Argentina whacks tax

Indie prod'n co.'s off-the-hook

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s Senate approved legislation last week overturning a demand by the federal tax agency to collect a combined $10 million in tax debt from a number of leading independent production companies.

The tax agency had filed a lawsuit to require Pol-kaProducciones, Ideas del Sur Producciones and other leading film and TV producers to come clean on allegedly unpaid taxes between 1995 and 1999. Agency said the production companies hadn’t paid the value-added tax (currently at 21%) during that period, reasoning that they are service providers and not media companies, which were then exempt from VAT.

In 1999, the government removed this exemption on media and other firms so that all sectors pay 21% VAT.

The law nullifies the suit against the production outfits.

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