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Receita Federal do Brasil

Receita Federal (Secretaria da Receita Federal do Brasil) is the official body in charge of collecting federal taxes in Brazil.
The body is a Secretariat, subordinated to the Minister of Finances (Ministério da Fazenda).

Receita Federal has more powers than most of its counterparts in other countries.
Receita Federal is in charge of Internal Revenue Taxes, Foreign Trade Taxes and (since 2005) the Social Security Revenues.
Receita overlooks practically all the Federal revenues, which include taxes (income tax, industrial production tax, foreign trade tax, credit and insurance tax), economic contributions (contributions paid based on economic activity) and social security contributions (contributions which should be paid to retired workers, disabled people, the poor elderly).

The main officer of Receita is the Secretário da Receita Federal, who is appointed by the Minister of Finances (of course, with due approval by the President of the Republic). The Minister or the President can demote the Secretário at any time, for any reason. Congress doesn't have any say in appointing or impeaching the Secretário.
From 1994 through 2001 (all throught the two terms of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso), the Secretário of Receita was Everardo Maciel; Maciel was responsible for Receita absorbing new technological and administrative procedures, which caused a sizeable increase in revenue collection and added to the credibility of Receita. Until today, Maciel (who is now a consultant) is a respected voice in Brazil when it comes to tax matters.
In 2002, the new Secretário was Jorge Rachid, who used to be the lieutenant of Maciel. Rachid continued with Maciel's philosophy.
In 2008, Lina Vieira was announced as the new Secretária, the first woman to ever take this office.

Receita Federal is in charge of issuing and managing the CPF, a database about the Brazilian taxpayers. Each taxpayer is given a number, also called CPF; the CPF number is used in practically every commercial, financial and administrative activity in Brazil.

Because Receita is in charge of foreign trading taxes, the Receita auditors stay in airports and ports checking luggages and collecting applicable importing and exporting taxes.
Receita is divided in several offices: Superintendência (ten, each covering a couple of States), Delegacias (which is where tax payers actually go to settle matters with Receita - there is a Delegacia in every large and middle city in Brazil), Agências (small offices in smaller cities), Delegacias de Julgamento (Court Delegacias, where the appeals against undue charges are examined), Alfândegas and Inspetorias (the Customs - there is a Receita Federal office in every international port or airport).

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