Fiscontal The accounting as a source of resistance to the economic crisis SS Tap Arq Fisco

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It is increasingly difficult to find a political solution to untangle the tax system. Meanwhile, the taxpayer has a hellish life - and pays dearly for it.

Goes by this bureaucratic marathon without a single mistake is a Herculean task. It is in this confusion - and not in evasion - much of the origin of the 116 billion dollars in fines, a record, charged by the IRS last year.

In January, in a gap of a few days, the companies Natura, Fibria,
Santos Brazil and MMX reported that the IRS had charged them, between taxes and penalties, the sum of 6 billion dollars.

Only MMX, the mining of the group controlled by the businessman Eike Batista, received a bill of 3.7 billion reais. The value would amount the income tax and the social contribution on net income which were not paid in 2007.

This last may be included in the list of the bizarre charges that would deserve an explanation from the taxman. The value of debt is almost five times the net profit reported by the company that year, which was 766 million reais.

MMX had two years of operation, and most of the balance was for costs, expenses and investments. The four companies were part of an amount of 317 companies that would be fine the largest rescue operation ever made by the tax revenue.

The Treasury hoped to collect 84 billion dollars. Who knows how many other debts were not subjected to that strange parameter of multiplication applied to the output of MMX.

We are so used to such episodes that they seem banal. But for foreign investors, who live with more sane tax systems, they are incomprehensible.

In the last Congress of the International Fiscal Association (IFA), held in
Boston in October last year, the adversarial relationship between the tax authorities and Brazilian companies monopolized the debate.

"In the main conference, with 1300 people in the audience, they just wondered why
Brazil treats its taxpayers so aggressively," says Rachel Black, director of the Office of Lawyers of São Paulo and Brazilian representative in Congress of the IFA, created for 75 years. Brazil charges up to 150% fine on the amount of the due tax.

Reforming the way
Brazil collects taxes is as urgent as unlikely. "One country changes its tax system after a war or institutional breakdown," says Everardo Maciel, former Secretary of Revenue in the Fernando Henrique Cardoso government.

"We must keep in mind that there will never be a perfect system." There are initiatives that can inspire us.
Canada has, since 1945, the Canadian Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan institution that consists of companies, politicians and experts in public accounts.

Any changes in tax, that you might consider, must be under an intense debate among the members of the institution before. Only then it goes to the Parliament. This does not mean that the country is immune to stumbles.

The French-speaking
province of Quebec has its own value-added tax to differentiate itself from the provinces in which people speak English. It shows that, worldwide, the tax system is flawed. What is unacceptable is to comply with the deficiencies and do nothing to improve it.

Text: Patrick Cruz
From: Exame
Version: Grazielle Segeti

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Despite having a high tax burden and an excessive bureaucracy, Brazil can start figure high on the top list of the World Bank on countries with the best environments for business. The secret of this potential has a name, it can be called Democracy.

It is the opinion of one of the harshest critics of "national chaos tax,"  the economist Paulo Rabello de Castro, coordinator of Brazil Efficient Movement, which launched on May the 25th, the National Day of Respect to the Taxpayer, the Campaign Brazil Signs for simplifing taxes in the country.

Castro thinks it is not fair the Brazil's ranking in the World Bank ranking. For him, one of the most important aspects of doing business is the enforcement of laws. "And Brazil is a democracy that today is committed to the rules of the State law", he said in an interview with DCI.

Therefore, "Brazil has the potential to climb placidly various points in the evaluation. The simplification of the tax will help it come much closer to the top of the list." Last week, the economist visited the Senate President Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL), in the company of the Senator Paulo Bauer (PSDB-SC), for support to projects that aim to reduce and unify the taxes in Brazil.

DCI: What is the Efficient Brazil Movement?Paulo Rabello de Castro (PRC): It is an initiative of Brazilians who are tired of suffering the consequences of the Brazilian tax chaos, this real madhouse tax.

DCI: Why do you say that the tax situation in the country has reached a madhouse and chaos?PRC: Basically because of the increased financial needs of the so-called federal entities, not only of the Union, as well as of the set of states and more than five thousand municipalities that are emeritus spenders, this means that they know how to spend a lot, but they do not know how to spend it well. Then, of course, they generate monumental deficits that need to be covered first with debts that were rolled with high interest rates that further have increased even more the national liability, and that all created the need of this super taxation. Now there is the new social security contribution on revenues that nobody talks about it, they only speak about the payroll exemption, isn’t it?

