After facing a series of criticisms to the tax reform, the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, met again this Friday (16) with businessmen to discuss changes to the project. At the meeting, the creation of a commission formed by businessmen and tax lawyers to discuss suggestions for changes to the text. According to participants at the meeting, Guedes pledged to meet with this commission in São Paulo every week.
The meeting with businessmen and representatives of the service sector at the office maintained by the Ministry of Economy in São Paulo lasted just over 1h30. The minister heard criticisms and proposals. Just over 20 people attended the appointment, and most wore masks to prevent covid-19 from spreading, according to participants. Part of the business community present at the meeting supports the president Jair Bolsonaro, such as Meyer Nigri, from Tecnisa, and Alberto Saraiva, from Habib’s. Both spoke, according to those present.
Gabriel Kanner, from Brasil 200, a movement that brings together large businessmen close to Bolsonaro, says that minister Guedes himself admitted that the reform proposal was strongly opposed by the private sector, and it proved to be apt to modify to reform.
— The productive sector has always been very supportive of Minister Guedes for his liberal agenda, but this proposal for the government’s tax reform had very bad repercussions because it represents an increase in the tax burden. Guedes himself said at the meeting that there was such a strong reaction (from the business community), they will stop and analyze (questions in the government) — says Kanner.
Among the participants were members of federations and associations representing sectors such as temporary work, cleanliness and conservation, security guards, private schools, private security and commerce. All in all, according to the balance of the entities, they speak on behalf of about 12 million workers and 950,000 companies.
— The minister was open to dialogue with the services sector, which was what was lacking — said João Diniz, president of the Brazilian Central of the Services Sector (Cebrasse).
Regarding the government’s concern with pejotization, with the approval of a 20% tax on profits and dividends, Diniz stated that the best way to avoid this is to reduce the tax burden on revenues.
Guedes said during the meeting that he wants to calibrate the income tax reduction for companies with 20% rate that will be charged on dividends.
Diniz presented the minister with a study with proposals to simplify the country’s tax system. In another moment of the conversation, businessmen criticized ideas, such as the taxation of dividends and even the moment of discussion.
— As an entity, we think that the time is not right to discuss tax reform, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, small and medium-sized companies have suffered a lot. We would prefer to have the administrative reform first – said Alfredo Cotait, president of the São Paulo Commercial Association (ACSP).
Renato Fortuna, president of the National Federation of Cleaning and Conservation Service Providers (Febrac) stated that Guedes showed willingness to correct distortions in the proposal submitted to Congress. For his sector, he defends the payroll tax exemption.
— Our sector is labor intensive and payroll tax exemption is important — defended Fortuna, whose association represents 42,000 companies and 2 million workers spread across 26 categories.
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