Documento de Arrecadação de Receitas Federais is the taxation document used to pay federal taxes and contributions in Brazil. This article explains everything about it, from the general idea of it to its structure.
Taxes in Brazil can be divided into three categories, depending on who is responsible for collection: municipality, state or federal government.
The federal taxes - which are the same in every Brazilian city or state - must be paid through a specific taxation document, known as Documento de Arrecadação de Receitas Federais (DARF, or Document for the Collection of Federal Revenues).
There are basically two DARF models used to pay federal taxes, which have been used since 1997:
- DARF Comum - the Regular DARF, used by individuals and companies
- DARF Simples - the Simplified DARF, used exclusively by micro or small businesses, for the unified payment of several taxes, such as IRPJ, PIS, CSLL, Cofins, IPI and social contributions
There is also a type of Juridical DARF. This one is used to pay legal expenses relating to the Federal Justice.
How is it completed
There are various ways to complete a DARF. It is possible to do so electronically, via software available from the Receita Federal, or even through an option on the institution’s website.
These alternatives might be interesting since they facilitate a few stages of the process, automatically calculating additional charges (such as fines, for example) and allowing online payment.
However, it is also possible to complete the required information manually. In this case, it is necessary to print the DARF form from the Receita Federal website.
Two copies of DARF must be completed. One is kept by the bank where it will be paid, and the other one stays with the taxpayer, as a receipt.
There are a total of 11 numbered fields in a DARF. Ten of them must be completed by the individual or company paying the taxes, and all of them, except for Número de Referência, are always mandatory. The fields are:
Nome/telefone - Full name, for individuals, or company name (nome empresarial, which is how the company is formally registered) as well as the phone number of the taxpayer
Período de apuração - Calculation period of the collected amount
Código da receita - Code of the revenue being paid, which can be checked on a list provided by Receita Federal
Número de referência - Number that identifies an ongoing process; it is only mandatory in a few cases, and it varies according to the taxes being collected
Data de vencimento - Due date
Valor do principal - Amount due being paid
Valor da multa - Amount due being paid relating to fines, charged only in cases of debt or other exceptional cases
Valor dos juros e/ou encargos DL-1.025/69 - Amount due being paid relating to interest rates
Valor total - Total amount due being paid, it is the sum of the fields 7, 8 and 9
Autenticação bancária - Authentication provided by the agent collecting the paid amount
Scrutinizing “Código da Receita”
One of the fields that is usually a source of misunderstanding is código da receita. Often taxpayers are unsure which code they should pick when completing a DARF, even though the Receita Federal provides a full list with all the available codes.
When the form is completed electronically, the software automatically provides the code after the user selects which tax is being paid. Nevertheless, there are a lot of similar options - there are around 30 options of PIS on the list, for example - and the taxpayer may get confused. If in doubt, the best thing to do is contact Receita Federal and ask for instructions, or even get in touch with an accountant.
A few examples of the most common codes are:
| 0561 || Withheld Income Tax - Wage Earner (Imposto de Renda Retido na Fonte - Assalariado) |
| 1097 || IPI |
| 1708 || Income Tax - Services (Imposto de Renda - Serviços) |
| 2172 || Contribution for Social Security Financing (Cofins) |
| 6106 || “Simples” Tax |
| 8109 || PIS charged over company’s revenue |
| 8301 ||PIS charged over payroll|