Limitations on the Power to Tax
Article 150. Without prejudice to any other guarantees ensured to the taxpayers, the Union, the states, the Federal District and the municipalities are forbidden to:
- impose or increase a tribute without a law to establish it
- institute unequal treatment for taxpayers who are in an equivalent situation, it being forbidden to establish any distinction by reason of professional occupation or function performed by them, independently of the juridical designation of their incomes, titles or rights;
- collect tributes: a) for taxable events that occurred before the law which instituted or increased such tributes came into force; b) in the same fiscal year in which the law which instituted or increased such tributes was published; c) within the period of ninety days as from the date of publication of the law which instituted or raised such tributes, with due regard for the provision of letter b;
- use a tribute for the purpose of confiscation;
- establish limitations on the circulation of persons or goods, by means of interstate or intermunicipal tributes, except for the collection of toll fees for the use of highways maintained by the Government;
- institute taxes on: a) the property, income or services of one another; b) temples of any denomination; c) the property, income or services of political parties, including their foundations, of worker unions, of non-profit education and social assistance institutions, observing the requirements of the law d) books, newspapers, periodicals and the paper intended for the printing thereof.
Paragraph 1. The prohibition set forth in item III, b, shall not apply to the taxes provided upon in articles 148, I, 153, I, II, IV, and V; and 154, II; and the prohibition set forth in item III, c, shall not apply to the taxes provided upon in articles 148, I, 153, I, II, III, and V; and 154, II, nor to the stipulation of the assessment basis of the taxes provided upon in articles 155, III, and 156, I.
Paragraph 2. The prohibition set forth in item VI, a, extends to the autonomous government agencies and to the foundations instituted and maintained by the Government, as regards the property, income and services related to their essential purposes or resulting therefrom.
Paragraph 3. The prohibitions set forth in item VI, a, and in the preceding paragraph do not apply to the property, income and services related to the exploitation of economic activities governed by the regulations which apply to private undertakings, or in which users pay consideration or prices or tariffs, nor exempt a promissor purchaser of real property from the obligation to pay tax thereon. Paragraph 4. The prohibitions set forth in item VI, subitems b and c, encompass only the property, income and services related to the essential purposes of the entities mentioned therein.
Paragraph 5. The law shall determine measures for consumers to be informed about taxes levied on goods and services.
Paragraph 6. Any subsidy or exemption, reduction of assessment basis, concession of presumed credit, amnesty or remission, related to taxes, fees or contributions, may only be granted by means of a specific federal, state or municipal law, which provides exclusively for the above-enumerated matters or the corresponding tax, fee or contribution, without prejudice to the provisions of article 155, paragraph 2, item XII, g.
Paragraph 7. The law may impose upon the taxpayer the burden of the payment of a tax or contribution, whose taxable event will occur later, the immediate and preferential restitution of the amount paid being ensured, in case the presumed taxable event does not occur.
Article 151. It is forbidden for the Union:
- to institute a tribute which is not uniform throughout the entire national territory or which implies a distinction or preference regarding a state, the Federal District or a municipality to the detriment of another, it being allowed to grant tax incentives for the purpose of promoting the balanced social and economic development of the various regions of the country
- to tax income from public debt bonds of the states, of the Federal District and of the municipalities, as well as the remuneration and earnings of the respective public agents, at levels above those established for its own bonds and agents
- to institute exemptions from tributes within the powers of the states, of the Federal District or of the municipalities.
Article 152. The states, the Federal District and the municipalities are forbidden to establish a tax difference between goods and services of any nature, by reason of their origin or destination.