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By Daniel Lima

It was published in the Official Journal of the Nation of Brazil, the Legislative Decree approving the text of an agreement between the governments of Brazil and the U.S.A. to exchange tax information, which was firmed between the two countries on March 20th, 2007.

As reported by the Revenue after being sanctioned by the President Dilma Rousseff, the agreement will allow the U.S. tax authorities make inquiries about the U.S. citizens who are in Brazil and also with the Brazilian citizens in that country.

The adoption of the text is an old demand of the Revenue, which will oversee best the Brazilian companies in the United States and even combat money laundering.

Such agreements are common among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which had been charging Brazilian participation, informed the Revenue.

According to this decree, any acts that may result in a review of the agreement shall be subject to approval by the National Congress.

Source: Agência Brasil
Version: Grazielle Segeti

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Last year, Brazil earned a lot in taxes. It was 36.27% of the wealth represented by goods produced here and for performed services.

Countrywide assembles its infrastructure with the money it collects in taxes. They are fundamental. Last year, Brazil earned a lot. It was 36.27% of the wealth represented by goods produced here and for performed services. It is a historical record. The problem is that what Brazil returns to citizens and businesses is not up to what they pay.

It does not matter if the product is superfluous or necessities. The Revenue will enter the firm and take a hunk in the form of taxes. A bread factory is a good example. Even though there are some tax breaks due the production of food, the “bite” is 13% of what it bills. This is just to make the bread, not to mention the raw material that enters the factory already charged with taxes: oil, electricity, gas. Even the essential purpose flour comes taxed. To reach the consumer's table, the government will still collect taxes for transporting and sale.

Last year, the state machine grossed the equivalent of 36.3% of everything that was produced in Brazil. From 1947 until today, the tax burden has grown two and half times.

"Brazil has a big burden in relation to the development and the level of income it has. Maybe we should have on average today, in the order of 27% to 28% of the tax burden", opines Juarez Rizzieri, researcher of Fipe.

Countries with a per capita income close to that of Brazil have much lower tax burden. The tax burden here is comparable to that of rich countries with good public service.

"We actually pay taxes like a developed country, but the services are underdeveloped country-level" criticizes the tax expert Ives Gandra.

The electronics technician Gabriel Texeira, employee of a bread factory, complains about the little that the state returns in exchange for the gathering. We calculated how much he and his wife Carla pay for contributions and direct taxes, such as income tax, property taxes, INSS. It was about R$ 873.00 per month.

"We still have taxes that are included in food, transportation, vehicles. The tax burden is very high. This is the biggest problem. It's not just the salary. In everything we consume it is imposed", says Gabriel.

The weight of indirect taxes paid by Gabriel and his family can be estimated based on the tables of the Brazilian Institute of Tax Planning. Examination of monthly expenses - provision of car, school, food, electricity, water, telephone and others - shows that indirect taxes are around R$ 1,590.00. The monthly gross income is good, R$ 5,969.00 but adding direct taxes with indirect, it shows that approximately R$ 2,463 will go to the government coffers.

Nevertheless, Gabriel and Carla have to pay private school for their children and health care for the family to have effective education and medical care.

"The biggest problem is the return of such taxes that we do not have. If there was a quality public service, it would be worth paying this and even more taxes, but since it had a satisfactory return from the public power ", adds Gabriel.

"It was expected that a country that raises too much, also should invest that much. Unfortunately, Brazil breaks this rule. We have a high tax burden, the largest in the world, and we are in the flashlight in the world in terms of public investment. The proportion of our budget that we allocated for works, either ports, roads, or schools or hospitals, is very low", adds the economist José Roberto Affonso.

Besides the weight of taxes, one must also take into account the bureaucracy to pay the taxes. The legislation is complicated. Just one example: The French bread, to be part of the basic food basket, is exempt from PIS, Confins and ICMS. But if it takes a little sesame on top, it is no longer French bread anymore and then we have the taxes back. The exemption is according to the State. This French roll, when it is sold in the Northeast, has 7% of ICMS. In other states, it is 12%. It is a cost that will be part of the price of the roll.

A bread factory collects 11 different taxes and contributions and must fill in at least 18 forms. Each obligation is governed by rules that change all the time.

"You have about 3,500 rules, governmental regulations. And for you to absorb it all, control it all, is very time consuming, requires a lot of value", says Daniel Nascimento, financial director of the factory.

A tax expert says that the 1988 constitution of revenues transferred to states and Union counties. To recoup your losses and deal with social guarantees, as rural retirement and unemployment insurance, the federal government raised the tax rates and created new contributions. The load increased and the legislation became even more tangled.

"Since 1988, since the new constitution the taxes, especially state taxes, ICMS, are being degraded year after year, month after month. I usually say that each edition of the Official Journal, the tax system is worse", concludes Clóvis Panzarini, former Secretary of the Treasury of São Paulo.

Source: Jornal Nacional website
Version: Grazielle Segeti

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