STJ Rules Contributions to the “Sistema S” are Not Subject to the 20 Minimum Wages Limit


On March 13, 2024, the 1st Section of the Superior Court of Justice, in the judgments of RESP 1.898.532 and REsp 1.905.870, established that the 20 minimum wage limit does not apply to contributions paid by companies to the “Sistema S”, which includes institutions such as Sesc, Senai, and Sebrae. The unanimous decision aims to expand the calculation base for the so-called third-party or parafiscal contributions, thereby allowing the contribution to apply to the entirety of the companies’ payroll.

The Federal Revenue emphasizes that this percentage should be applied over the full payroll, and now, with the new guideline from the STJ, there will no longer be any doubt about the limit provided by law.

To ensure legal certainty and minimize immediate negative impacts on companies that were already protected by previous judicial decisions, the ministers decided, by majority, to modulate the effects of the decision. This means that taxpayers who had already filed lawsuits on this subject by the date the discussions started in the Court (October 25, 2023) and obtained favorable decisions can continue to pay contributions based on the old limit until the publication of the trial minutes. After this period, the new understanding will apply to everyone.

The modulation of effects was seen as a relief by many, especially those defending the interests of taxpayers, as it allows a smoother transition to the new contribution regime.

However, there are concerns for companies that, for various reasons, did not obtain favorable decisions previously. For them, the change may represent a considerable increase in costs, especially in a time of economic challenges.

The legal discussion that led to this decision involves interpretations of legislation from the 1980s and the repeal of limits by subsequent decrees. The Union and the entities of the “Sistema S” argue that, without the 20 minimum wages limit, the contribution should be applied over the entire payroll, a view now corroborated by the STJ decision.


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