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Report: Brazil's Temer promises tax reforms in 2017

Brazilian President Michel Temer said his government will work to streamline the country's tax code in 2017, Reuters reported.

The reform could include modifications to taxes on the financial sector as well as a revamp of the finance ministry's tax appeals board, CARF, a "government source familiar with the matter" told the newswire.

The tax regime for the oil and gas industry is also expected to be revamped. A proposal to integrate the federal PIS and Cofins taxes has also been put forward to fund social security, while talks to consolidate inter-state tax known as ICMS is also under consideration.

"Why not pursue tax reform now that plenty of bills have advanced?" said Temer, hinting at the support he has received from Congress in approving the recent cap on government spending and other measures adapted to curb the growing budget deficit.

Brazil's tax system has been widely criticized by economists as companies spend about 12 times more than a country in the OECD's group of nations on their taxes.

Temer has introduced various reforms concerning labor laws. However, the country has not been able to record a decline in unemployment.

According to Planning Minister Dyogo de Oliveira, the federal government plans to dismiss more than 4,600 employees to save up to 240 million Brazilian reais per year.

An increase of 6.4% has been approved in the national minimum wage, the newswire noted.

As of Dec. 29, US$1 was equivalent to 3.25 Brazilian reais.