BRASILIA, March 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian holders of undeclared offshore assets will be eligible for government amnesty in exchange for a fine between April 4 and October 31, the federal tax agency said in a resolution published in the official gazette on Tuesday.
The program, approved by Congress last year, is part of President Dilma Rousseff’s efforts to cut a swelling budget gap and revive investment in the recession-hit economy.
It will offer amnesty from prosecution to Brazilians if they bring unreported foreign funds home and pay a 30 percent fine in the form of tax.
When the bill was approved in the Senate late last year, government officials said it could help raise about 11 billion reais ($2.74 billion) in revenues.
The bill had been criticized for being too lenient on tax dodgers. Critics said it facilitates money laundering stemming from a corruption scandal at state-controlled firms, in which millions of reais were siphoned into secret accounts of ruling coalition politicians and business executives in Switzerland and offshore financial havens.
Officials are hoping that the law, coupled with growing international cooperation, will further deter tax evaders. Last July, Brazil’s Congress ratified an agreement to exchange tax information with the United States. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)