Movimentação financeira: a base de uma contribuição para o INSS em substituição à folha de pagamentos

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Wages and labor income are taxed in Brazil at the rate of 42.5% on the average, considering payments of both employers and employees. This makes it one of highest taxed labor markets in the world. The tax burden falls mostly on firms. Thus fact stimulates labor informality and outsourcing. This is one of the main reasons for the growing social security deficits. Payrolls are taxed in Brazil at the rate of approximately 35%, and social security contributions account for most of burden. After diagnosing the problem, this essay discusses issues related to the social security regimes used in Brazil, and the various forms of financing most adequate to each of them. It is shown that the basic social security regime, called general social security regime, became a program quite similar to a public system of complementary income. As such, this paper proposes replacing the social security contributions made by firms, which have a restricted pattern of incidence, by a general contribution based of bank transactions with a rate of 0,61%, which shows a universal pattern of incidence. It then compares the economic implications of such cumulative taxation with a conventional value added social security contribution. The analytical model is based on Leontief ́s input-output framework, and it shows that a contribution levied on bank transactions implies a lighter sectoral tax load on consumer prices, and less distortionary effects on alocation of resources, than the revenue equivalent contribution of 20% on payrolls presently in use. This paper attempts to show tax pyramiding may not have such harmful economic effects as usually assumed by critics of cumulative taxation.

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