There is no doubt that the subject matter of our discussion is centered on the most important taxable matter of our time. Economic globalization and the supremacy of the tertiary or service-providing sector over the primary sector and the manufacturing sector, linked to the use of new means of communication such as the web and to the intangibility of many of the services, result in a series of questions that will have an impact on the taxable treatment of the concept of cross-border “services”.
Within the Income Tax Law there has never been a definition of the term “services”, a definition which has been given by the Civil Code and by the different activities that have been included specifically in the law when it comes to cross- border services. As regards the concepts of royalties and advising, the definition of those who render cross-border services has been clearly explained by the law.
The definition of the term “services” has become wider than the definition recognized in the past. In this sense, the legislation of income tax in Argentina has not accepted some of these changes yet. Perhaps the most important ones are those regarding the definition of the source for web services rendered from abroad. For traditional services rendered by physical persons or enterprises not residing in the country, the legislation has not made big changes since its origin more than 70 years ago. The concept of the place where the activity is carried out as a source of the income and the concept of foreign beneficiary have remained unchanged. The way to determine the net profit of the country has not changed much either, thus applying, in general terms and except for a few cases, the fixed percentage of net utilities stated by the law.
As regards double taxation agreements, the first important point to mention is that they are under total revision. Since the year 2001, Argentina has entered into few double taxation agreements; and in 2008, it filed a legal complaint against the agreement with Austria. Since March 2011, a commission has been created to analyze and control all the agreements.