Brazil’s tax authority cites atypical factors, believes annual result was positive
Robinson Barreirinhas — Foto: EDU ANDRADE/Ascom/MPO
Federal revenues ended 2023 virtually stable compared to 2022, with a real decrease of 0.1%, totaling R$2.3 trillion (at current prices). Brazil’s Federal Revenue Service estimates that the result was “quite positive” despite atypical factors that affected the result, such as the impact of the tax exemption on electricity and fuel that was implemented in 2022, a measure withdrawn by the Ministry of Finance last year.
The performance of tax collection this year is crucial for the government to achieve its zero-deficit target. The impact will not be felt until February, and if there is a revenue shortfall, the target could be revised in March, when the new projections are released.
The economic team cited four main factors that had a positive and negative impact on revenues: a real growth of 21.6% in the collection of individual income tax on capital income, due to the appreciation of the Selic policy rate; a real growth of 3.36% in the individual income tax on work and 5% in the Social Security contribution, due to the increase in the wage bill; a reduction in the fuel tax rates and an extraordinary collection due to the Zero Litigation Program and exports of crude oil.
Special Revenue Secretary Robinson Barreirinhas referred to a “challenging year” and recalled that after the pandemic there was a surge in revenues in some sectors, especially commodities, which “distorted” the 2022 result and made it difficult to compare.
The secretary highlighted that in 2023, the tax on industrialized products (IPI) fell sharply due to the reduction in rates in 2022, which deprived the government of R$22.8 billion in revenue. “The impact was enormous in 2023, as well as the fuel tax exemption, which had a gigantic impact of billions of reais, and we are resuming it [tax collection].”
“Even with all these challenges, the numbers are positive,” he said. He mentioned that in December there was a very strong increase in the Tax on Financial Transactions (IOF) for credit operations and the IPI for car production.
Mr. Barreirinhas also mentioned Zero Litigation, which generated revenues of R$5.6 billion. The export tax on crude oil generated R$4.4 billion. The tax was created for four months to compensate for the diesel tax exemption in 2023.
In the case of administered revenues, atypical factors had a negative impact on the collection of R$46 billion in the year. The reduction of tax rates on fuel alone resulted in a loss of R$32.7 billion for the federal treasury. Without these factors, these revenues would have ended last year at R$2.287 trillion, compared to the R$2.241 trillion recorded.
In 2023, the government managed to pass a series of measures in Congress to increase revenues, but so far the only one that has generated results in 2023 is the taxation of exclusive funds. In December, they generated revenues of R$3.9 billion.
The director of the Center for Tax and Customs Studies, Claudemir Malaquias, said that the tax authorities are still waiting to see what the real gain will be from the tax on exclusive funds and offshore companies that was passed by Congress at the end of the year.
*Por Guilherme Pimenta, Jéssica Sant’Ana — Brasília
Source: Valor International