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Did Globo Benefit From the Mafia of the Tax Collector (No)?

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Source: Brasil 24/7

“Progressive” observers of the passing scene have made much in recent weeks about a massive debt collection case which allegedly cost the Globo network and its holding company a billion reais or more. As they showered the TV Globo logo with horseshit during an action in Brooklyn last month, protestors defiantly taunted the Silver Venus: “If you really paid your taxes, then produce the DARF!”

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Revista Forum — an organ of the World Social Forum — played a role in distributing the meme, which originated with blogger Miguel de Rosario and counts as a genuine success of citizen journalism.

Given enormous sums and lack of transparency involved in the DARF affair, the journalistic antennae are zoomed in on more facts that reflect badly on their enemy,  but this case seems relatively trivial — something Larry in accounting deals with.

The broadcaster Globo appears on a list of 652 companies alleged to have benefited from a scheme of tax fraud involving the evasion of a S. Paulo municipal  tax on services, the ISS. In  2011, Globo reportedly obtained an habita-se — a certificate of habitability — for the expansion of its headquarters in Brooklin, in S. Paulo, paying just 50.51% of the ISS it owed. Globo denies any wrongdoing.

Globo may have benefited from the scheme that defrauded the collection of the ISS, a municipal tax on services, by the S. Paulo city government. In  2011, Globo reportedly obtained an habita-se — a certification that technical norms were observed in the construction of the building — paying a mere 50.51% of the ISS it owed. The story was first reported by Daniel Castro, of the Web site Notícias da TV.

The full report follows:

On the list of the tax inspector mafia, Globo denies involvement and says it pays its taxes.

Globo appears on a list of 652 companies that supposedly benefited from a fraudulent scheme involving the collection of the ISS, a city tax on services.

… The figure — 50.51% — does not amount to a major scandal. Tax savings are estimated at R$ 150,000. The document shows that the broadcast paid R$ 158,893.39. The construction was an addition to its headquarters in the Brooklin neighborhood of  São Paulo.

The list is part of the prosecutions pursued by the Comptroller-General of the city and the State Public Ministry, which are investigating what is known as a “Mafia of the ISS.” This criminal conspiracy supposedly siphoned off R$ 500 million from the coffers of the city government. The scheme furnished buildings with a certificate of habitability without first collecting the proper amount of ISS, fixed at 5% over the value of the labor costs on the project.

The list does not mean that a company has engaged in misconduct or that it participated in a fraud. Only one of the 652 companies admitted having paid part of the tax it owed to the mafia of the ISS.

In a note, Globo denied wrongdoing. It said that “regularly collects all city taxes that pertain to its taxable activities.

Oddly, the broadcaster has been obtaining and airing privileged information from the investigations of the Public Ministry.

As to the enigmatic DARF:

My sorce calls me in order to contest the information released by Globo, by way of  UOL, that it had made good on a debt of R$ 615 million with the federal tax authority.

Translation to continue …

A dívida é a soma do impostos mais juros e multa, resultantes de um auto de infração no qual a Receita detectou a intenção da Globo de fraudar o fisco. Em valores atualizados, chegaria perto de R$ 1 bilhão.

“Se ela pagou, então mostra o Darf, o povo quer saber”, diz o garganta profunda deste humilde blogueiro. Darf, como todo bom pagador de impostos sabe, é o documento da receita onde o contribuinte registra o pagamento de uma dívida tributária.

“Se tivesse pago, o processo não estaria constando como ‘em trânsito’, conforme se pode verificar com uma Consulta Processual no site da Receita Federal”.

Eu, um simples blogueiro leigo em assuntos tributários, que não trabalho na Receita, posso apenas repetir os garotos que protestam na rua e dizer à Globo: desculpe o transtorno, estamos mudando o Brasil: mostre o DARF.

Eu consultei o site da Receita e, de fato, consta lá “em trânsito” no processo que investiga a fraude da Globo. O leitor mesmo pode acessar o site da Receita e checar: