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Taxation of Digital Nomads in Brazil

The Brazilian Digital Nomad Visa allows people to live and work in Brazil. This article provides an overview of the application process and how Brazilian tax applies to Digital Nomads in Brazil

Written on 1 June 2023

With the creation of more remote jobs during the pandemic, people have started to work more from the comfort of their homes, as well as from abroad. These professionals who work remotely from anywhere in the world are commonly known as ‘digital nomads’. The rise of digital nomad visas over the past few years has provide people who can work from any location the opportunity to live in countries which previously may have unavailable due to high visa requirements.

Although this lifestyle is very attractive, it is important to be aware of the legal and fiscal implications these individuals may face when living abroad. For the purposes of this article, the regulation on digital nomads in Brazil will be the focus.

This article has been written for Experts for Expats by lawyer and chartered accountant Fernanda Ellis and is for informative purposes and does not cover all possible cases. You should always seek qualified advice from an adviser who has good knowledge of the Brazilian tax system and is familiar with expat taxation before submitting tax returns in Brazil.

Brazilian Digital Nomad Visa Process and Tax

Before moving to Brazil, the digital nomad must go through a procedure outlined in Resolution CNIG MJSP No. 45 of 2021, which specifically states that a temporary visa and residence permit may be granted for those without an employment relationship in Brazil, and whose professional activity can be carried out remotely.

In order to obtain this visa, one should follow a step-by-step process, which starts by filling out an online application, followed by requesting the service via e-consular. After that, the applicant will wait for the analysis by the Consulate team, and once the application has been validated it is possible to schedule an appointment through the e-consular.

After obtaining the temporary visa and moving to Brazil, the digital nomad should be aware of the taxes they may have to pay to the Brazilian State. However, one generally will be considered a resident in the country to be legally obliged to pay income taxes.

Normative Instruction No. 208 of 2002 brings the concept of ‘resident’ in the Brazilian State in its Article 2, as an individual with a temporary visa who has been in Brazil for more than 184 days, consecutive or not, within a period of 12 months. Therefore, the understanding is that the digital nomad will be considered a tax resident in Brazil if they comply with this requirement. 

As seen above, although digital nomads receive their income from abroad, they may be considered a tax resident in the Brazilian State if they meet the time requirement in the specific regulation mentioned. This income, transferred to Brazil or not, may be subject to taxation through a monthly tax return form known as the ‘carnê-leão’ in Brazil, based on the provisions of Article 16 of Normative Instruction nº 208 of 2002.

Ideally, the monthly tax return form is recommended for self-employed individuals who receive wages, or those who receive other income besides their salary which may be different every month. Regardless, it is also possible to complete an annual tax return form, either through the Federal Revenue’s (Receita Federal) online system or through a download of the program corresponding to the year.

As of 2023, the deadline to complete this tax return form in Brazil, known as the Imposto de Renda de Pessoa Física (IRPF) begins on 15th March and will end on 31st May.

Furthermore, it is necessary to analyse whether the digital nomad’s home country and Brazil share a non-double taxation agreement, or even a compensation agreement, since this would clarify issues regarding the status of citizens in each country and the prevention of tax evasion.

Brazil shares a compensation system with a few countries, such as the United Kingdom, the US and Germany. This allows the income tax paid in Brazil to be compensated in these countries, which constitutes reciprocity of treatment. These agreements are subject to the limits referred to in Articles 15, Paragraph 1, and Article 16, Paragraphs 1, 2 and 6, of the Normative Instruction No. 208, of 2002.

Get help obtaining with Brazilian Digital Nomad Visas and tax

As with any life changing decision, you should always seek advice before making that decision. Applying for a visas can be complex and tax matters in different countries, especially those where the local language is not English, can be complicated to understand.

By requesting professional advice from trusted specialists, you can minimise any surprises and ensure that you stand the best chance of successfully obtaining your visa. It will also ensure you comply with the local tax rules and have left nothing to chance.

Making mistakes can be both expensive and extremely stressful.

We provide a free introduction to a Brazilian tax and legal specialist which will connect you with our trusted partner and enable you to request an initial consultation. While the initial Brazilian consultation is not free, it will be more detailed and provide you with specific answers to any questions you have about the Brazilian Digital Nomad Visa and Brazilian tax matters.

Following the consultation you will be presented with a no obligation proposal and quote for professional services which you can choose to proceed with if you decide that you wish to begin the process of moving to Brazil.

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