Ministros autorizam cobrança de ICMS

Ministros autorizam cobrança de ICMS

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Por meio de repercussão geral, o Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) decidiu que a imunidade tributária das entidades filantrópicas não se estende ao ICMS embutido no preço dos produtos adquiridos de fornecedores. A decisão foi unânime e acompanha jurisprudência do tribunal.

A Constituição veda a cobrança de tributos sobre patrimônio, bens e serviços de entidades sem fins lucrativos, entidades sindicais e partidos políticos, entre outros. Essa imunidade, porém, de acordo com os ministros, não pode ser aplicada a casos em que a entidade filantrópica é consumidora – sendo portanto a “contribuinte de fato”, por suportar o encargo econômico do imposto, efetivamente pago pela fornecedora do bem, a “contribuinte de direito”.

O Supremo analisou um recurso do governo de Minas Gerais contra julgamento do Tribunal de Justiça (TJ-MG). A decisão havia isentado da incidência de ICMS bens destinados à Casa de Caridade de Muriaé – Hospital São Paulo.

De acordo com o TJ-MG, a entidade suporta o valor do imposto embutido na operação de venda de medicamentos, máquinas e equipamentos. Por isso, é válido o reconhecimento do direito, uma vez que poderia-se buscar eventual restituição.

Para o Estado, a imunidade da entidade não pode se estender aos casos em que ela é consumidora de mercadorias que pagam tributos. “O contribuinte, no caso dos impostos indiretos é o que desencadeia a operação de circulação de mercadoria. O consumidor não é o contribuinte”, afirmou no julgamento Fabíola Pinheiro, procuradora do Estado de Minas Gerais.

O tema interessa à União pela possibilidade de o mesmo argumento poder ser usado para questionar o IPI, segundo afirmou na sessão a procuradora da Fazenda Nacional Luciana Miranda Moreira. “Não há como se garantir que o ônus é transferido ao consumidor final”, disse.

No julgamento, o advogado do Sindicato dos Hospitais Beneficentes e religiosos e filantrópicos do Rio Grande do Sul (Sindiberf), que é parte interessada (amicus curiae), Ulisses André Jung, pediu a manutenção da decisão de segunda instância. Afirmou que a cobrança de ICMS acaba beneficiando a aquisição de equipamentos importados sobre os quais não incide o imposto, quando adquiridos por entidades imunes. “Isso afeta os fabricantes de equipamento médico no Brasil”, afirmou.

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Em seu voto, porém, o relator, ministro Dias Toffoli, disse que a isonomia entre importador e adquirente de bens não era o tema do recurso. “É irrelevante a discussão sobre a repercussão econômica do tributo envolvido”, afirmou.

Segundo Toffoli, prevalece no STF o entendimento de que a imunidade tributária subjetiva se aplica a seus beneficiários, como contribuinte de direito e não de fato. E não há razões para mudar a jurisprudência da Corte, acrescentou o relator, que aceitou o recurso do Estado de Minas Gerais.

O ministro Edson Fachin acompanhou o voto, afirmando que o benefício da imunidade subjetiva não se estende ao contribuinte de fato. E Marco Aurélio disse que “a criatividade do homem é muito grande e nela se desconhece os inúmeros pronunciamentos do Supremo”.

Para o ministro Luís Roberto Barroso é impossível não ter simpatia pela ideia de não se tributarem medicamentos e equipamentos hospitalares. “Essa é uma política pública desejável, mas uma mudança na jurisprudência poderia ter efeito desastroso”, afirmou. De acordo com ele, eventual isenção compete ao legislador, e não ao Supremo.

A tese de repercussão geral aprovada afirma que a imunidade tributária subjetiva aplica-se aos seus beneficiados na posição de contribuinte de direito mas não na de contribuinte de fato, sendo irrelevante para a verificação da existência do benefício constitucional a repercussão econômica do tributo envolvido. O ministro Luiz Fux não estava presente na sessão.

Por Beatriz Olivon | De Brasília

Fonte: Valor Econômico
Data: 24 de fevereiro de 2017
Acesso:  24 de fevereiro de 2017

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