Rebellion of businessmen

By ETCO
28/06/2004

Author: Marco Damiani

Source: Revista Dinheiro

38% of GDP! Working as the password for a revolt, the projection for this year
record tax burden on the Gross Domestic Product is awakening
across the country which has not been seen for a long time - a massive movement,
articulate and consistent business rebellion. This week in Brasilia,
entities from industry, commerce and service meet to set off in the
a protest march over the capital in the next few days. In São Paulo, the
number of meetings between leaders from different sectors for the articulation of
strategies to combat the increase in government revenue. From the South to
Northeast, a general feeling of dissatisfaction unites businessmen.
There is outrage and anger. “We were involved during Fernando's two governments
Henrique and Lula got worse ”, sums up the president of Sindipeças, Paulo Butori.
He estimates that half of the 400 nationally-owned companies in the sector are in
pre-bankruptcy situation due to the average taxation of 45% to 48%. "Profit - No
we have known what that is for a long time ”.








LAWRENCE PIH, FROM MOINHO SANTISTA:
"
Entrepreneur needs to have faith. A government pen can kill our
Business"

Num
spinal cord of acronyms, it is taxed in Brazil ”heavily
from profit to
salary. The Brazilian company is the one that pays the most taxes in the world. Together,
Social Contribution on Net Profit (CSLL) and Income Tax rates
Corporate Income (IRPJ) make companies collect so-called safes
up to 34% of the final result of its operations. In no other country
world it occurs. Payroll taxes reach 42,1%. In
several other countries in the world there are wage taxes, but only the rate
of Denmark (43,1%) is higher than the Brazilian. Compare with those in France
(26,5%), the United States (24,3%) and Japan (16,2%). It is easy to understand the
low international competitiveness of national products. There are, however,
a lot more. With different legislation for each of the 27 States of the
federation ”only that of São Paulo has more than a thousand articles“, the Tax on
Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS) will transfer from the business world
for the public sector this year around R $ 140 billion, with rates that reach
33% and, on average, 21%. Under the weight of this type of contribution, GDP had
a negative change of 0,2% last year, but the sum of collections
federal, state and municipal levels showed a nominal increase of 13,4%. Stay
the brutal process of transferring income from the real economy to the
State - a model that is getting stronger. From May 2003 to May this year, the
economy grew by about 2%, but total tax collection jumped
5,5%. “This shows that we have a medieval and income-concentrating state,
to the pre-capitalist style of the 15th and 16th centuries ”, defines the historian of
economy Jorge Caldeira.


As a
individuals, the Brazilian disbursed per capita the equivalent of R $ 700,51 in the
payment in taxes in 1993. Last year, it collected R $ 3.092,47 - an increase
56,74%, against only 10,8% growth in per capita income in the
period. Again, it's the same suction pump taking money from people to
maintain the state, make a surplus and pay interest. The revenue collected is
scratching the elegance of the salons, giving way to sincere nervousness. On the night of
Monday the 21st, in the fourth meeting room of the Fernand Institute
Braudel, in São Paulo, businessman Laurence Pih interrupted a debate in which
pontificate of former Federal Revenue Secretary, Everardo Maciel, and the
Secretary of Finance of São Paulo, Eduardo Guardia. “I don't believe in these
numbers, ”shouted Pih, opposing the mathematical calculations that showed a
tax burden of 36,11% over last year's GDP. “In real life, on this side
from the counter, it's much more. From the R $ 1,5 trillion of Brazilian GDP to the public sector
is getting more than R $ 800 billion. ”


More
late, composed, Pih spoke to MONEY. “Being an entrepreneur today is an act of faith.
We live in a constant panic, fearing that a government tax bill
make our business unfeasible. ”


For,
wherever you turn, there are taxes holding back the growth of
economy. “There are so many vehicle taxes in Brazil that the citizen, when buying
an average car actually pays two: one for him and one for the government, ”says
vice president of General Motors, José Carlos Pinheiro Neto. The Brazilian pays
twice the Italian's tax and five times more than the American's at the time of
buy your car. The contraction of the consumer market, as even the
bureau-
cratas can understand, it is pushing productive investments away. "O
difficult, bureaucratic, complex and extremely costly tax system is
removing new industries from Brazil, ”says the vice president of the Association
Brazilian Chemical Industry (Abiquim), Guilherme Duque Estrada de Moraes. At
multinationals now represent half of the entity's nearly 200 partners.
"There could be so much more."








