Project releases taxpayers to negotiate fines and interest


Source: DCI, 03/09/2007

Taxpayers may begin to have a direct negotiation with the Tax Authorities in cases of tax foreclosure, pledge and auction if the General Transactions Bill, which is due to go through Congress in September, is approved. If, on the one hand, this allows for greater agility in the processes and greater negotiation between the parties, since the taxpayers may have discounts on fines and interest, there are those who say that the text gives an exaggerated power to the Attorney of Finance when charging and negotiate debts directly, without any external control of these actions.

According to lawyer Wilson de Faria, from W Faria Advocacia, the former Director of Tax Planning at Citibank, the implementation of the possibility of transaction with the tax authorities would be very beneficial for Brazilian and foreign companies that are installed in the country. your pending items in less time and renegotiate your debts for an intermediate amount ”, guarantees Faria.

In addition, Brazil should match countries like the United States, Germany and France that already have this negotiation. According to him, "in the United States most of the discussions are resolved by the transaction and few cases are resolved in court".

For the lawyer, the transaction should encourage foreign companies to continue investing in the country. "This measure reduces bureaucracy and Brazil risk," he says.

Another positive point would be the reduction in demand in the Judiciary and the speed of judgments. This is because 37% of the cases in the federal court refer to executions of the tax authorities. According to the president of the Association of Federal Judges of Brazil (Ajufe), Walter Nunes, only 5% of these have disputed the amount due. For this reason, according to him, "if there is no litigation, these processes would not need to go through the Judiciary".

Priority to transparency

For Nunes, the idea of ​​passing tax foreclosures to the administrative sphere is a good one, but there are still points to be discussed regarding the standardization. According to him, there must be great transparency about the process, mainly regarding the deadlines that the taxpayer will have to manifest, so that one has control over how the cases are being handled. Another problem, according to Nunes, would be the possibility of the attachment of assets being made by the Federal Attorney General's Office. According to him, the attachment instrument should be left only to the courts and should be used as a last resort. "The Attorney's Office has already signaled that it should remove this device from the text."

As tax debts in the country went from R $ 180 billion in 2002, to R $ 600 billion in 2006, the Attorney General's Office believes that the project can provide greater efficiency in debt collection.

According to the coordinator of the Brazilian Institute of Tax Studies (IBET), Eurico de Santi, the transaction of tax debts poses significant problems. This is because it does not establish equal rules and criteria for all taxpayers, since each one can negotiate, without express and defined criteria for the discounts made. “The transaction is a reciprocal concession on the will. However, a credit does not arise from an adjustment of will, but from laws. ”

Despite benefiting the taxpayer who has yet another channel to negotiate his debts, Santis believes that the project delegates a great competence to the Public Prosecutor's Office. “The rules of the game are removed, made by the legal system. This can produce arbitrary decisions, which involve large amounts of money, without effective public control. ”

Taxpayers will be able to negotiate directly with tax authorities in cases of tax foreclosure, pledge and auction if the Transactions Bill, which is due to go to Congress this month, is approved.