Source: Jornal Indústria & Comércio (Curitiba - PR) - 16/05/2012
We often read news reports that the IRS has been discovering fraud related to scams involving false tax credits for tax relief and federal contributions. The news is alarming with regard to the values and number of companies that use this practice. Currently, the IRS of São Paulo has discovered a scam in which the creation of false credits was improperly launched by more than 100 million. The big question is repeated all the time, as the IRS has a period of five years to inspect and assess, through the PER / DCOMP system, scammers are able - with the filling of simple forms - to manipulate these compensations.
The big move made by scammers is precisely in the situation where they demonstrate credibility, as they charge only after the debts have been written off in the system. However, companies are unaware that in up to five years such operations are inspected as to the origin and legitimacy of these credits and, when detected, debts return with heavy fines along with a criminal case.
Legislation in relation to credits and compensation is highly technical and complex, with several norms, which confuses and often succeeds in even deluding legal operators and businessmen, by hiring various consultants, accountants, lawyers and other professionals in the business environment, in illusion that they would be involved in something lawful, profitable and advantageous for their customers.
This fact happened this week in São Paulo, but it certainly became reality in other states of the Federation, and for quite some time. The question we must ask is the following: even with so much technology in the current scenario, with the IT system of the ultramodern Revenue, in addition to records of annual collection, why intelligent mechanisms have not yet been established to contain these frauds, changing the system inspection and compensation?
The IRS has in its hands an advantage and the convenience of five years to inspect the compensation, if it finds distortions or fraud to apply fines greater than 150% and penal action to those involved. I think that, in the face of a massive tax burden, it is natural for businessmen to be seduced by tempting offers, some illegal and others legitimate, as well as the increasingly frequent use of precatories to compensate ICMS in several States of the Federation.
Going further, the heavy burden of taxes that drive companies to despair in order to remain active, also generates a parallel market that feeds on the anguish of businessmen to circumvent such fiscal tyranny.
Thus, in addition to the proper ways of inspecting illegalities and punishing those who illegally commit these frauds, it is worth reflecting that this may also be only a consequence of much larger causes, of political, economic and, mainly, taxation. In short, the long-awaited and expected tax reform, simplifying and significantly reducing taxes, stimulating the industrial chain in the country, privileging consumption and generating employment and development, would be the best inspection mechanism, as satisfied and prosperous businessmen would greatly reduce this parallel market of tax magic, evasions and desperate attempts to reduce costs.
Daniel Moreira - Managing partner of Nagel & Ryzewski Advogados