I’m the director of a limited liability company. All my business in Brazil goes through the company and I am paid a salary from my own company. It all works well, and surprisingly, I am taxed less that I was in the UK.
However, running a company in Brazil is onerous My firm needs to submit something like 30 different tax reports EVERY MONTH to the government which means that I pay my accountant about the same every month that I used to pay every year in London.
The day to day reality is that I trust my accountant to sort out all the tax statements so I don’t worry about it. She gets paid well by her clients to manage their reporting and I can sleep easy knowing that all those reports are filed.
But I’m moving house soon and I just got the shock of my life. By moving 150km north of São Paulo to another town inside São Paulo state, all of my company affairs get shaken to the core.
The town I am moving to does not use the electronic tax system my accountant uses, so I would have to start manually managing all these reports – posting them to my accountant to be dealt with. And this is inside the same state. That is at least one report a day to be manually collected, and posted.
And simply to change the registered address of my company from where I am now to the town I am moving to basically means I need to incorporate the company again with the new details. Plus then inform every government agency that deals with me – there is no central register of companies where I can file my details.
At the end of the day I’m paying hundreds to my accountant to take care of it all, and rather than move the company address to my own offices, I will keep it registered at the office of my accountant so I can avoid a lot of this nonsense. Even just to move the company from my address to my accountant – which is on the same street – means effectively reincorporation and about a month of fees just to change address.
Brazil might not be booming any longer, but it is still growing. If a brave politician stepped in and cut through some of this ridiculous red tape the country might once again experience the kind of growth Europe can only dream of. If only… those people in the company tax offices passed exams to be in their jobs – they now feel they have a job for life. How can a politician change that?