Office encourages fraud, analysts say


Source: Folha de S. Paulo, 18/11/2007

Accountant claims that illicit practices to escape the IPI have resulted in unfair competition in various industrial sectors


Behind the irregularities committed by the industries in the payment of the IPI is a true "industry" that sells tax planning theses that work only on paper, according to the evaluation of accountants, tax consultants and tax officials of the Revenue.
“With the desire to pay less tax, offices sell operations simulations and bet on the lack of inspection by the Federal Revenue Service. But, as time goes by, the company realizes that it fell in the scam of the winning ticket ”, says José Maria Chapina Alcazar, president of Sescon-SP (union that brings together accounting and advisory services companies in the State of São Paulo).
On average, these consultancies charge 20% to 30% of fees on the amount that will be saved with the payment of the tax. “The company pays to be deceived. And, when he finds an advisory that refuses to do such planning, he thinks that she is being conservative, is incompetent or unaware of the matter. ”
The president of Sescon-SP claims to have already been contacted by several industries that wanted to recover IPI credits - undue - and refused customers. “It is not because there is an ongoing legal discussion that it means that the company will win,” he says.

Chapina Alcazar cites as an example the debate over export credit. “The company can recover the credit. But, ahead, the tax authorities can reverse it and charge heavy fines. In addition, there may be criminal repercussions, especially for companies that declare this type of credit in goods that are not even consigned for export. ”

The adoption of illicit practices to escape the payment of IPI has resulted in unfair competition in several industrial sectors, according to Sebastião Luiz Gonçalves dos Santos, president of the São Paulo Union of Accountants.
“A varnish industry that pays for everything is subject to competition from one that does not pay. Sometimes, a lot of industry ends up “getting into the noise” so as not to break. Knowing the difficulty that the Revenue has to inspect, the industry risks. The IRS has five years to seek to receive the IPI. After that period, you can no longer file a claim. ”

Often, says Santos, the industry wants to “pay for everything just right”, but it is difficult to obtain information from the IRS itself. "The law is so complex that, sometimes, the entrepreneur does not even know how to classify the product and the Revenue has no structure to provide information."

For tax lawyer Douglas Yamashita, caution is needed when saying that companies commit irregularities to circumvent the payment of taxes, such as the IPI.
He mentions the export credit premium. “This issue is controversial. The fact that the taxpayer takes this credit cannot be considered bad faith. The company has adopted a defensible legal understanding, and the IRS disagrees. The discussion is not yet over in the higher courts. ” (CR and FF)