The tax benefit in the acquisition of electric vehicles or ‘plug-in’ and companies with domicile in virtual offices are among the sectors where AT considers there is a high risk of fraud.

In the 2020 report on combating tax and customs fraud and evasion, delivered today to the Assembly of the Republic, it is also mentioned that the Tax and Customs Authority (AT) monitored new business models, namely those related to the rental of drivers without a driver. (like bicycles or scooters).

In the case of the tax benefit established by the 2014 diploma, which became known as the law of “green taxation”, in the purchase of ‘plug-in’ electric or hybrid vehicles, the possibility of full deduction of the VAT incurred with the acquisition of those vehicles is at stake. vehicles, when their unit acquisition cost does not exceed 62,500 euros or 50,000 euros, respectively.

The existence of evidence of the use of a fraud scheme by dealers of vehicles (stands), to enable purchasers to deduct VAT in full, when the unit purchase value of the same exceeds those values, led AT to proceed with a a study based on the identification of the universe of those vehicles introduced in the national market in the years 2017 to 2019, aiming at “disguising anomalous situations”.

After having identified the target universe, the AT said that “in a first phase, 411 situations with signs of irregularities are being evaluated by the stands”.

Also deserving attention and considered as one of the sectors at risk of fraud are companies domiciled in virtual offices, whose number has increased.

Of the survey carried out by AT, 4,265 companies were identified in this situation, having concluded that 18% declared that they did not have any person in the service, less than half (48%) reported invoices as issuers, although 81% are listed as acquirers in communicated commercial documents by third parties.

In addition, 252 of these taxable persons requested VAT refunds totaling more than 20 million euros, and, in relation to 46, whose refunds totaled 14.4 million euros, inspection actions were carried out, which resulted in corrections in the value. total of 295,000 euros.

The results obtained allowed us to conclude that the target companies of this study have some characteristics that may consubstantiate risk situations, which should constitute a warning when combined with other factors related to tax fraud, such as non-compliance with reporting obligations, and will therefore be subject to constant monitoring by ITA [Inspeção Tributária e Aduaneira]”, reads in the document.

The report also reveals that the anti-tax fraud unit has completed 111 administrative investigation processes, and among the frauds detected are cases involving taxpayers operating in a shadow economy and issuing false invoices.

As part of the analysis of new business models, such as driverless vehicles, conducted at two scooter rental platforms “whose parent houses” are based outside Portugal, AT identified, in both cases, “the existence of irregularities, which are being the object of the corresponding inspection procedures for the quantification and respective settlement of the missing values”.

According to the document, this action resulted in voluntary regularizations of 868 thousand euros in IRS taxable income, 42.2 million euros in IRC and 185 thousand euros in VAT.


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