Tax Policy in Argentina: Between Solvency and Emergency

Cetrangolo, Oscar; Gomez Sabaini, Juan Carlos

At the turn of the century, Argentina experienced a serious economic crisis, brought about by the forced abandonment of the monetary convertibility regime and characterized by sharp changes in relative prices and income, as well as by widespread breaches of contracts. This economic crisis proved to be different from previous crises, however, as Argentina managed to recover quickly and significantly. The recovery presents some exceptional features. At few times in Argentina's economic history has Argentina had such external and fiscal surpluses. More importantly, for the purposes of this study, Argentina's tax burden is far higher than ever before. Understanding these historic trends is necessary to our study of the characteristics, strengths, weaknesses and reforms of Argentina's tax system. The second section of this chapter, which serves as an introduction to this study, examines the central features of Argentina's fiscal situation from a historical viewpoint. Next, we present an explanation of the particular institutional characteristics of Argentina's federalism, which is necessary to the study of Argentina's tax system. Lastly, the next section places the Argentine tax system in context, introducing the principal features of taxation in Latin America. The main body of this chapter includes a detailed analysis of the evolution of Argentine tax level and structure, the key stylized characteristics of this structure, and the principal challenges that Argentina continues to face. Finally, readers who are interested in the specific details of the system will find a more exhaustive explanation of the technical characteristics of the tax system in the Appendix.



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Academic Units
Initiative for Policy Dialogue
Initiative for Policy Dialogue
Initiative for Policy Dialogue Working Paper Series
Published Here
October 28, 2012