Author(s) Fátima Vanessa Gonçalves Freitas
Advisor(s) Joaquim Freitas Rocha and Rui Bastos
Year 2017

Synopsis Simulation, as the creation of an appearance by collusion with the aim to deceive others, is not the exclusive result of a modern and developed society, but of human nature itself, transverse to all times. Being aware of the numerous motivations behind the simulated schemes and the possible repercussion of a fair share of the tax burden, the lawmaker chose to import the civilian institute into the tax system, even if it was adapted to the principles of the fiscal law. More specifically, the tax system was provided with a special anti-abuse rule in the Portuguese VAT (Value Added Tax) legislation, limiting the exercise of the right to deduct when these transactions were detected, as a way of ensuring equality in taxation and protection of the State in the role of a taxpayer. Nevertheless, while it is true that this rule is necessary and appropriate in terms of battling and persuading fraudulent behaviour, it seems to us that its sanctioning and excessive character is dubious towards the purpose pursued. Therefore, even if the tax administration is endowed with specific powers of authority, the tax system can’t function as a form, even if disguised, of obtaining an increase in the volume of revenues, putting in crisis the values itself of a State of Law, tax justice and public interest. It is believed that this theme is a relevant study due to the mix of understandings that divide our planning towards the increasingly sophisticated simulacrum of economic operators to the detriment of the revenue: whether with excessive benevolence or with pure and blind penalties. However, we do not have the ambition to present a definitive solution, but only the aim to contribute and, if possible, to instigate a technical-legal debate on a practice rooted in the economic power.

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