Brazil's economic team recommends vetoing a bill that grants amnesty in taxes to be paid by churches, which have more than R$ 1 billion in debts registered with the Union according to government surveys. President Jair Bolsonaro will make the final decision.
The proposal that benefits religious entities was created by deputy David Soares (DEM-SP) and inserted in a bill to resolve disputes with the Union. He is the son of Pastor RR Soares, founder of the International Church of GraÃ§a de Deus ( among the main debtors).
The text alters the 1988 law that instituted the CSLL (Social Contribution on Net Income) to remove temples from the list of legal entities considered to be paying the tax, in addition to canceling assessments that disrespect the premise. The justification is that the Constitution gives tax protection to churches, but the argument is contested.
In another section, the bill grants retroactive amnesty to the collection of social security taxes on the remuneration paid to religious members (such as pastors). The proposal seeks to apply the understanding that values are not remuneration.
In the view of members of the Treasury, churches often pay salaries to many people, from employees to pastors, and classify transfers with other names (donations, for example). As the churches often have many employees, the Union fails to collect a significant amount of income tax and social security contributions.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon