STF judges as constitutional the rule that raised the insurance companies’ net income tax

During a plenary session held on June 15th, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) dismissed the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI 5485) filed by the National Confederation of General Insurance, Private Pension and Life, Supplementary Health and Capitalization Companies (CNSeg) to challenge the Law 13.169/2015, which raised the Social Contribution on Net Income (CSLL) rate from 15% to 20% for the insurance companies.

On the same occasion, the ADI 4101 – filed by the National Confederation of the Financial System (Consif) to challenged the Law 11.727/2008, that increased the CSLL rate of financial and similar institutions from 9% to 15% – was also dismissed.

The plaintiffs pointed out that the increase in the CSLL’s rates disrespects the principle of isonomy, since the authorization established in Article 195, paragraph 9, of the Brazilian Federal Constitution for distinctions in the calculation base and rates due to the economic segment must be made by quantitative criteria applicable to all segments.

However, this was not the STF’s understanding. The Justices of the STF followed the vote of the ADIs´ Reporting Justice, Luiz Fux, who did not see the alleged violation of the constitutional rule, once it applies different rates due to the economic activity practiced, exactly as prescribed in Article 195 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution.

According to Fux, the differentiated CSLL rate requirement of financial and similar institutions does not contradict the principle of isonomy, but on the contrary, it aims to materialize this principle, by treating taxpayers who are in a different situation unequally.

Source: STF 06/17/2020 – ADI 4101 – ADI 5485.

The insurance and tax teams of Costa Tavares Paes Advogados are available to provide any further information.

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