Law 27,506 (the Law) was published in the Official Gazzette on 10 June 2019, establishing tax benefits for the Knowledge Economy (the Regime). The Regime will enter into force on 1 January 2020 and be in effect until 31 December 2029.
The main purpose of the Regime is to promote the economic activities that apply the use of knowledge and the digitization of information supported by the scientific and technological advances, activities related to obtaining goods, rendering services and/or improving processes, creating, designing, developing, producing and implementing or adapting products and services and their associated technical documentation, in its basic and applied aspects, including the ones that are elaborated to be incorporated to processors and/or other technological devices.
Among the promoted activities are:
- Software, computer and digital services
- Audiovisual production and postproduction
- Biotechnology, bio-economy, biology, biochemistry, microbiology, bioinformatics, molecular biology, neuro-technology and genetic engineering, geoengineering and its tests and analysis
- Geological and prospecting services and services related to electronics and communications
- Professional services, only if they are destined for exportation
- Nanotechnology and nanoscience
- Aerospace and satellite industry, space technologies
- Manufacturing, commissioning, maintenance and introduction of goods and services oriented to solutions, digital processes and automation in production, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and industrial internet, internet of things, sensors, additive manufacturing, augmented reality and virtual, simulation considered in such cases exclusively associated with industry 4.0.
Argentine corporate tax payers can qualify for the benefits of the Regime if they develop any of the above mentioned activities in the country.
To do this, they have to register with the "National Register of Beneficiaries of the Regime for the Promotion of the Knowledge Economy" and meet at least two of the following requirements:
- To prove the accomplishment of continuous improvements in the quality of its services, products and/or processes, or through a recognizable quality rule applicable to its services, products and/or processes.
- Evidence the realization of expenses in activities of (i) research and development in the activities in a minimum of 3% of its total billing; and/or (ii) training of employees in the aforementioned activities at a minimum of 8% of the total employees.
- Evidence the realization of exports of goods and/or services arising from the development of any promoted activities at least 13% of the total turnover corresponding to those activities. In the case of article 2.e. (professional services), at least 70% of the total billing will have to be formed by exports related to such activity.
The main activity requirement will be met when the percentage of promoted activities represent at least 70% of the total billings, under the terms and conditions established by the regulations.
The conditions mentioned above must be met annually.
Fiscal stability: the total federal tax burden of the beneficiaries -- determined at the time of their application for the registration with the Regime, regarding the promotional activities -- can not be increased from the date of registration and during its term of validity. Although this benefit is referred to federal taxes (direct taxes, fees, contributions, import and export duties), if the provinces and the City of Buenos Aires adhere to the Law, the aforementioned benefit will be extended to the provincial tax burden as well.
Reduction of the Income Tax rate: the Income Tax rate will be reduced to 15% (general Corporate Income Tax rate will be 25% as from FY2020), such rate will be applicable to FY starting after the date of registration with the Regime. It is important to clarify that it will be applied as long as the beneficiaries maintain their payroll (under the terms and conditions to be established by the regulations)
Withholdings and collections: The beneficiaries will not be subject to VAT withholdings and collections.
Labor contributions: the beneficiaries will enjoy, for each worker registered as a permanent employee, a deduction equivalent to the maximum amount foreseen in Section 4 of the Regulatory Decree N° 814/2001 and its amendments, updated according to the guidelines there established.
Nevertheless, if the general employment regime is more beneficial than the present one, the beneficiary may apply the deduction and/or rates of the former.
Tax credit bonus: equivalent to 1.6 times the amount of employer contributions that would have corresponded to pay on the maximum amount mentioned in the previous paragraph and should be applied to the payment of the amounts to be paid, in the nature of advances and/or balances of affidavit, in concept of Income Tax and VAT. This tax credit bonus can be assigned only one time and will not be computable for the determination of the net profit in the Income Tax.
Payment on account of Income Tax: In the case of Argentine source income, beneficiaries may deduct a credit for analogous taxes actually paid or withheld abroad, up to the limit of the increase in the tax obligation originated by the incorporation of those incomes.
Each beneficiary of the Regime will have to pay a 1.5% contribution of the total amount of the fiscal benefits granted by the Regime to the Trust Fund for the Development of Entrepreneurial Capital (FONDCE).