Tax for Vehicle Owners

Understand the Brazilian tax on vehicle ownership...

A mandatory motor-vehicle ownership tax (imposto sobre propriedade de veiculos automotores - IPVA) is payable for all motor vehicles in Brazil. This is paid annually, the month in which it is to be paid corresponds with the final digit of the vehicle's registration number. It is paid in arrears and not for the following year. The process is referred to as licenciamento, and to obtain the road tax statement the driver must pay any outstanding fines for parking or speeding.

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This tax is calculated on the vehicle's value and is levied by the state, though the municipality in which the car is registered also receives money. The money is used at state and municipal level for general purposes.

When the payment is due, the car owner will receive a letter from the local Department of Transport office (DETRAN) indicating the amount due and a due date. This letter will need to be taken to the bank which is financing the car if the owner has a loan outstanding, or in most cases, to the bank with which the owner has an account. Some banks offer an option to pay the IPVA in three monthly payments, and in some states in Brazil it is possible to pay this in monthly installments.

The vehicle owner will need to present their vehicle registrations document (Certificado de Registro e Licenciamento do Veículo/CRLV) when making the IPVA payment. Once payment has been made, the statement sent by DETRAN will be stamped and must be kept with the other vehicle documents in the car when driving to indicate that the IPVA has been paid. Failure to pay the IPVA incurs a fine. An updated CRLV is sent through the post by the local DETRAN.

The Brazilian road tax system includes an automatic minimum third-party insurance system known as DPVAT (personal injury caused by road vehicles/danos pessoais causados por veîculos automotores de vias terrestres). This is sometimes referred to as Seguro Obrigatrio or compulsory insurance. This ensures all vehicles have minimum third-party cover and victims of road accidents will receive damages or compensation for injuries.

Prepared by, Antonio Amendola, partner, Felsberg e Associados At: Av. Paulista 1294, 2nd floor, Cerqueira Cesar, 01310-915 e-mail