Govt. wants all gambling operators there to have a Brazillian address in order to increase tax revenues

Brazilian media company Record Group’s R7 reported late last week that the government there is seeking ways to make foreign gambling operators pay domestic taxes in Brazil. One option under discussion is requiring internet sports books and eventually casino operators to have a head office in the country in order to make them obliged to pay all possible taxes.

If the obligation comes to pass it could appear in a presidential decree on market regulation that some outlets are saying could come at any time.

Gambling Taxes Already 17 Percent

There is already a 17% tax on gambling which passed the Chamber of Deputies in Bill 442/91 in February. However, the government wants more as the bill exempted operators from a variety of local taxes that would be levied if they were domiciled in Brazil. Among these are taxes for municipal services (ISS), employer taxes (PIS/PASEP) federal social assistance (Cofins) the civic/social fund (CSLL), and fixed income taxes (IRPJ).

It’s thought that if the operators are domiciled in Brazil the government will be able to collect the most possible revenue from the gambling activity.

The idea was reportedly conveyed to gambling opponents in the government late last month when the president and minister of the Civil House met with deputies in the evangelical bench of Congress which members are opposed to gambling in all forms.

President Jair Bolsonaro has vowed to veto any gambling bill that comes his way but the political reality on the ground is that such a veto will likely be overridden by representatives.

Deputy Sóstenes Cavalcante (PL-RJ), leader of the bench, reportedly told R7, “We understand that, since it exists and as we have no way of preventing it, it should be legalized and taxed. As we have no way of controlling websites outside the country, as we do not have legislation that can decide on the jurisdiction of other countries, then the best thing is to solve it this way: taxing.”

According to a report on SBC News, the government had already been discussing a requirement that operators have a legal address in Brazil as well as tagging the number of operators in a state to the number of denizens.

Gambling Opponents Approve of Taxing

According to local reporting, some believe that Congress will forge ahead with all types of revenue-producing types of gambling including instant win games, bingo, and casinos. No such action is expected until after the elections which will be held in October.

Deputy Sóstenes stated that he was against all forms of gambling, and added: “But since it already exists, and if we’re only talking about taxing, I don’t see it in a bad way, as long as it doesn’t cover more modalities. We don’t want a situation like this one to be taken advantage of so more casinos and bingo halls get approved.

Source: Government Of Brazil Seeks Guarantees On Gambling Operators To Pay All Domestic Tax Charges, SBC News, June 3, 2022.

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