Government wants to change MEI to increase formalization

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The Ministry of Labor and Employment should discuss changes in the rules of the MEI (Individual Micro-entrepreneur) with the aim of increasing the number of professionals seeking formalization and reducing hiring through PJs (Legal Entities).

In interviews, Minister Luiz Marinho defends, among other measures, ways to make informal or illegally hired workers able to formalize. And the MEI would be a way.

MEI is not a problem, he owns the popcorn cart. [Mas se alguém] has ten carts and hires ten popcorn makers as MEI, [esses] are employees, and what you have is labor fraud

Among the main changes are raising the threshold that authorizes the professional to open a business as an individual micro-entrepreneur and expanding the number of employees that the self-employed person can have.

According to Sebrae (Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Companies), the body has participated in debates and studies on the changes, especially in the last year, within the scope of a bill that is being discussed in Congress.

PLP 108/2021 brings together several other projects with the aim of changing the law that allowed the creation of MEI. The proposal is to raise the maximum revenue range from the current R$81,000 per year to R$130,000 per year and allow the hiring of up to two employees. Today, the microentrepreneur can hire only one.

“In the scope of the National Congress, Sebrae discussed the theme. In the last year, the theme gained a lot of relevance and can always be improved”, says the note.

Since its inception, the modality has become popular. Data from Sebrae show that, on January 31, there were 14.8 million micro-entrepreneurs. In February 2022, the number was 13.6 million.

To be a MEI, in addition to the billing limit of up to BRL 81,000 per year —in proportion to the opening months—, it is not possible to have more than one establishment or share in another company, as a partner or holder. In addition, it is allowed to hire a maximum of one employee who earns the minimum wage or the minimum wage for the category.

MEI payment guarantees INSS retirement by age

Among the main benefits of formalizing the activity as an individual micro-entrepreneur is the possibility of becoming Social Security insured. The MEI who contribute regularly is entitled to retirement by age.

In addition, you can also receive sickness benefit from the INSS and maternity salary. The MEI contribution varies according to the type of activity carried out. The micro-entrepreneur pays 5% of the minimum wage in force, which currently amounts to R$ 65.10, added to the fee for the activity.

For the sectors of commerce, industry and transport between states and municipalities there is R$ 1 of ICMS (Tax on Circulation of Goods and Services). In the case of those who work in activities related to the service sector in general, there is a charge of ISS (Tax on Services), of R$ 5.

To carry out the formalization, it is necessary to access the Entrepreneur’s Portal and register with the CPF number, address and telephone number, in addition to indicating the main activity to be carried out. The monthly tab is paid by the 20th of each month. If you delay, there is interest and fines of 2%.

If the MEI has a contracted employee, he must pay the social security contribution related to the worker. The micro-entrepreneur must also pay the CPP (Employer Social Security Contribution) to Social Security, of 3% on the contribution salary, and must make the deposits of this employee’s FGTS (Guarantee Fund for Length of Service).

In this case, the due date will be the 7th of the following month. When there are no banking hours on the 7th, the collection must occur until the immediately preceding business day.

MEI was created in the second Lula administration and returned to the debate in the election

The MEI was created in 2008, during the second Lula administration, as a way to frame professionals who carried out their professional activities informally.

A sentence by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the last debate on the eve of the second round of the presidential election caused Bolsonarist networks to create and distribute fake news about MEIs.

On the occasion, Lula criticized Jair Bolsonaro (PL) for counting MEI as formal employment and thus increasing the number of vacancies created in the country. Bolsonarist networks distributed false information that he would end the program, which was denied by checking bodies.

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