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Brazil attempts to harmonise services tax

  • VAT
  • 14 July 2015 | Richard Asquith

Brazil attempts to harmonise services tax

The Brazilian parliament is reviewing a Bill which would harmonise the Imposto Sobre Servicos (ISS) tax on services. This would include placing it at the state, federal level.

ISS is a municipal level turnover tax on services. The services subject to the ISS are outlined by the Federal Complementary Law, and listed in detailed by each municipal.

The typical ISS rates are below, but they vary widely between municipalities:

  • 2% on health insurance premiums
  • 5% on credit card-based leasing agreements

Exports, employee/freelancers and other services taxed by ICMS are exempt services.

The Bill, with the Chamber of Deputies, will put the tax in the hands of the Brazilian Federal Union which would then in turn redistribute the tax between the 12 states and municipalities.

Brazil recently failed to pass a similar harmonisation of ICMS.


VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.