The Argentinian Tax Agency, the AFIP, has ramped up the seizures of digital wallets of taxpayers in the country. The institution managed to seize more than 1,200 digital wallets of taxpayers that had debts and didn’t have a bank account, or other properties available to be collected by the courts. While the organization has yet to order crypto-related seizures, this could be possible in the future.
Argentinian Tax Agency Seizes More Than 1,200 Digital Wallets
Tax regulators around the world are becoming more and more aware of the different ways in which taxpayers can hide their funds to avoid paying taxes. The Argentinian tax agency, the AFIP, has been busy taking control of the digital wallets of debtors to the institution. These digital wallets are custodial services provided by fintech companies to third parties, that in some ways are not directly related to banks. The basis for the seizures was established in February when the AFIP included these in the list of seizable assets.
According to local media, since last February, the institution managed to execute 1,269 seizures against customers that had accounts on such platforms. Before this, the organization had 19 months without executing any debt collections due to the measures the Argentinian government took to safeguard the properties of its citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic cycle.
While there are no concrete procedures that describe when the tax authorities can seize these kinds of assets from debtors, the seizures usually proceed when there are no more liquid assets that can be seized, like funds in a bank account or other properties. The Argentinian tax agency already has the data of every single account on these platforms due to legal requirements. This makes it easy for the organization to access these funds.
However, the procedures can be executed only if the digital wallets are provided by national companies, a reason why so much money is held outside Argentinian borders by citizens of the nation. According to official estimations, more than $360 billion lies undeclared, with a significant part of these funds being outside of the reach of the AFIP.
There are no limits on which assets can be seized by the AFIP, and this includes the possibility of seeing cryptocurrency held on Argentinian exchanges or national custody services also being seized, given the popularity that crypto is currently enjoying in the country. However, there have not been reports of this happening yet.