On September 23, 2014, the Brazilian Ministry of Finance reported that Brazil and the United States have executed an Intergovernmental Agreement (“IGA”) that should facilitate the exchange of information between tax authorities of both countries.

The IGA derives from the US rules of international fiscal transparency (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or “FATCA”), and it is based on the Tax Information Exchange Agreement previously signed by Brazil and the United States, in force since March 19, 2013.

In accordance with the IGA, as from 2014, authorities of both countries will automatically exchange information about bank accounts and financial investments of US residents in Brazil and of Brazilian residents in the US. The information must be exchanged within nine months after the end of the calendar-year to which the information relates.

The IGA was executed under the so-called “Model 1” adopted by the US, which means that Brazilian financial institutions and other Brazilian entities qualified by the FATCA legislation as “Foreign Financial Institutions” (“FFI”) will not supply, directly, any information about their clients to the US Treasury, but rather to Brazilian authorities, which will compile the data and send it to US authorities.

Given that the IGA establishes reciprocity from the US Government, Brazil will start receiving information about bank accounts and financial investments held in the US by Brazilian residents (including individuals and legal entities). This will give Brazilian tax authorities one more source of information to cross-check the compliance of Brazilian tax rules by taxpayers investing in the US. As a result, these investors should revisit their tax obligations to avoid future tax assessments.

The IGA/FATCA is only the first step involving the automatic exchange of information among Brazil and other countries. Brazil is part of the "Early Adopters" group for the automatic exchange of tax information, comprised of 44 countries so far. Although this group will start the automatic exchange in 2017, Brazil has announced that intends to implement it by 2018.

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