If you happen to be as tired as most people are about having to take out a wad of cash every time you go out to dinner (due to the high probability the business only accepts cash) then the Argentine tax collecting agency AFIP has got good news for you. Starting today, the agency has enabled a system that allows buyers to report businesses that doesn’t take debit cards as a valid form of payment.
This explains those QR codes right next to the cashier you’ve been seeing. Resolution 4042, issued by AFIP last week, determines that every single shop must have that code placed in a visible spot for consumers. The sign is given to businesses after stating in a form whether they accept debit cards or not.
According to Clarín, 51,500 businesses have already downloaded the code to exhibit it in some 69,000 different stores. Out of the total, there are still around 4,800 that still don’t take debit card payments.
To report a cash-only store, all you have to do is snap a picture of the QR code and then upload it to the AFIP website. Though the AFIP is reporting that an official mobile app for the task will be released in 45 days, which — in theory — could streamline the reporting process.
It’s not just about convenience though. The measure was implemented as a way of preventing tax evasion primarily. “Cash-only [payment] promotes informality and is made worse when discounts get offered. We look forward to increasing the number of businesses paying tax, [which is] the only way to lower the tax burden,” said Alberto Abad, head of the AFIP, in conversation with Clarín. “During weekends, ATMs are soon empty because people use cash. People have to spend time searching for a place that accepts cards and it shouldn’t be like that.”
Only stores that had a revenue of AR $4 million or more in 2015 were required to start taking debit card on May 1st. Businesses that had revenues between 1 million and 4 million pesos in 2015, on their end, must take debit cards come June 1st of this year.
However, knowing that there are few businesses that comply with its regulations, the agency designed a special plan to help get companies on board. Once this process is over, AFIP will start sending inspectors to make sure that businesses finally accept this method of payment.