March 30, 2023

Understand how to calculate the price of gasoline and the ICMS range

In a one-year period, the average value of fuel increased by about R$ 2.00 in Espírito Santo. Credit: Fernando Madeira

employment Petrobras official page – The mixed economy is owned by the state, the main shareholder of which is the union – it can be noted that four direct taxes are imposed on the price of gasoline. Of these, three are federal: the Contribution for Economic Intervention (Cide), the Social Integration Program (PIS/Pasep) and the Contribution to Social Security Financing (Cofins). ICMS fees, which are collected by states, are also charged.

This calculation also includes the amount transferred to fuel distributors and sellers, the cost of anhydrous alcohol – which makes up the gasoline sold in Brazil – and the “product realization price”, in this case, Petrobras.

However, contrary to what has been suggested by the government Jair Bolsonaro (No tip), the largest share in the cost of gasoline is not a state tax, which, on the national average, was 27.8% on the last day 11. In the price formation, Petrobras’ share represents the largest share of the value that reaches the pump at gas stations.

Gasoline price formation in Brazil
The composition of gasoline prices in Brazil. Credit: Reproduction / Petrobras

in the Holy Spirit

In addition to the fact that ICMS does not account for the largest share of the cost of gasoline, Marcelo Altoy, Minister of State for Finance, explains that the reduction in the price of fuel is not directly related to the lowering of the tax rate in the state because there are other components that affect the value that reaches the consumer.

The ICMS amount is based on the calculation basis – PMPF (Price Weighted Average End Consumer) – and the price is applied on that basis.

“All taxes in Brazil are like this: there is a basis, a rate is charged and the result of the tax to be collected is reached. In the event that Holy SpiritAnd The ICMS rate has been the same since 2006 (27% and the third lowest in the country). Since the rate is the same, what makes the value of the ICMS differ is the basis of calculation exclusively,” the secretary points out.

Altoé explains that on the basis of this calculation, the PMPF, enters the Petrobras pricing policy. He adds: “The state, therefore, has no means to directly interfere with the Popular Mobilization Forces.”

To arrive at the consumer-weighted price, calculated every two weeks, the State Finance Ministry (Sefaz) collects bills for all gasoline sales in Espírito Santo and calculates the average. A year ago, the PMPF fund was R$ 4.30. In the last survey, on the 16th, it was R$ 6.06, roughly an additional R$ 2 in the 12-month period.

The minister stressed that the rhetoric of the Federal Government and Petrobras, who claim that it is up to the states to reduce ICMS to lower the value of gasoline, is incorrect. “Since the ICMS rate has not changed, there is no way to assign responsibility for the increase in fuel to the states. What is increasing is the basis of calculation and on this basis the state cannot act, because it is the policy that Petrobras practices,” reinforces.

In Espírito Santo, the strategy adopted to contain rising costs is not to update the basis of the account, i.e. in the two weeks when the PMPF is at its highest, Sefaz maintains the previous value. Thus, it reduces the collection, but at the same time it prevents the increase from being greater for the consumer.

Exchange variance is also a component of the value of the fuel, considering that Petrobras’ pricing policy is in line with the price of oil in the international market. However, Altoé notes that fluctuations in the barrel price go up and down, but for the consumer, the reduction is practically not applied and adjustments are higher in most cases.

When asked if Petrobras should return to interfering with fuel prices as before, the minister believes that, at the very least, the oil company should closely monitor the scenario so that, when there is a drop in the price of a barrel internationally. On the market, the lower cost will also reach petrol stations in Brazil.

About the federal government bill providing for the implementation of a single-stage system (the tax burden is concentrated in only one stage of the production cycle), changing the fees for ICMS, Altoy criticizes. According to him, in the case of Espiritu Santo, the change will lead to an increase in taxes.


The state’s attorney general, Jason Hepner-Amaral, notes that the measure invokes collective moral damage when it is considered that the oil company attempted to deceive the consumer by holding states responsible for the high price of gasoline.

In the video, Petrobras says that in 1 liter of gasoline it costs R$6, it will only be R$2 for the company and the rest will be taxes, and according to Jasson Amaral, particularly ICMS. However, he states that the oil company will have R$ 3.65, and from the state tax, it will be R$ 1.67.

“It is necessary to eradicate this notion that ICMS fuel is the villain in increasing prices. In fact, these taxes have acted in a permanent manner for many years. The greater fluctuation in the value of fuel is due to the Petrobras price policy.”

As for the procedure, which also proposes removing the video from circulation, the court asked Petrobras to show itself, and only then would it analyze the case. The process, says the attorney general, is in the Federal District Public Finance Court.

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