Government promises to tighten the siege to tax evader


Source: Folha de S. Paulo, 09/01/2005

By Claudia Rolli and Fátima Fernandes

The federal government promises to close the loop on tax evasion, piracy and smuggling in the country, with actions that include police mega-operations with Mercosur countries and partnerships with the industrial sector to popularize products most targeted by counterfeiting. The aim is to make goods cheaper and make them more accessible to low-income buyers.

In the private sector, organizations are created to face this parallel industry, which causes loss of revenue, revenue and jobs for the country. This is the case of IDV (Institute of Retail Development), formed by 30 retail chains, and Etco (Brazilian Institute of Competition Ethics), which brings together 15 tobacco, cigarette and beverage companies. “In Brazil, there was a misinterpretation with informality. It was understood as a social phenomenon, because it generates jobs and income. Such a story that it is better to work than to steal. Today we see that piracy has taken on gigantic proportions. Now measures in the same proportion are needed ”, says Luiz Paulo Barreto, executive secretary of the Ministry of Justice and president of the National Council to Combat Piracy and Intellectual Property Offenses.

From January to October 2004, the IRS recorded R $ 33 billion in tax evasion. In 2003, the tax evasion identified by the Revenue was in the order of R $ 22 billion. “Inspection took a leap in quality and technology. Today, when a tax auditor goes to a company, he already has accurate information about it, ”says Paulo Ricardo Cardoso, deputy secretary of Revenue.

The technology that allows taxpayers' information to be cross-checked has enabled greater tax evasion to be accounted for. This does not mean, in Cardoso's assessment, that tax evasion rose in 2004. “What shows is that the IRS has identified greater evasion. You can't tell if evasion has gone up or down. ”

The industry was the champion in tax evasion, according to IRS data. Of the R $ 33 billion accounted for, R $ 10 billion were verified in the industries. The financial sector came in second, with R $ 4,5 billion. Then come trade, with R $ 4,3 billion, and services, with R $ 4,2 billion. The other R $ 10 billion was identified in other categories.

The most problematic sectors for the Revenue are cigarettes, beers and soft drinks and fuels. Since 2003, the Internal Revenue Service has stepped up enforcement in the country's cigarette factories.
In the beer industries, the IRS is completing work to install equipment to measure product flow - this initiative should also extend to soft drink factories.

“We studied the idea of ​​installing the equipment also in the places where alcohol and gasoline are produced. We want to close all possibilities of evasion ”, says Cardoso. For that, he explains, the government has the approval of a bill, already sent to Congress, which gives informal companies the possibility to regularize their fiscal situation. "The idea is to simplify the bureaucracy required to open a business."