchange climate.
 
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Irelander

Registered
I work exclusively for clients in Europe, and receive payments for my invoices to my peso account here. It's what I live on, so I don't mind it being converted into pesos. I seem to remember debate in this forum (and conflicting advice from contadores) about the obligation to receive payments on foreign invoices here in Argentina - some were advised that the obligation always existed, but I suppose the payment could be made to a dollar account.
 

semigoodlookin

Registered
I take it you mean to be paid by a client into your Argentine bank account?

Can't you get paid into PayPal and then use Nubi to transfer to your bank account when needed, or a service like TransferWise?
 

Irelander

Registered
Personally, I've never tried to get paid to a non-Argentine account, but I do know from experience that it's a lot simpler to simply be paid to my account here (fulfilling al the legal requirements, such as entering my profile on the AFIP website to create an electronic 'Factura E') than it is to transfer money from my account in Europe to my account here. On the few occasions when I did do this using a payments system (Azimo, if I remember correctly), I had to provide lots of 'proof of origin' documentation.
The advantage of doing this is that the funds appear in my account without any bother. Until a few years ago, I had to go personally to my bank with a copy of my invoice, a declaration form, and my AFIP 'Talon Factura E'. This has all been dispensed with and now I just get an email from the bank asking my for the AFIP category of my payment (which is S22 -Otros Servicios Empresariales).
 

mellamanjorge

Registered
Personally, I've never tried to get paid to a non-Argentine account, but I do know from experience that it's a lot simpler to simply be paid to my account here (fulfilling al the legal requirements, such as entering my profile on the AFIP website to create an electronic 'Factura E') than it is to transfer money from my account in Europe to my account here. On the few occasions when I did do this using a payments system (Azimo, if I remember correctly), I had to provide lots of 'proof of origin' documentation.
The advantage of doing this is that the funds appear in my account without any bother. Until a few years ago, I had to go personally to my bank with a copy of my invoice, a declaration form, and my AFIP 'Talon Factura E'. This has all been dispensed with and now I just get an email from the bank asking my for the AFIP category of my payment (which is S22 -Otros Servicios Empresariales).
Interesting and given that I will probably need that soon: what kind of account at what bank do you have here? Do you get an IBAN number or what do you write on your invoices of where the money should go? I didn't even know that direct transfers were an option. When I moved to Argentina in 2007 I was told that international transfers were being kept by the central bank for up to half a year to check for money laundering and that I needed a special (and costly) account to receive these payments. I've been struggling with the local banking system ever since. Up until last year when I went to the local branch of HSBC to ask if there was any way I could transfer money from my account abroad to the one here I was told that was illegal.

In my experience it _is_ a hassle to move money into the country (apparently contrary to out) and I've tried multiple ways over the years, the easiest, cheapest and fastest by far being Bitcoin. So, I'm really curious as to how you do it and what the cost of that is. If you don't care to elaborate in the forum I can understand, but maybe you can message me privately. Thanks!
 

d.gray

Registered
Unfortunately, things just got a lot harder for freelancers, businesses or anyone who works for clients and receives money in pounds, dollars, etc.

Up until Sunday, there was no obligation to 'liquidar' your foreign money in the local market. This was something this government actually brought in back in 2017 and make things a lot easier. Before that, there was an obligation to bring your money into the local market. (I've been working for foreign clients for about a decade).

So on Sunday, they change everything overnight. Typical! From my understanding (my accountant works with lots of freelancers who do the same thing) and lots of research over the last few days, it looks like now anyone who exports services (or anything) has to bring their money into the country within five days of receiving the payment and convert it into pesos.

I receive all my payments in my foreign bank account. From what I understand, we now have to transfer this money via an official (i.e. expensive) bank transfer. In fact, I've just made my first one, and I expect to lose a lot of money in fees and a terrible exchange rate.

Even worse, because there is only a 5-day period from receiving the money to transferring it to Argentina, it's going to be harder to group together multiple payments into one transfer.

And to make it even worse, banks are now forcing you to go to the actual branch and fill out a form, plus provide your 'factura' to justify the transfer – for every single transfer. Up until the weekend, transfers went through automatically (so I'm told by other exporters).

If you get paid directly into your Argentinian account, there will be no change. However, previously you could charge in dollars and receive the dollars directly into your dollar account, but now they are automatically converted into pesos.

What I'm trying to figure out is whether services like TransferWise and Nubi are still OK to use for exporters. I know they are both still working (at least to withdraw pesos), but I can't get a straight answer yet about whether the money passes through the Mercado Unico y Libre de Cambios (MULC) to ensure it complies with the regulations.

Hopefully someone will find out soon whether these are an option. Even better, perhaps they will change the regulations so that small freelancers and businesses who invoice for small amounts are not lumped into the same group as large exporters and have to go through all this hassle (unlikely).

If you can read Spanish, there's a very useful forum here that should help: https://mipayoneer.com.ar/foro/viewforum.php?f=16
 

Irelander

Registered
If you get paid directly into your Argentinian account, there will be no change.
In that case, the most convenient thing to do would probably be to ask your clients to pay you directly to your Argentine account.
 

d.gray

Registered
In that case, the most convenient thing to do would probably be to ask your clients to pay you directly to your Argentine account.
I'm considering it, but it would only really work with a few of my clients. A lot of them are quite small and I don't invoice them for a lot, and I don't think they'd want the hassle of international transfers.

And having said there's no change, I think it might be back to the old system now – trip to the bank for every transfer, show the factura, etc. I haven't done it myself though so don't know that for sure.
 
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