To foster the growth of some sectors of the Brazilian economy, the Federal Government enacted Law no. 12546/2011 (resulting from the conversion of Provisional Measure no. 540/2011 - Brasil Maior Plan), which reduces the social security contributions levied on the remuneration of employees and individual taxpayers ('Employer's Portion' - portion payable by the employer) in certain sectors, such as: IT services providers, CIT services providers, as well as manufacturers of clothes, accessories, footwear, furniture and other products described in annex to to the legislation in effect.

In the specific cases of companies that render services included in the law, in general, the Law establishes a substitute for the payment of social security contributions due, namely the application of a rate of one percent (2.0%) of the gross sales, which will be effective until December 31, 2014. According to the law, we verify that the services related to Construction Management (Project Management) are included in the legislation. For companies that manufacture certain products, the rate is 1% of the gross sales.

Considering the law, the Gross Sales that will make up the basis for the calculation of the new payment system will be taken into account with the following exclusions:

(i) gross sales derived from exports;

(ii) canceled sales and unconditional reductions granted (including sales returned);

(iii) the Tax on Manufactured Products - IPI, if included in the Gross Sales; and

(iv) the Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services - ICMS, if charged by the seller of the goods or the services provider in the capacity of tax substitute.

The joint analysis of the legislation and the understandings above clearly reveals what makes up and what does not make up the Gross Sales for the calculation of the new substitute contribution.

Also, based on the analysis of the new legislation, it is important to mention that the companies that render the services and manufacture products included in the law must use the substitute way to pay the social security contributions.

However such companies are not released from fulfilling the other social security obligations, both principal and accessory (i.e.: withholding and payment of the insured's portion, issuance of Unemployment Savings Fund FTGS Payment and Information to the Social Security Forms - GFIPs, etc.).

Additionally, the legislation provides that the companies that also develop other activities not related to the substitute method for payment of the contributions must, in regard to such other activities, calculate and pay the social security contributions on the payroll under the head paragraph, I and III, of art. 22 of Law no. 8212/91 (20% on the payroll and amounts paid to individual taxpayers).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.