Explaining Brazil #58: A look into Brazil’s super-complex tax system

This episode, A look into Brazil’s super-complex tax system, is supported by Fast Help. Fast Help is a Brasília-based IT company that is focused on cybersecurity. Protect your business by teaming up with Fast Help. Go to fasthelp.com.br for more information on how to protect your company’s virtual space.

As the month of April comes to an end, Brazilians have their annual rendezvous with the federal revenue services. Brazilians work for approximately four months just to pay their taxes. According to the São Paulo Trade Association’s Tax Clock, Brazilians have already paid BRL 851 billion in overall taxes in the first four months of 2019. If that money were placed in a pile of 100-dollar bills, it would take 70 twenty-feet-tall containers to store.

It is no wonder Brazilians call their tax authority the “Lion,” due to its ferocious pursuit of tax dodgers.

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device:

Spotify | Apple Podcasts | SoundCloud | YouTube | Google Podcasts Deezer

On this episode:

  • Linneu de Albuquerque Mello is a tax lawyer and a professor at think tank Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Law School in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Antonio Carlos Porto Gonçalves holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, and he is a professor at Fundação Getulio Vargas.

Background reading:

  • Find out what you need to do if you’re an expat in Brazil and you’re looking for some guidance on how to declare your income tax.
  • Diogo Rodriguez provides a historical look into Brazil’s income tax laws—the number one source of revenue for the Brazilian government.
  • A British worker can pay for a jar of Nutella after 33 minutes of labor, while his Brazilian counterpart must work for 9 hours and 30 minutes to afford the same jar. But exactly how much does it cost to live and do business in Brazil? Mario Braga explains.
  • In economics, the expression “Brazil-like capitalism” denotes cronyism and distortions. Dealing with a confusing tax system and a fairly ineffective state, organized lobbies battle to protect their own—mostly at the government’s expense.

Explaining Brazil  is made by:

  • Gustavo Ribeiro, editor in chief of The Brazilian Report. He has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale.
  • Maria Martha Bruno, producer. She is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.
  • Euan Marshall, editing. is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Independent, among others.

Do you have a suggestion for our next Explaining Brazil podcast? Drop us a line at [email protected]

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.