Brazilian authorities were due to implement a new tax on overseas remittances in January. There have been a number of news articles on the subject, with the tax quoted as likely to be somewhere between 25 and 40 per cent. Many Brazilian language travel agents warned this would have a major impact on the number of outbound students; and the agent association, BELTA, have lobbied strongly against the proposed change.
The Brazilian Inland Revenue clarified on 21 January that there will be no tax (0 per cent) on the cost of overseas courses. The tax will primarily be restricted to cases where payment is associated with the provision of service (for example, in the case of a remittance payment to a hotel or for a tour package).
It is still unclear whether the tax exemption rating will apply just to the course tuition fee, or whether it will also apply to related costs, such as air travel and accommodation, however, the news is a great relief to Brazilian agencies; and a huge boost to anyone planning to recruit students from Brazil. The actual announcement (in Portuguese) appears on the Brazilian Inland Revenue's website.
English UK corporate member, BMI Media (who run student recruitment fairs, including Salão do Estudante in Brazil), has suggested that even if the associated costs of studying abroad such as accommodation, insurance etc. are affected, UK institutions may be able to help Brazilian students and local agencies by increasing the cost of the courses to also include these related services rather than bill them separately
Should you have any further questions regarding the tax, the Brazilian international education market or BMI's Brazil Agent workshop or Salão do Estudante please feel free to contact Samir Zaveri or Rupert Merrick.