TENSION IN SÃO PAULO
Debate on
Fernand Braudel Institute ended in
protest

Yes,
the Brazilian business revolt was not without time. For much less, in the neighboring
Argentina, a similar mobilization begins to take shape. There, official figures
Federal Administration of Public Revenue reported last week that
21% of GDP is already paid in taxes, against 17% in the average of the 90s.
Argentines are well below the country's contributory capacity, estimated at 29%
of GDP. In the United States, a country in which business mobilization is
contribution capacity is 44% of GDP, but the tax burden
does not exceed 29%. The opposite is true here. Contributory capacity
Brazilian economy is estimated today at 24% of GDP, but the tax burden is
rising to 38%. Another inversion is the way in which the collection takes place. We
United States the tax structure is 70% on income and equity and 30%
about production. Not here. The companies bear 70% of the taxes and the
equity and income pay only 30%. It reminds us of the history of jabuticaba. Or
only Brazil knows how to do or we are against the
the world.


As
authorities demonstrate that only at the base of the cry will they be touched by the
asphyxiation of business activity. “Okay, I admit that the load is at the limit and
there is no more to increase ”, said the Secretary of Federal Revenue, Jorge Rachid,
to editor Hugo Studart, of DINHEIRO in Brasília. “But there are only three ways to
finance the state: taking from the poor through inflation, getting more debt
external taxation or collect taxes from society. We only had the last one, ”he said.
Rachid. The secretary warns that he is creating a new excise tax rate
income for individuals, 35%, but guarantees that it will respect the agreed
between the government and businessmen. “Our commitment is not to grow the relationship
tax burden-GDP ”. But according to the Brazilian Institute of Planning
Tax Law (IBPT) is exactly what is happening, with the approximation of
38% taxes on GDP. Irony was the weapon chosen by the minister
interim of the Finance, Bernardo Appy, to refute these calculations. “It was not that
same institute that said the load would be 40%? ”. The secretary can laugh,
but just look at the curve to realize that this is where the thing
walks.


Na
Brazilian history, the tributary tourniquet has already sparked uprisings by all
sizes. It was a spill (name given by Portuguese law to classify the
taxes written off to meet the extraordinary expenses of the Crown) that produced the
Inconfidência Mineira. In 1792, the Portuguese decided to charge at once
the overdue fifths of gold products from Minas Gerais. Against the measure if
raised the inconfidentes and Brazil met its hero Joaquim José da Silva
Xavier. Do we need a new
Tiradentes?


Collaborated
Eduardo Pincigher, Fabiane Stefano and Rosenildo G.
Ferreira


Photos:
Joedson Alves / AE







“WE LIVE IN CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE”








ARTICULATION IN ETCO
Kapaz criticizes
informality

One of the resistance trenches
is the Brazilian Institute for Competition Ethics. Founded in the year
passed by companies from sectors with heavy tax burden, such as tobacco, beer,
refrigerants and fuels, has conducted research and offered solutions against
tax irrationality. The entity's president, Emerson Kapaz, spoke to the
MONEY:


MONEY ? The tax burden goes
reach 38% of GDP this year. Can the entrepreneur take it?

EMERSON KAPAZ No. And because you can't stand it
leaving more and more to a situation of civil disobedience. The government
increased taxes again? No problem, I will not pay. That's what
many entrepreneurs are saying and, in practice, doing. This posture explains
not only the direct increase in tax evasion and tax avoidance, but also the
growth of piracy, smuggling and corruption. Who evades taxes
get a competitive advantage that there is no productivity, gain of scale or
profit margin you can overcome.?


The best way,
then, is it to evade?

No, because it disorganizes the
economy and produces a parallel, corrupt and violent state. The productivity of
a company that lives in informality is a third smaller than the economy
formal. The informal sector does not have access to finance, technology, labor
more qualified. It throws the economy as a whole down. It is not for another
reason that between 1982 and 2002 the Brazilian GDP per capita grew only 0,5%
year. Meanwhile, the tax burden on GDP jumped from 25% to 37%.


Which
the consequence of these curves?

Excess taxes are hitting Brazil
in the direction of becoming a great Colombia. Latin America has the highest rate
informal economy in the world, and the Brazilian average is 40% above
Latin American. The solution, however, is to resist in an organized way, proposing
solutions.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
Yes, it's the
tax simplification. The correct direction is Simple and Supersimple,
that has already been voted by Congress and just needs definition
of limits for
be implemented.