Natural Persons Register - Brazilian CPF Requirements
Before buying property in Brazil you will need a Brazilian ID number called a CPF. It is the Brazilian equivalent of a national insurance number or a social security number and can be obtained fairly simply. This number is also a legal requirement as it enables the property buyer to be uniquely identified for taxation and title purposes. Generally they are a few methods of obtaining a CPF.
As an overseas real estate buyer in Brazil,
the first necessary step is to apply for a CPF (Cadastro de Pessoa Física).
This is essentially an identity card with an attributable number linked to the Brazilian Tax Revenue Agency (Receita Federal). Its original aim was to be used as a form of identification for taxpayers but it has grown to become a necessity for all Brazilians (including those that fall under the non-tax paying threshold).
Below are some guidelines as to what the CPF is; how it can be obtained as well the implications of owning a number (regardless of whether you pay tax or not in Brazil). You may also come across the
which is a card that enables you manage your affairs electronically (particularly useful if you are not based in Brazil).
BELOW, IMAGE - PHOTO OF CPF
Ownership of a CPF number will mean that the Brazilian government will have a record of your name / identity and you will be able to do the following:
• open a bank account (subject to certain visa restrictions);
• purchase Brazilian property / land;
• receive utility bills in your name;
• take our credit cards / loans (although access to
these may be restricted due to the fact that you are
not a Brazilian resident);
• obtain a Brazilian cell phone / telephony contract;
• obtain a Brazilian drivers license / register a vehicle;
• apply for employment;
• undertake day-to-day activities in Brazil such as
booking an internal flight or hiring a car from a local
company (which, more often than not,means you will
get a better deal than the tourist prices).
The number on the card is always eleven digits (the last two digits are the result of an equation of the nine previous ones). The government has several measure to test the validity of the number (there were formerly a number of people who would skew the number in order to evade tax) and, in order to prevent people obtaining more than one registration, the Receita Federal
will verify your birth date, voting number and mother’s maiden name.
A CPF number can be obtained, on average, between 45-60 days and there are three main ways of applying depending on whether you want to do it through your nearest Brazilian Consulate; via an approved public owned body (Banco do Brasil or the Correio); or by direct use of a professional (acting as a power of attorney on your behalf):
1) Online Application (outside of Brazil)
You may find that procedures vary according to whichever jurisdiction you are in (Google the phrase ‘Brazil Consulate CPF [your country]’ and there will be detailed information) but the following instructions will apply to most cases:
(i) Print the application CPF form using this form:
CPF Application Form
(ii) Fill the form using a black ball point pen;
(iii) Make a photocopy for your own records and take the original along with your passport and birth certificate to the Brazilian Consulate. There will be a charge which will depend on which consulate you are applying through (should not be more than $50US).
Please note if you are planning on obtaining CPF numbers for other members of your family, you should refer to the Consulate to find out exactly what will need to be provided;
You will subsequently be sent a pin code which will enable you to access the number via the website. However,
this will not mean that you will be able to open a bank account, purchase real estate etc. as you will need to have possession of the plastic card. You will need to visit the Receita Federal in Brazil – taking your passport, birth certificate and address to mail the CPF card. You can expect to receive your card from anywhere between 2 weeks to 3 months. You can trace the progress of your application using the following link:
Trace the progress of your CPF application
1)... select ‘Exterior’, and then enter the receipt code number in the ‘Código de Atendimento‘ field and the date on the consular receipt in the ‘Data de Atendimento‘ field.)
Banco do Brasil branches photo below, where CPF forms can be found...
2) Apply via the Banco do Brazil ( Bank of Brazil ) or Correio ( Brazil Post Office)
If you are in Brazil, you can apply for the CPF via any Banco do Brasil (Bank of Brazil) or Correio (Post Office) (there are plenty but you should find a translator if you do not speak Portuguese). You will need to take the following:
(i) Your original passport;
(ii) Your birth certificate with the names of your mother and father;
(iii) An address of where the CPF can be sent to in Brazil;
You will subsequently be sent a federal tax bill of a minimal amount that will need to be paid. Once the Receita Federal receives this payment and viewed the above, you will be sent the card within fourteen days.
3) Using a Professional ----> Check with Belavista Rio. We can supply a CPF in 24 hours.
Many investors choose to instruct a professional to act on their behalf in order to keep the whole CPF process hassle free and simple. A premium is often charged but it is often better to pay this than go through the rigmarole of applying yourself (particularly if you do not speak Portuguese).
The following two procedures will be followed:
(i) You will be sent a ‘signature’ card issued by a Brazil based cartório (notary’s office) and a formulário de procuração (a document to confirm that you would like the agent or lawyer to act as a power of attorney) to sign;
(ii) You will have to send certified copies of your original passport and birth certificate (by your local Brazilian Consulate);
You can also use the Brazilian Post Office ( called Correios in Portuguese) to find the CPF form...
Remember to ensure that an correspondence and documentation are sent using FED-EX, DHL or other reputable delivery service with a tracking system. Using an agent to undertake this process also means that you do not need to have a Brazilian address as it will be sent to their office (and subsequently forwarded on to yourself).
Other Points to observe...
It should be noted that the CPF is directly linked to your credit score in Brazil. For example, if you were to purchase a contract cell phone and miss payments - the company will report your ‘black mark’ to the relevant government agency and it will remain on file (this will effect your ability to borrow for some time in the future). Furthermore, unlike referencing agencies in many other countries that adopt a scale of credit-worthiness, a Brazilian CPF is either clean or tainted (ie. there is no middle ground).
The fact that you have a CPF will mean that any direct/indirect income producing activities you undertake in Brazil will be subject to taxation which is automatically calculated based on compulsory declarations as stated by the Receita Federal, some of which are as follows:
• if you earn over $12,696 reais income;
• if you receive a lump-sum payment of greater than $40,000 reais (through the sale of an asset, for example);
• if you are a shareholder, proprietor, partner or co-operative involvement in a Brazilian company;
• if you have ownership of property or land over the value of $80,000 reais;
• if you have disposed of an asset that is subject to capital gains tax in the eyes of Brazilian law;
• if you are involved with any kind of transaction on the stock exchange;
• if you have achieved a gross revenue for any business activity in Brazil of more than $63,480 reais;
• if a previous years loss is being offset against a current years loss and the amount falls under the threshold, then full declaration would be needed to be submitted;
Again, we would strongly suggest to obtain professional legal and tax advice when conducting your real estate business in Brazil - particularly when it comes to making the obligatory declarations as above.
Should you not have to pay income tax (for example if you obtain a CPF number and choose not to undertake in any business in Brazil), you will still need to send an `exempt report’ or go to the nearest Receita Federal office in order to keep the number activated.
Please feel free to contact us with regards to any questions about obtaining a CPF in Brazil.