The government of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva issued an executive order with the goal of raising money by taxing Brazilian residents’ capital gains from foreign financial investments.
The language of the law, which went into force immediately and was published on Sunday night, stated that income received starting on January 1, 2024, will be taken into account for that purpose. To become a permanent law, it must be put to a vote by Congress within four months.
According to the text, income obtained abroad from financial investments will be taxed upon the sale or maturity of assets, while profits and dividends from controlled entities will be taxed on Dec. 31 of each year. The measure also includes the taxation of assets in trusts.
Income up to 6,000 reais ($1,203) will be tax exempt, while income above that but below 50,000 reais will be taxed at 15%. Income exceeding 50,000 reais will be taxed at 22.5%.
The Finance Ministry said the measure had the potential to collect around 3.2 billion reais ($641 million) in 2023, close to 3.6 billion reais in 2024 and 6.7 billion reais in 2025.
The text also raises the possibility of updating assets and rights abroad to their market value on Dec. 31, 2022, with the difference for the acquisition cost being taxed at the rate of 10%. In this case, the tax must be paid by Nov. 30.
The measure was published in an extra edition of the official gazette, but Lula did not mention it during his Labor Day speech, where he pledged to introduce a new policy of real increases in the minimum wage and announced plans to raise the income tax exemption for lower-income earners.
Leftist Lula’s economic team has emphasized that the government will seek to balance public accounts by taxing those who should but are not paying taxes. However, Sunday’s measure was not disclosed in official government channels.
The government recently presented new fiscal rules to ensure the sustainability of public accounts, but success of the framework depends on increasing revenue, which is uncertain.