Revenue discloses ‘black box’ of tax benefits – 05/24/2023 – Market
The Federal Revenue released three lists with the names of companies benefiting from incentives, waivers, benefits or tax immunity. The initiative complies with the determination of the Ministry of Finance to open the so-called “black box” of federal tax expenditures.
One of them is the list of benefits declared in the taxpayer’s Tax Accounting Bookkeeping, which brings data on more than 15 thousand large companies, with values that add up to R$ 50 billion, referring to the year 2021 for IRPJ/CSLL (taxes on the profit of companies).
Also published were the lists of companies immune or exempt from IRPJ/CSLL —with around 260,000 CNPJs of non-profit, religious and closed private pension entities— and around 23,000 companies registered in 14 Special Taxation Regimes. In these cases, the waiver amounts were not presented individually.
The list of the biggest beneficiaries may still undergo changes, as not all companies had their data disclosed. A Sheet selected the 50 companies with the highest values presented by the Revenue so far. On the list are large companies such as Vale, Petrobras, Eletrobras subsidiaries and companies that operate in the Manaus Free Trade Zone and in the Northeast.
Ordinance released by the Revenue last week also provides for the disclosure of information on import benefits (PIS/Cofins and IPI), which must be presented by the end of May. The data does not include some of the largest federal tax expenditures, such as Simples and exemptions from basic food baskets and payroll.
According to the Revenue, the lists will be periodically revised and reassessed, in order to promote the gradual expansion of the list of transparency, “always with due legal certainty”.
In the list that brings the individual value of waivers, 22 types of benefits were listed. Most of the disclosed resources refer to incentives for projects in the areas of the development superintendencies of the Northeast and the Amazon (Sudam/Sudene) and for investment funds in the two regions (Finam and Finor).
There are also programs such as Prouni (University for All), Rota 2030 (automotive), Padis (semiconductor), Empresa Cidadã (extension of maternity leave) and PAT (worker’s food), in addition to deductions related to child and adolescent and elderly funds. , to programs to encourage culture and sport and with electoral timetables.
Prouni, which grants university scholarships to low-income students, was created by Minister Fernando Haddad (Finance) in partnership with his wife, Ana Estela.
Haddad had already defended the opening of the “black box” of tax benefits, referring to values such as “almost R$ 600 billion that the Union loses on behalf of half a dozen who lobby Congress and the Judiciary, illegitimately.” Not all benefits listed are considered illegitimate by the government.
The Federal Revenue claims that disclosure meets the demands of society and external control bodies, providing greater transparency to the National Tax System.
“In the specific case of tax benefits, transparency allows society to identify taxpayers who receive differentiated tax treatment, providing an environment of greater trust between taxpayers and tax administration.”
For Diogo de Andrade Figueiredo, partner at Schneider Pugliese Advogados, the Revenue ordinance that provides for the disclosure of data violates the right to privacy and tax secrecy. For him, there is a clear intention of the government to expose these companies.
“We call attention to the disproportionality and political character of the measure. Considering that the benefits are obtained legally, following the rules for their use, disclosing the names of people implies a violation of tax secrecy and the privacy of these people”, says Figueiredo.
He also states that payroll exemption and the basic basket exemption are in the same category of publicized federal tax benefits and, therefore, it would make sense for them to appear in the Revenue ordinance.
“It so happens that they are not among the exemptions that the government has said it intends to attack. Therefore, they did not disclose it. That is, the disclosure was selective, which proves once again that the purpose of the ordinance is to expose and put pressure on taxpayers and not a true public policy of transparency,” says the tax specialist.
Technically called tax expenditures, the exemptions represent an estimated loss of BRL 456 billion for the Union this year and should reach BRL 486 billion next year.
The commerce and services, health and agriculture sectors account for more than 50% of federal tax expenditure, as shown in the tax expenditure map prepared by the Sheet based on Revenue data.