END of benefit and tax payment confirmed by the President; understand the obligation!

President Lula ends income tax exemption for religious leaders in a surprising decision. He understands the fiscal implications and reactions in the political landscape.

At the beginning of 2024, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made a decision that is having a significant impact on Brazil’s fiscal scenario.

Namely, the measure in question involves the end of the exemption from paying Income Tax (IR) for religious leaders, a policy implemented during the government of former president Jair Bolsonaro, on the eve of the 2022 elections.

This turnaround in fiscal policies has generated intense discussions and debates across the country, and it is important to understand the details and implications of this change. So, keep reading.

Change in tax policies: Lula puts an end to Income Tax exemption for religious leaders. (Credit: @jeanedeoliveirafotografia / pronatec.pro.br).

Understand the Income Tax exemption for religious leaders

According to information released by the Federal Revenue Service, the Income Tax exemption for religious leaders was resulting in a considerable impact on public finances, reaching approximately R$399 million annually.

This exemption was related to the amounts paid to pastors and religious leaders for the time dedicated to church activities, which exempted them from taxes, such as social security.

However, this benefit has faced legal challenges. Currently, there are 26 administrative proceedings and one court case that question the validity of this exemption.

The legal case in question involves an amount of R$177 million in taxes that were not paid. Adding up all the amounts, approximately R$293,753,452.97 stopped entering the public coffers.

This amount would be enough to cover Bolsa Família for 428.4 thousand families, considering the average value of R$685.61.

More about Income Tax 2024: Income Tax Exemption 2024: Check the new values ​​and whether you will benefit

Divergent reactions and opinions

President Lula’s decision to end this benefit was not unanimously received. According to unofficial information, the measure generated discontent among the ministers of the Federal Audit Court (TCU).

Although there is an understanding that the exemption could open gaps for abuse, the process is still ongoing and there has been no official order.

Furthermore, the measure also caused tensions in relations between the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, and parliamentarians.

This is not the first controversy involving Haddad and legislators, as there have previously been disagreements regarding the repayment of payroll for some sectors of the economy.

Decision still pending

It is important to highlight that, despite discussions and reactions to the measure, the Federal Audit Court (TCU) clarified that, to date, there is no definitive decision regarding the suspension of the Income Tax exemption granted to religious leaders in Brazil.

The process remains under analysis by Minister Aroldo Cedraz, and a final position on the matter has not yet been determined.

Perspectives for the 2024 Income Tax declaration

With recent changes in tax policies and the ongoing discussion, the Income Tax declaration for the year 2024 promises to be a prominent topic.

Taxpayers must be aware of the new rules, as the declaration can be submitted between March 15th and May 30th.

Furthermore, an important change is the new exemption range, which is now R$2,112.00. Those with an income of up to two minimum wages will also have a discount of R$528.

Finally, with the revocation of the Income Tax exemption for religious leaders and the ongoing discussions about this measure, the payment of taxes gains prominence on Brazil’s political and fiscal agenda.

This change represents a shift in fiscal policies, and the country eagerly awaits the next stages of this process.

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