Proposal is included in a bill, which will also deal with the review of trials
Beto Pereira — Foto: Vinicius Loures/Câmara dos Deputados
The rapporteur of the bill on the Administrative Council of Tax Appeals (Carf), Deputy Beto Pereira, is expected to accept the agreement between the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) and Finance Minister Fernando Haddad for cases where there is a tie in the trials of tax litigation, but is likely to make changes in the text, such as increasing the number of installments to settle the debt and creating a “rating of guarantees” — in which good payer companies could negotiate the guarantee offered in tax lawsuits.
The agreement between Mr. Haddad and OAB will allow that in cases of a tie in Carf trials, the taxpayer can pay the debt free of fines and interest if they decide to pay the principal without going to court. The federal government defended the return of the casting vote, in which the tax authorities had the tie-breaking vote. A provisional measure was issued with this content and was in force from January to May, but lapsed.
Mr. Pereira told Valor that the cases tried in this period “need a solution” in his bill and the tendency is to accept an amendment for them to be redone. “Taxpayers who lost their cases have the right to enjoy the benefits we are creating in the law, or they will litigate.”
Another point that the rapporteur intends to modify in the project is the so-called “compliance policy”, in which companies follow the rules established by the tax authorities for complying with tax and ancillary legislation in exchange for access to benefits, such as a faster evaluation of their customs procedures. Mr. Pereira is also considering an amendment that would reduce the fines imposed by the Secretariat of Federal Revenue on these companies — but increase them if fraud, evasion, or recidivism is proven. He needs to discuss this point with Mr. Haddad.
In addition, the rapporteur told Valor that he would accept an amendment proposed by the Federal Revenue auditors to allow them to enter into tax deals with taxpayers before the debt is recorded. This point caused a stalemate with the Attorney General’s Office of the National Treasury (PGFN) and complaints within the ministry that he was not open to dialogue.
In the opinion of members of the Federal Attorney General’s Office (AGU) and the PGFN, this amendment would be a way to exclude prosecutors from negotiating debts, but this model would not be the best because the tax auditors themselves would negotiate the assessments they issue.
One of the main novelties that Mr. Pereira tends to accept is the creation of the “rating of guarantees.” This point would allow companies that are considered to be good payers to negotiate the guarantee in tax lawsuits. In this case, they could, for example, to make a deposit with a smaller amount if they are considered to be solid. With this method, the money would go first to the Treasury account, unlike what happens when companies hire guarantee insurance or obtain injunctions that prevent collection — which leave the federal government without access to the amounts.
Currently, the guarantee must be presented thoroughly, in the same amount of the litigation, as soon as the company takes the dispute to court, either because it has given up at the administrative level or because it has lost in it.
*Por Raphael Di Cunto, Marcelo Ribeiro, Guilherme Pimenta, Beatriz Olivon — Brasília
Source: Valor International