STF Rules PIS and Cofins Due on Bank Financial Revenues


On June 12th, the majority of Supreme Federal Court (STF) justices validated the collection of PIS (Social Integration Program) and Cofins (Contribution for the Financing of Social Security) on the financial revenues of banks that occurred before the enactment of Law 12,973/2014. This law clarified the incidence of these contributions on all revenues.

With this victory, the Union prevents an estimated loss of R$ 115.2 billion in public accounts over five years, as highlighted by the 2024 Budgetary Guidelines Law (LDO). However, this amount is subject to controversy, as some financial institutions adhered to Refis, a debt installment program, under Law 12,865/2013.

The STF vote revealed the prevailing divergence raised by Minister Dias Toffoli. According to him, before Law 12,973/2014, the contributions should have been levied on typical business activities, which, in the case of banks, includes financial revenues. So far, Toffoli has been supported by Ministers Cármen Lúcia, Gilmar Mendes, Alexandre de Moraes, Luís Roberto Barroso, and Nunes Marques in RE 609096.

On the other hand, the rapporteur, Minister Ricardo Lewandowski, proposed that only gross revenues derived from the sale of products and provision of services by financial institutions – excluding financial revenues – can be included in the calculation base for PIS and Cofins until the enactment of Constitutional Amendment (EC) 20/1998.

This amendment introduced clause “b” in Article 195, section I, of the Constitution, providing for the collection of PIS and Cofins on “revenue or billing,” without any discrimination. Subsequently, Law 12,973/2014 was enacted, consolidating the result of the core activity within the concept of revenue for the purposes of PIS and Cofins collection in the cumulative regime. Thus, the incidence of these contributions on bank financial revenues became clear.

There is no doubt that the STF’s decision to validate the collection of PIS and Cofins on bank financial revenues prior to Law 12,973/2014 has a significant impact on Brazil’s public finances. By reaffirming its constitutional interpretation to support the incidence of these contributions on bank financial revenues, the STF has avoided a substantial loss for the Union, strengthening and preserving essential resources for government investments and public policies for the next 5 years.


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