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Tax guidelines and regulations for large money transfers into Brazil

Both you and your recipient could have to report the transfer on your taxes.

Americans sent $637 million from the US to Brazil in 2015 through banks and money transfer services. But when sending a lot of money, your recipient could be on the hook for taxes regulated by the Brazilian Department of Federal Revenue — and you could be responsible for notifying the IRS.

How Brazil regulates large remittances

Gift and donation taxation rates vary among the 26 states of Brazil, ranging from 4% in Rio de Janeiro to up to 7% in Santa Catarina. Beneficiaries of these gifts are responsible for declaring and paying this tax in their annual returns by April 30.

Some states will exempt gifts up to a certain amount from the tax — the specific amount also varies by state. Check the tax code of your recipient’s state if you want to calculate the exact amount that will be owed before transferring money.

What are the penalties for not filing a large remittance?

Brazilians are among the biggest tax evaders worldwide, largely due to an absence of penalties until recently. If you fail to file taxes on a large money transfer today, you could face a penalty equal to 20% of the tax in question. If you’re caught in one of the country’s irregular sweeps for unpaid taxes, that penalty increases to a stiff 75% of the amount you owe.

You could also be hit with jail time of six months to two years, with increased fines for subsequent evading.

Encourage your family and loved ones to include any large remittance on their annual tax return or speak to a tax professional for guidance.

Who is most likely to be researching taxes on large money transfers to Brazil?

Finder data suggests that men aged 25-34 are most likely to be researching this topic.

ResponseMale (%)Female (%)
Source: Finder sample of 565 visitors using demographics data from Google Analytics

Do I have to report large transfers out of the US?

Usually, yes — though it depends on the size and purpose of the transfer. If you’re sending more than $15,000 as a gift or more than $10,000 for business purposes, or if you’re transferring money to a foreign account in your name that’s held $10,000 or more at any point in the last year, you’ll have to let the IRS know.

By law, banks are required to report cash transactions that exceed $10,000 and transactions of any amount they find suspicious. For independent money transfer businesses, the threshold can be as low as $1,000. Which means that if you don’t file your taxes correctly, it’s very likely that the IRS will know.
Sending a lot of money out of the country? Know what the IRS expects of you.

How much money can I send to Brazil?

There’s no legal cap on the amount of money you can send to Brazil, but some transfer providers will impose their own limits. If you’re planning a large transfer, use a secure provider like Xe that has no limits.

How will my recipient in Brazil get the money?

When sending money to your friends and family in Brazil, you’ll typically have the option of a bank-to-bank transfer, cash pickup or mobile wallet delivery.

To pick up the transfer in person, your recipient may need to show ID or a confirmation number. For other transfers — like to a Brazilian bank or money transfer company — they may not need to provide anything to receive it.

How to send money to Brazil

Bottom line

If you’re sending money to someone in Brazil, there’s a good chance they’ll need to pay taxes on it. On the bright side, the process is simple and they’ll be able to just include it with their yearly tax paperwork.

As with all international money transfers, be wary of potential fraud and only send money to people you know. Using a reputable provider can safeguard you from potential scams.

Frequently asked questions

How do I handle the IRS when transferring large amounts?

If you follow the law and submit your legal documentation timely and accurately, you shouldn’t experience hassles with the IRS. If you choose not to follow the law, you may be on the hook for stiff penalties, including jail time.

How can I avoid IRS penalties if I fail to file?

If you can show the IRS reasonable cause for failing to file you might avoid penalties. Reasonable cause is decided on a case-by-case basis but events like house fires, serious illnesses and natural disasters have been approved in the past.

What’s the likelihood of getting caught if either my recipient or I don’t file the transfer on our taxes?

High. Both the US and Brazil keep tabs on money going into and out of their countries, and both banks and money transfer providers report transfers to governments.

Picture: Shutterstock

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    SoGOctober 22, 2018

    Is there any way to transfer USD to a Brazil nonprofit? Everything I read seems to be individual to individual. How about from a US nonprofit to a Brazil nonprofit?

      AnndyNovember 5, 2018Finder

      Hi SoG,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you want to send USD to an organization or business in Brazil, you may want to compare your money transfer options. On that page, you can enter the amount that you want to send on the calculator on top of the comparison table to see how much your recipient will possibly receive using a particular service.

      I hope this helps.


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