In Effect: US - Brazil Social Security Treaty

Note:  I'm amazed that this hasn't  been previously posted, especially given the number of folks here that have legitimately posted about the major issue of double taxation between the two countries - including social security taxes. 

- In effect since October 1, this bilateral agreement has received very little press coverage in the States, or even here in Brazil.

For proof: see the USA Social Security website: … rview.html

There is still no overall Tax Treaty between the two countries, despite the high volume of bilateral commerce and investments, not to mention the number of expat Brazilians living there, and expat Americans living here.

To say that made the signing of a bilateral Social Security  Treaty between the two countries  come somewhat as a surprise is an understatement.   Even more so when you compare the number of Tax Treaties to the number of Social Security Agreements - within each country.  You'll see that this second type of agreement is much less common for each country.

What are the principal benefits?

Improves eligibility, and potential social security benefits, for anyone who may have worked  in both countries

- Eliminates double taxation with respect to social security payments to both countries on the same earnings - by you and your employer;  or self-employment taxes if that is your case

- Potential Spousal and Survivor benefits   

This last item would have been the case had there been no agreement, but the hurdle would have been far higher.  Without the agreement, the Brazilian spouse would have been required to have physically resided in the US with his/her partner for a period of at least five years.   That is a fairly steep requirement for folks who don't otherwise intend on making a life there.  There are less than two dozen countries that have signed onto such an agreement with the US - so now Brazil and all Brazilians are on that "coveted" list.    So that is potentially great news indeed if you happen to be in a committed relationship with a Brazilian, in being able to provide otherwise unattainable spousal or survivor beneifts.

Request:  I trust this thread was useful.  Folks here who actually go through the process of making their spouses eligible for survival benefits, combining social security benefits of the two countries, or who go through the process of eliminating double taxation should share their experiences here.

Note to Admin:  Please consider making this post a "sticky."   This  Agreement is a major new development for fellow expats here, with the potential life-improving consequences listed above.  However, it has been little publicized, and that's where this site/thread could help potential or existing members.

Thanks for posting! :top:

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