Tax authorities are already collecting data to analyze the sale of dams


Manuel de Almeida / Lusa

Finance Minister João Leão

The Tax and Customs Authority (AT) is already gathering elements to analyze the operation of the sale of six dams by EDP to the consortium led by Engie, said the finance minister this Tuesday.

“The lady director general of AT just informed me that the services are already working on this matter, being in element collection phase preparatory so that they can promote the necessary actions, in time and in the appropriate way, for the eventual payment of taxes due ”, affirmed João Leão, who, together with the Minister of the Environment, is being heard in the parliamentary committee on Environment, Energy and Planning of the Territory.

Ministers were called to Parliament, after a request made by the Left Bloc, to answer the opposition parties’ doubts about the Government’s action in the sale of six dams by EDP to a consortium led by Engie, and on non-payment of Stamp Duty.

On November 13, 2020, it was announced that the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) had approved the sale of EDP dams (Miranda, Bemposta, Picote, Baixo Sabor and Foz-Tua) to Engie.

On December 17, EDP concluded the sale for 2.2 billion euros of six dams in the Douro watershed to a consortium of investors formed by Engie, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Mirova.

BE has argued that, in the light of this deal, they should 110 million have been paid euros in Stamp Duty, which is contested by EDP.

João Leão stated that “the time for intervention in fiscal matters on the State side begins now” and reiterated that the TA has “total autonomy” to act, underlining that “the Government does not interfere in the TA’s inspection activity”.

This hearing started with a set of questions posed by the blocker Mariana Mortágua, part of them supported by an internal APA opinion to which the Bloc had access, which led the deputy to ask if the Government was aware of this internal opinion, why did not send it to Parliament and why the Government did not close the deal by exercising preemptive rights.

In the application for this hearing, BE considers that the operation used by EDP to close the deal “had the sole and clear purpose of obtaining a undue tax advantage”And recalls the amendment to article 60 of the Statute of Tax Benefits (EBF) introduced by the State Budget of 2020 (OE2020), stressing that until then this“ did not exempt from Stamp Duty the transmission of concessions in the case of corporate restructuring ”.

The executive chairman of EDP was heard last week on this committee following a request from the PSD.

The PSD delivered, this Monday, a proposal for amendment in which it proposes the revocation of the current wording of article 60 of the Statute of Tax Benefits, approved in the State Budget for 2020.

According to the online newspaper ECO, the PSD argues that EDP will have used this tax benefit to be exempt from taxes in the sale of the dam concession to Engie.

The Ministry of Finance has already denied any connection between the amendment to the law and the deal.