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Brazilian recession prompts financial transactions tax plan

  • Aug 28, 2015 | Richard Asquith

Brazilian recession prompts financial transactions tax plan

News that Brazil has slipped into a 2% recession has revived the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT). If the new tax is not imposed, Brazil is unlikely to hit its 2015 financial deficit targets.

In an effort to win Congressional support for the controversial plan, any proceeds would be divided between the State and Brazilian municipalities.

The tax, known as CPMF, was withdrawn in 2008 as it was believed to be distorting financing across the economy. It included a 0.38% on all financial transactions.

Tax on state development loans

The government has already reintroduced the 1.5% financial transaction tax on loans made from BNDES, the national development bank.

Brazil in 2% recession

Brazil contracted by almost 2% in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the first quarter. This comes despite heavy government spending and interest rate cuts. These proved insufficient to contract a heavy downturn in consumption and poor confidence in shoppers.

Moody’s credit rating agency has cut Brazil to near ‘junk’ status.

European Union Financial Transactions Tax

11 member states of the EU are considering introducing a FTT in 2017.  This follows failure to gain a consensus on  imposing VAT on EU financial services in 2010.

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 can be contacted at: 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.