In 1821 a clearly modern tax reform was undertaken in Buenos Aires. Ancien Regime taxes were suppressed and it was created a system which included usual assessments related to international commerce, but also direct taxes on capitals, in order to diminish the dependence on duty customs and to distribute the fiscal weight in a more equitable manner, by taxing proprietors in proportion to their wealth.
In these work, we reconstruct fiscal series, showing the little weight of the «Contribución Directa» over fiscal income. Also we study some attempts to improve this tax collection, which failed once and again.
Finally we try to explain those failures and the reasons to maintain a regressive tax system which, nevertheless, was efficient and brought lesser political costs than direct taxes.