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By Leandra Peres | From Brasilia

The Federal Revenue has been negotiating with the Treasury of the United States an agreement to have access to all Brazilians banking information there, in the USA. Talks are in advance and must be completed before October. In exchange, the Brazilian government will also make available to the U.S. authorities the data about citizens who have bank account in Brazil. "It's like if we were creating an Information Statement on Financial Transactions (Dimof) about Brazilians in the United States," explains the general coordinator of International Relations of Revenue, Flávio Araújo.

A statement on the financial transactions of the Brazilian taxpayers was created in 2008 to replace the Provisional Contribution on Financial Transactions (CPMF), which allowed the government to use data bank to cross with what was declared to the IRS and to increase the power of supervision. Through Dimof banks pass to the IRS data about deposits in checking or savings account, buying foreign currency, money orders and receiving payments, among other information.

The data that the Brazilian Revenue will have access, as well as send it to the IRS, the U.S. Treasury, are still being negotiated. But the government's expectation is that this is an automatic exchange of information and data can be updated annually.

The agreement that will provide access to these data was created from a requirement of U.S. law known as FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). The United States set a deadline this year for banks that have accounts of American citizens inform the IRS about their banking operations.

The law aims to reduce tax evasion through the use of offshore accounts and operations outside the U.S. market. Banks that refuse to make the communication may have 30% of income earned in the United States taxed at source. The rule applies to any international financial institution operating in the country. In a second step, the U.S. Treasury began to negotiate with the tax authorities of other countries in order to the exchange of information be made by sovereign channels, instead of closing agreements with each bank individually.

The UK has already signed the agreement to exchange banking information. Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Japan, France and Brazil are still negotiating. The country may prefer to only supply data to the United States or to establish a two-way street, that informs American citizens but also receives data on the Brazilian move resources in American institutions.

The deadline set by the FATCA legislation for countries to sign the agreement is October. In Brazil, after the two governments have signed the treaty it must be approved by the National Congress to be part of the Brazilian legislation.

The exchange of information through the FATCA will not prevent the two tax authorities to request additional data on their taxpayers. The difference is that in these cases, the request has to be done using as a basis the information exchange agreement that was recently approved by the Brazilian Congress.

For this reason, governments must justify their requests. So if you want to know, for example, data on specific properties of a taxpayer, the Brazilian Revenue has to explain why you need the information. Based on this, the IRS decides if it will send the data. The same goes for Americans.

The approval by the National Congress of the treaty exchange of information between the two tax authorities earlier this month was the missing piece to the Revenue could negotiate access to U.S. bank accounts. Without it, the negotiation could not have advanced. The treaty had been under consideration in Congress for six years.

The other item on the agenda between the two countries is an agreement to avoid double taxation of companies. Currently, American and Brazilian companies owe taxes to the IRS and the Federal Revenue and can not compensate, from one size or other, what has already been paid out of the country.

"Brazilian companies have increasingly invested in the U.S. and the lack of an agreement creates problems in the remittance of dividends," says the president of Brazil Industries Coalition (BIC), Welber Barral. Despite the pressure that comes from the private sectors in both countries, the horizon for an agreement to avoid double taxation is much longer. The expectation of Brazilian businessmen is that it occurs in two years.

Source: Valor Econômico

Version: Grazielle Segeti



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