Friday, April 16, 2021

Sale of dams. Terra de Miranda accuses EDP of tax fraud – ZAP


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Vitor Oliveira / Wikimedia

The Terra de Miranda Cultural Movement suspects that the EDP dams business was designed to evade tax payments. At issue is the payment of 110 million euros of stamp duty for the transaction, but also the collection of IMI and IMT.

In a document sent by the Government to the Assembly of the Republic, which analyzes the business of selling EDP dams (three large run-of-river dams in the Douro Internacional – Miranda, Picote and Bemposta – and three pumping stations in the reservoir – Foz Tua, Baixo Sabor and Feiticeiro), the Terras de Miranda Movement questioned the molds in which the Portuguese Environment Agency and the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology evaluated and authorized the transaction.

The movement maintains, according to the newspaper Public, that the “legal construction” chosen by the electric company for the operation “was intended only to try to allow the application of the provisions of article 60 of the Tax Benefits Statute and of article 73 of the IRC Code to the business, dispensing with if EDP pays Stamp Duty and IRC ”.

“We are up to convinced that this could constitute a tax crime that the authorities have to examine, ”said the electrical engineer Hannibal Fernandes, who was president of the Eneop consortium, which in 2004 joined EDP Renováveis, Enel Green Power it’s at Generg in the development of wind farms in Portugal. “Our expectation now is that the competent authorities will take this once and for all; that there is someone in the government with a minimum of common sense to say that this has gone too fars”.

According to the morning man, Article 60 of the Tax Benefits Statute contains tax exemptions for the restructuring of companies and Article 73 of the IRC Code creates a neutral regime for mergers and cisis for the purpose of streamlining business activities.

“That is, the legal structure set up served only as an instrument to avoid paying taxes ”, the document reads.

The sales contract was signed in December and earned 2.2 billion euros to EDP. The movement has been challenging the possibility that this deal will not result in any tax revenue that could benefit the people in the area of ​​the dams.

The Cultural Movement of the Land of Miranda, which has as members two former directors of the Tax Authority, maintains, in the document, that the “legal construction presented by the parties for the accomplishment of the business is clearly abusive, unnecessary, without economic rationality and disconnected from the actual facts that occurred”.

The movement maintains that “the criminal prosecution for tax fraud, given the apparent evidence of simulation, by setting up an apparent business, exempt from taxes, to hide a real business subject to them ”.

“It is unfortunate that EDP opted for this, but what bothers me even more is that the Minister of the Environment has been alerted by us that this could happen and have not acted before ”, he stresses. “The Government has to give us answers and say whether there is a payment of taxes,” he said.

The Ministry of the Environment rejected criticism in conducting the analysis of the sale of dams and stressed that APA has commented on the technical aspects that it was obliged with regard to the transmission of titles of use of water resources

The Ministry of Finance stated that the Tax and Customs Authority (AT) has total autonomy to determine and conduct inspection processes that it considers necessary for “combating fraud and tax evasion and aggressive tax planning”.

The ministry also emphasized that, “to maximize the useful effect of an integrated inspection action of corporate operations”, the “most effective action can be carried out through the development of procedures only from the moment of compliance with the main applicable reporting obligations, such as Modelo 22 (as a rule in May each year) and IES / DA (as a rule in July each year) ”.

Despite the controversy, EDP did not comment on the payment of stamp duty for the sale of dams. THE Public it says, however, that the electric company is convinced that there is a tax exemption because the sale operation involved a business restructuring, with the spin-off of a company that contained, in addition to the concessions, contracts with workers and suppliers and bank guarantees.

Maria Campos Maria Campos, ZAP //


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