António Mendonça Mendes, Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs, said this Monday that the fact that the main operators have not yet adhered to the automatic payment terminals (TPA) “will not be an obstacle” to IVAucher program – which takes effect on Tuesday.

When we launched the contest, it was expected that the winning solution would allow any operator to join and any card issuer to accept”, says the Secretary of State in an interview with TVI24, highlighting that alternative solutions have been developed that should “revolutionize the payments market in Portugal and anticipate the future”.

Mendonça Mendes also underlined that the Government is working so that in October all operators have the conditions and means to be able to operate with the program, as there is no complete obligation for all establishments to have the corresponding TPA.

We are very calm about this”, concludes the government official, pointing to the requirements of the public tender.

Asked about the possibility of IVAucher becoming awkward and succumbing to the same fate as the StayAway Covid app, Mendonça Mendes rejects that the application becomes “useless” and gives the example of two in one.

At the end of a dinner, you can only deliver the TIN and the payment is automatically processed in a very simple way.”, answers the Secretary of State, explaining that in the first three months, no change in the way of life is necessary.

But the IVAucher burden can lead to uneven interpretations, benefiting those with more purchasing power and leaving households with less capabilities to share. The government official admits this reality, but affirms that it is not in this field that the game takes place.

What is important for us is to revive the accommodation, catering and culture sectors. And these supports will help the economy and the maintenance of jobs. It’s one more support that adds to all the others we’ve provided since the first state of emergency”.

Mendonça Mendes also argues the practical strength of IVAucher to become a “stimulus to demand”: “For every euro returned from VAT, two more will have to be spent”.

Regarding the Culture sector, which tends to have low VAT rates, or even be exempt from the tax, the strategy is that it be “inserted in a logic of complementarity of the sectors”. Thus, the VAT returned, for example, in restaurants, can be used in cultural products such as festival tickets.

The cost of this entire operation for taxpayers is 200 million euros, even though this is a revision from below. “The measure has this immediate cost, but it is of enormous importance for the sectors that closed twice and may now have an additional boost in demand.”

Provided for in the State Budget for 2021 (OE 2021), the IVAucher program has an allocation of 200 million euros, that is, it allows consumers to accumulate up to 200 million in VAT and use the value in purchases in some of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, discounting it on subsequent purchases in the same sectors.

IVAucher has no usage limits per consumer, the only limit being the fact that the accumulated VAT amount cannot be used to pay more than 50% of a new purchase.

On Thursday, Finance Minister João Leão said that the credit accumulated by consumers through IVAucher between June and August will be discounted between October and December, with the accumulated amount being able to pay 50% of new consumption.


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