Legality of repeated Western Union cash pickups?

mageesa

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This is not me, but a friend who's living there for half a year writes:"Just had a consultation with a lawyer and since I’m living here long term he was advising I not use western union all the time since I could get flagged and worst case given 30 days to become legal before getting deported."

Am I correct in thinking this is highly unlikely? Has anyone ever been deported because WU finked them out? If that's the case my pal may have to consider becoming a legal resident (and all the potential tax implications), but I've never heard of such a thing.

Thanks!
 

Cordoba

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They are going to grab them off the street or home, process them, and put them on a plane home? Couldn't they just waif for that day which will never come and apply for citizenship to stop the deportation.
 

mageesa

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They are going to grab them off the street or home, process them, and put them on a plane home? Couldn't they just waif for that day which will never come and apply for citizenship to stop the deportation.
Yes, it sounded highly unlikely to me. Would WU share that information with the government; who's withdrawing how much, for how long... I can't picture it. But let's see if anyone else chimes in.
 

Quilombo

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I think there's a difference between transfers for sustenance, i.e. retirees, people working in negro sending a couple grand a month, tourists living here technically illegally, etc. and people sending 10K, 15K+ USD at once/multiple times for large purchases, the later I believe is what sets off alarms.

The WU forum goes back to Oct 2019, and while I haven't read all of it of course, the only time I recall anyone having issues was someone who used them to transfer money to buy an apartment? and another for trying to transfer 10K back to back basically with their wife.

All this being said, there is actually an incentive for people to use WU as opposed to other means of sending money legally to/from Argentina in the government's eyes, and that is due to the fact it uses some version of the CCL to trade dollar for pesos amongst people without touching the BCRA's dwindling reserves. i.e. when a forum member sends their social security check each month, that's dollars WU then sends to Venezuela or Senegal which the BCRA doesn't have to give up, and that makes the BCRA happy.

As always, I'm not a lawyer/nor do I claim to be one, but what I assume the lawyer is getting at is the people that work in negro and collect their salary via WU. If you're sending your savings from abroad here, or family/friends are sending you money to help your cost of living, I'd argue you don't have anything to worry about, because if you were denounced to the UFI, you could clearly demonstrate that you are adhering to the letter and spirit of the law.

Again, as always, I'm a broken record on this: if you're going to work in negro abroad please pay something to AFIP, because that's what they care most about at the end of the day.
 

mageesa

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I think there's a difference between transfers for sustenance, i.e. retirees, people working in negro sending a couple grand a month, tourists living here technically illegally, etc. and people sending 10K, 15K+ USD at once/multiple times for large purchases, the later I believe is what sets off alarms.

The WU forum goes back to Oct 2019, and while I haven't read all of it of course, the only time I recall anyone having issues was someone who used them to transfer money to buy an apartment? and another for trying to transfer 10K back to back basically with their wife.

All this being said, there is actually an incentive for people to use WU as opposed to other means of sending money legally to/from Argentina in the government's eyes, and that is due to the fact it uses some version of the CCL to trade dollar for pesos amongst people without touching the BCRA's dwindling reserves. i.e. when a forum member sends their social security check each month, that's dollars WU then sends to Venezuela or Senegal which the BCRA doesn't have to give up, and that makes the BCRA happy.

As always, I'm not a lawyer/nor do I claim to be one, but what I assume the lawyer is getting at is the people that work in negro and collect their salary via WU. If you're sending your savings from abroad here, or family/friends are sending you money to help your cost of living, I'd argue you don't have anything to worry about, because if you were denounced to the UFI, you could clearly demonstrate that you are adhering to the letter and spirit of the law.

Again, as always, I'm a broken record on this: if you're going to work in negro abroad please pay something to AFIP, because that's what they care most about at the end of the day.
Thanks for this thoughtful reply, Quilombo! I had to look up a bunch of the acronyms (I'm just a tourist visa gal, so I don't know all the banking organizations yet).

Looking into it a bit, it seems the USA and Argentina signed an agreement in 2017 to exchange tax information, but they must request specific names, etc. Not just a general 'fishing expedition' of all US citizens who have stayed more than 183 days in Argentina. Perhaps that's what the lawyer was refering to; I wonder if Argentina will persue more of these cases with the rise in 'digital nomads' post-pandemic?

I agree it would probably be wise to stay on the right side of the law (and give something to the AFIP); I wonder if most people on this forum have the rentista visa, or just pay taxes? I'll have to dig around, it's something I've always been curious about.

Here's the US/Argentina tax treaty for anyone interested:
 

Cordoba

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The tax information exchange treaty would apply to requesting foreign information. Using Western Union to send money to Argentina and/or receiving it would be a domestic issue. I think they are provided that information by Western Union unless there are privacy laws protecting it.

Most of the being cutoff or banned issues have been related to Western Union anti money laundering. I don't think AFIP cares about tourists or illegals.
 

FrankPintor

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I think you have to assume AFIP has complete visibility of any online financial transactions here. I came across this article a short while ago: https://www.infobae.com/economia/20...les-el-banco-tiene-que-informar-los-consumos/ (apologies if it was posted already), which gives some indication about what amounts might attract their attention... for bank deposits and extractions it seems to be 90.000 pesos. If you receive transfers above this amount it could be wise to give AFIP something in the way of taxes.
 

Redpossum

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I think you have to assume AFIP has complete visibility of any online financial transactions here. I came across this article a short while ago: https://www.infobae.com/economia/20...les-el-banco-tiene-que-informar-los-consumos/ (apologies if it was posted already), which gives some indication about what amounts might attract their attention... for bank deposits and extractions it seems to be 90.000 pesos. If you receive transfers above this amount it could be wise to give AFIP something in the way of taxes.
90K pesos
Well, 200 USD is 58-59K now, so by the end of the year we could be getting close
 

DK72

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How do you know that you are blocked from WU?

i just tried to do another transfer, but the available money to send is zero “you cand send 0.00”. I didnt get a message or email from WU. Not sure whether this is temporary or permanent.

traditionally, i sent to myself ca 1000 usd (cash) and 2000 usd to my wife (bank account). Over the last 5-6 weeks i sent much more (ca 12k usd), mostly cash pick up. I might have overdone this …. The strange thing is: if i were to deposit cash in a WU location (and not from my European bank account), i still could do a transaction….
 
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