Author(s) Filipe João Saraiva Fernandes
Advisor(s) Joaquim Freitas Rocha
Year 2012

Synopsis The object and purpose of the present study concerns tax planning/tax mitigation, as a way the taxpayer organizes his activity in order to eliminate, reduce or defer in time the tax payment without disrespecting the law’s letter or spirit. In these cases there are no obstacles in which refers to tax savings due to the fact that is often accepted and even desired by the legislator, like the taxable incomes, tax exemptions and tax benefits, foreseen by the law and which is taxpayer’s choice, in his day-by-day activity, to take advantage according that does not compromise the constitutional legal principles such as the equality. Taking in to account the vast doctrines positions, we start by the distinction/contraposition of tax planning and try to relate it with other figures alike, often confused with it. Considering that, we have the conducts which have the same goal as the tax planning, but are unlawful because it directly infringes legal dispositions commonly designated as illicit tax evasion or tax fraud by the doctrine. Then we have those situations that seems to raise the doubt whether its legal or illegal where the taxpayer, without directly violating the law, circumvents it to achieve undesired purposes by the legislator and against the system fundamental values which are called tax avoidance. So, if on one hand, the private autonomy legitimates taxpayer to deal as it pleases him the most his businesses, on the other hand, there are questions about social justice that should establish a due balance between what liberty is and what comes from a taxpayer duty to contribute to the financial needs of the State and the community. And how to do it? In Portugal, according to European directives, legislator took considerable measures known as anti-abuse clauses, among others. In conclusion, we will propose some specific cases about tax planning and in what way tax payers can make use, whether are natural or legal persons.

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