* Tax revenues rise nearly 7 pct in January vs year ago
* Brazil plans more tax breaks to bolster economy
BRASILIA Feb 25 Brazil's federal tax collection
rose in January for a third consecutive month, suggesting state
finances are improving at a time when the government plans to
bolster spending to jolt a feeble economic recovery.
Federal tax revenues rose 6.59 percent in real
terms in January compared with the same month last year to 116
billion reais ($58.8 billion), the federal tax authority said on
Monday. Tax collection totaled 103 billion reais in December.
Tax collection slowed sharply last year due to a weaker
economy and a slew of tax breaks that cost the government tens
of billions of dollars in tax income. Federal tax collection
rose a meager 0.70 percent in 2012 versus 2011.
President Dilma Rousseff's government has said it will
continue to slash taxes to help Brazilian businesses struggling
with some of the world's highest production costs.
An improvement in the state's finances could expand the
scope of future tax breaks despite calls for more fiscal
restraint. The government has said it will prioritize economic
growth over a closely-watched fiscal savings target that serves
as an indicator of the country's capacity to repay debt.
The head of the federal tax authority, Carlos Alberto
Barreto, told reporters that the better results were mainly due
to individuals and companies bringing forward the payment of
their income and social contribution on profits taxes.
He declined to give an official estimate of tax revenue
growth for 2013.