by Marcela Ayres
BRASILIA (Reuters) – The government estimated that tax transactions, negotiations for tax debtors that were regulated and that gained momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic, paved the way for the creation of 28,000 jobs in 2020, contributing to the generation of formal jobs in a year in which the economy sank.
The estimate is part of a study by the Economic Policy Secretariat (SPE) of the Ministry of Economy, which highlighted that more than 300,000 agreements for the payment of debts with the government were closed, with more than 100 billion reais in debt negotiated last year – a record value. In total, the collection was 1.77 billion reais in 2020.
This year, considering only the months of January to May, the collection with the same mechanism already totals 1.65 billion reais, said the SPE.
The expectation is that the amount will rise throughout the year and that the positive effects on the generation of jobs will be verified with increasing consistency, said the Undersecretary of Fiscal Policy at the ministry, Erik Figueiredo.
In early July, the Attorney General’s Office of the National Treasury (PGFN) closed an agreement with Grupo Ruas, an urban transport company in São Paulo, for the payment of tax debts of 3.12 billion reais.
“GDP in 2020 did not grow, it fell. Even so, employment grew,” said Figueiredo. He argued that tax transactions prevented companies from closing their doors or being suffocated by tax obligations at a time of falling revenue due to the paralysis of the economy with the pandemic.
In 2020, a year in which the Gross Domestic Product suffered a historic drop of 4.1%, there was the creation of 142,690 formal job vacancies, according to the General Register of Employed and Unemployed Persons (Caged).
The SPE study indicated that the sector with the greatest participation in tax transactions in 2020 was Manufacturing Industries (26% of the total value), followed by Construction, with 7.7%. For the SPE, this indicates the likely repercussions on employment of negotiations, since these sectors, especially construction, are labor intensive.
Although tax transactions involve the granting of discounts and installments, the government denies that they constitute a new kind of Refis. The argument is that, with tax transactions, the benefits granted are calibrated according to the financial situation of each beneficiary, preventing taxpayers who do not need to be covered, which would have happened in past tax debt payment systems.
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