DCI: What is this new social security contribution on sales?PRC: The finance minister is making such exonerations on payroll that the newspapers have published. With this, the government is right in well seen because it is relieving, but it is only changing the incidence of this tax, which was on the payroll, thus squeezing workers, increasing the cost of hiring. This recipe came to focus now on the company's revenue. And it has a name: social security contributions. It is a new rate of 1% to 2% replacing the discharge. So there is not any relief.

DCI: Is this all focusing on billing?RPS: So far in the first round, even on revenues. Then comes the second stage which is approaching this collection of taxes we call social, but they are not social, of the ICMS, which is also at the economic circulation. In this second phase you fit the ICMS with the social taxes, and then it emerges a shared national ICMS, which is an only tax covering all the needs.

DCI: You are proposing a mini tax reform.PRC: Is it a huge reform, we refuse to use the name because it is paralyzing.

DCI: Is it a kind of single tax?PRC: The simplifying spirit of the tax is there inside that simplification.

DCI: And May 25th is the day of the respect for the taxpayers?PRC: This May 25th comes as a calculation made by entities that accompany the tax issue, as the day on which the Brazilian starts working for himself, because until the May 25th, for the calculations of the collection, the Brazilian is only working to pay tax. We hope that President Renan might attend an event, maybe even in Brasilia, to launch the national campaign, which will be called Brazil Signs, asking millions of Brazilians attend the site Brazil Signs - www.brasileficiente.org.br - to give their support for the tax simplification. He will now be joining roughly 120,000 Brazilians who have known and have joined the movement.

DCI: Has the Brazil Signs already started?PRC: This national campaign is going to give an explosive dimension, because we are reaching a point of decision. To President Dilma, 2013 is the last chance she has to discuss this issue, put it to a vote, we expect it to do so. We also want the creation of the Fiscal Management Council, which is a joint body between the government and the society. The aim is that this Board, which is already part of the Fiscal Responsibility Law, monitors the transition to an efficient world in tax government subsidies. The function of the Fiscal Management Council, a bit like the Monetary Policy Committee, is a bit like the CVM, is a function of track and monitor, and a function to promote efficiency. What does the Council monitor? It accompanies the efficiency in spending. If it will be spent, spend it right, which is well spend. And it will accompany the tax burden, then you see how things come well together. Today, to keep the tax burden is nearly a possibility. There are so many different categories, no one can keep it right. As there are simplification and a few taxes, a Fiscal Management Council may direct taxes without sacrificing the storage.

DCI: Do you consider it fair the statement made by the World Bank that Brazil is one of the worst in terms of business environment?PRC: I do not think so, because business environment means more things besides the item tax burden and bureaucratic complication. In these particular items, excessive tax burden, Brazil is actually the worst or, it is at least disputing the last position. But there are other aspects. To do business you need compliance with laws and Brazil is a democracy that is committed to the rules of the so-called State of law. Although the judiciary is slow and sometimes devious, I would dare say that Brazil is near the top in relation to the mechanisms of institutional stability of the final fulfillment of the laws. It's time consuming, but I do not think Brazil is one of the worst, and in fact it is not. So in reality, these indicators of interest in doing business depend heavily on which weightings are given to the various items that are being analyzed in comparison countries, I would say that Brazil between good things and bad things, it ends up there poorly an intermediate placement. But it has all the potential to climb placidly several points in this evaluation, the simplification of tax will make it come much closer to the top of the list.

DCI: In the end, does the Movement want a new Super Simple?PRC: Is it a good comparison. Much more than the single tax, the simplification will toward recognizing that everyone is entitled to tax simplicity, common sense. The name was given to this legislation Super Simple, which is very clever, is an acknowledgment, is a confession that the rest the Congress makes is complicated. If not, it would not be called Simple. This is absurd, even unconstitutional. That happens just in Brazil. It simplifies to some, but not all. What's this? What could go for micro and small businesses, in addition to what is a right for everyone to have a simplified life is to have rates that relieve those who are starting, so they pay a lighter load. That would be to treat unequally the unequal, by benefiting the smaller. If you are more skinny, you carry less weight. Now, speaking about simplicity, it is only for some.

Source: DCI - SP
Version: Grazielle Segeti 

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