H. Jacob Lager

Too soon to catch Olympic Fever?

In Foreign taxes, International tax laws on October 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

For Brazilian business, it’s right on time.

Photo by eduhalls

Last week, Brazil published MEDIDA PROVISÓRIA No 584 (“Provisional Measure 584/2012”), granting a number of tax incentives for businesses supporting the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The measure includes tax breaks for:

  • Imports of tangible goods and services used and consumed in Olympic-related activities;
  • IOC activities occurring in Brazil and supporting activities carried out by its related (foreign and Brazil) entities;
  • The activities undertaken by the Local Organization Committee (“RIO 2016”);
  • Relief from certain Brazilian social security taxes for individuals who support IOC (and related) activities; and
  • Relief for the local sales of goods and services related to the Olympic Games.

Tax-minded Olympic fans (surely I’m not the only one) will recognize that last item.  A similar exemption in London turned the Olympic Village into the world’s tiniest temporary tax haven for international vendors.  To their credit, many such sponsors (like McDonalds, Coca-Cola, GE, and Visa) politely declined the tax breaks this summer.

However, the same “tax vacation” will no doubt boost revenues for small and mid-sized local businesses.  Indeed, Brazil is no stranger to coupling tax breaks with international sporting competition.  The perks described in Provisional Measure 584/2012 are very similar to those granted to FIFA’s 2013 Soccer Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup to be hosted in Brazil.

Local firms need not even wait till 2016 to claim the tax breaks.  The exemptions will apply to transactions carried out between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2017.

Feliz Ano Novo, Brasilia!

If your Portuguese is up to snuff, you can find the text of Provisional Measure 584/2012 here.

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  1. Did other countries allow for these types of breaks? Does the US allow for this? No wonder cities fight so hard for “the games.”

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