Disabled people represent almost 25% of the entire Brazilian population. In this article we will learn how the measures taken by the government try to promote their accessibility.
According to the 2010 Census conducted by IBGE, approximately 45,6 million people declared to have some kind of disability, which means that at least 23,9% of the Brazilian population can be considered disabled. Visual impairment is the highest, representing 18,8%, followed by motor (7%), hearing (5,1%) and intellectual (1,4%) disabilities.
Brazil's relation to its special population is still difficult. For a person using a wheelchair, crossing the street can be a hard task, if you consider that not all sidewalks have ramps, and ones that do are often in poor condition. Rules have been established in cities throughout Brazil to supply basic needs for people with disabilities like crossing the street.
Considering the difficulties faced by disabled people, the Brazilian government also provides a series of tax reductions and exemptions for them, especially when it comes to buying items that they need for everyday life.
The National Plan for People with Disabilities
The government launched a national plan for disabled people, the Plano Nacional dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência – Viver Sem Limite. Created in 2011, it provides strategic actions in the sectors of health, education, citizenship and accessibility, granting tax reductions for a number of products and equipment of assistive technology.
Also in 2011, it instituted a law that provides the reduction of the PIS/PASEP and Cofins rates to zero on the import and sales of products for disabled people, such as braille machines, calculators equipped with voice synthesizers, electronic magnifying glasses, ocular prostheses, cochlear implants, hearing aids and parts and pieces for wheelchairs. The exemption is also valid for people with Down's Syndrome or intellectual impairment, and it is valid when there is no other similar product in Brazil in terms of quality, technical content, price and productive capacity.
Tax Reduction for Vehicle Purchases
The acquisition of a car can be considered as a means to improve the quality of life for disabled people in tasks such as going to the doctor or to treatment centers. Poor infrastructure conditions that make it difficult for disabled people to walk on the streets, like the lack of ramps on the sidewalks, also reinforce the need for a vehicle to go from one place to another.
Therefore, when buying a new car, people with a physical disability have exemption from the following taxes:
- IPI – the exemption is valid for passenger cars or mixed-use vehicles, of national fabrication, purchased either directly or through the person's legal representative
- IOF – applies for financial operations for the acquisition of passenger cars of national production
- ICMS – for fuel-based vehicles, destined for the exclusive use of the disabled person, unable to drive an ordinary automobile
- IPVA – for passenger cars produced nationally. The exemption is valid for the period in which the disabled person owns the car
- Rodízio Municipal de São Paulo, for those who live in the city of São Paulo – disabled people can drive their vehicles in all São Paulo city areas where there is restriction to a vehicle's transit
It is not only disabled people who are granted this benefit, though; people with serious diseases, such as HIV, cancer, dwarfism – less than 1,5m high – and cardiac or renal problems that cause limitation of movement. These people, plus parents whose children have special needs, are exempt from paying IPI, ICMS and IPVA. The discounts can reach BRL 8000.
How to Obtain the Tax Benefit
To get the reduction, it is necessary to make an appointment with Detran's medical board, taking a report from the disabled person's doctor. Then, the person who cannot drive will get another report, which will take from 15 to 20 days to be issued. After getting the report, the person has to go to the Federal Revenue Service, where they will have to register as a special contributor. The next step is the analysis of the medical report: if approved, the exemption request and the contributor's documentation will be issued in approximately 4 working days.
Then it's necessary to go to the Secretaria da Fazenda, the Treasury Secretariat, which will analyse the case again and concede the benefit. The whole process takes approximately 3 months.