It appears Brazil wants to collect major taxes on purchases their citizens conduct outside their country. Brazil on Saturday imposed a steep six per cent increase on the surcharge paid by its citizens when making credit cards purchases overseas.

The increase, which went into effect Saturday, raised the tax from 0.38 per cent to 6.38 per cent.

The tax also applies to cash withdrawals from overseas bank machines and purchases made when using travellers checks.

The announcement will come as a rude surprise to millions of Brazilians many of whom already have departed the country on their summer holiday travels.

The measure is expected to add some 552 million reals (US$205 million) to government coffers next year.

The tax also aims to reduce the amount that Brazilians spend overseas, thereby bolstering domestic industry and reducing a budget deficit which the O Globo daily said stands at US$72.7 billion.

According to government figures, Brazilians spent US$23.1 billion overseas between January and November of this year, a 14 per cent increase over the same period in 2012.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from US Eturbo News.

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Photo Credit: Karlona Goycalves 15, from left, Maria Luiza Cavacante 14, and Camila DeSouza 17, of Brazil, shops for shoes at Sawgrass Mills mall in Sunrise, Florida, on July 16, 2012. Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald/MCT