In late March, the Brazilian Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, authorized the Administrative Council for Tax Appeals (CARF) to rule on proceedings discussing up to R$36 million via videoconferences, from the beginning of April up to June 30.

Since the pandemic began, CARF councillors have attended sessions via videoconference, however, the Executive branch has limited which cases can be decided remotely, based on the value under discussion. This latest cap increase is the fourth time that Brazil's Ministry of Economy raises the ceiling for trials - early in the pandemic a maximum of R$1 million was agreed, but this was soon increased to R$ 8 million, then R$ 12 million and now the cap of R$ 36 million has been established.

Between June and November of 2020, the number of CARF trials rose by 48% when compared to the same period in 2019, showing a significant increase in the council's productivity. Despite this, CARF's backlog is currently valued at R$ 748 billion in cases.

It is worth noting that the parties, taxpayers, and the National Treasury can all request the suspension of proceedings from CARF's digital schedule and request a face-to-face trial at a later date.

"There will come a time when, if CARF allows for the digital trial of larger values, the involved parties will possibly choose to await a face-to-face trial.", stated tax specialist Diana Piatti Lobo, partner of full-service powerhouse, Machado Meyer Advogados.

(Leaders League - 22.04.2021)