Corte Especial do STJ mantém incentivo do setor de informática

Corte Especial do STJ mantém incentivo do setor de informática

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Por Joice Bacelo | De São Paulo

A Corte Especial do Superior Tribunal de Justiça (STJ) manteve os efeitos de uma liminar que restabelece incentivo fiscal da Lei do Bem (nº 11.196), de 2005. O benefício ­- que isenta de PIS e Cofins as receitas das vendas a varejo de produtos de informática ­- havia sido revogado pelo governo, por meio de medida provisória, no ano passado.

O entendimento contraria pedido da Fazenda Nacional. No recurso apresentado contra decisão que beneficiava a Associação Brasileira da Indústria Elétrica e Eletrônica (Abinee), a União alega que a manutenção do benefício causaria “grave lesão à ordem e à economia públicas”. O impacto estimado, segundo consta na ação, seria de R$ 12 bilhões em três anos.

Para os ministros, no entanto, a revogação do programa de inclusão digital ­ como era chamado o incentivo fiscal ao setor ­- “arranha o princípio da confiança”. Isso porque teria sido constituído com base em condicionantes às empresas, além de estabelecer prazo determinado para o encerramento.

Pela lei, valeria até o dia 31 de dezembro de 2018. O programa tinha como objetivo difundir a acessibilidade ao uso de equipamentos eletrônicos. Por isso, para que as empresas tivessem acesso ao benefício, era necessário que cumprissem uma condição: reduzir os preços dos produtos na venda ao consumidor final.

Se trata de um benefício fiscal vigente há dez anos, conforme preceitos da Lei nº 11.196 [conhecida como Lei do Bem], artigos 28 a 30, não devendo prosperar a alegação de perda de arrecadação”, afirmou, em seu voto, a relatora, ministra Laurita Vaz. O entendimento unânime da Corte Especial mantém decisão anterior da relatora, que acrescentou ainda no julgamento não considerar como tarefa fácil “um real dimensionamento da arrecadação tributária” após a revogação do benefício.

Os incentivos fiscais da Lei do Bem foram revogados pelo governo federal por meio da Medida Provisória nº 690, de agosto de 2015 -­ depois convertida na Lei nº 13.241. O motivo alegado na época era a necessidade de aumentar a arrecadação de impostos, além de promover o ajuste fiscal. Seguindo essa norma, as empresas do setor teriam de recolher o imposto sobre a venda dos eletrônicos já a partir de 2016. A alíquota seria de 9,25% para os produtos nacionais e 11,25% aos importados.

A Abinee chegou a prever, na data de publicação da norma, que os preços dos produtos de tecnologia (celulares e notebooks, por exemplo) teriam acrécimo de até 10% ­- somente em função da suspensão do benefício. Em abril, no entanto, conseguiu a primeira decisão em favor do restabelecimento da Lei do Bem. A liminar foi concedida pelo Tribunal Regional Federal (TRF) da 1ª Região, com sede em Brasília.

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Para os desembargadores da 8ª Turma, que julgaram o caso, a revogação do benefício antes do prazo estabelecido caracteriza “ofensa direta aos princípios da segurança jurídica e da boa-­fé”. “Contribuintes que tinham expectativa de resultados positivos dos investimentos e investiram na produção de bens abrangidos pelo mencionado benefício fiscal ­- então garantido até 31 de dezembro de 2018 ­- foram surpreendidos pelo próprio governo”, enfatizou a relatora, desembargadora Maria do Carmo Cardoso.

A manutenção dessa liminar pela Corte Especial do STJ beneficia as empresas associadas à Abinee. Representante da entidade no caso, a advogada Daniella Zagari, do escritório Machado Meyer, diz que o artigo 178 do Código Tributário Nacional (CTN) é claro no sentido de que não se pode revogar antecipadamente benefício concedido por prazo certo e sob condição.

“Porque criou­-se uma expectativa. Não pode o governo, agora, dizer que não quer mais. Tem de obedecer as regras do jogo”, entende a advogada. “A lesão que o governo alega, na verdade quem sofreu foram os contribuintes e os consumidores. Houve uma supressão inesperada do benefício”, acrescenta.

Especialista na área, João Victor Guedes, do escritório L.O. Baptista Advogados, complementa que quando um incentivo fiscal, por prazo certo, é concedido pelo governo, as empresas planejam as suas atividades e estruturam os seus investimentos para o período com base na lei vigente. “Se o governo muda de ideia no meio do caminho, ele acaba alterando essa previsibilidade”, diz.

Procurada pelo Valor, a Procuradoria­-Geral da Fazenda Nacional (PGFN) informou que a decisão da Corte Especial do STJ anula uma relevante medida de ajuste fiscal. Afirma ainda, por meio de nota, que não compete ao poder judiciário “se imiscuir na conivência ou na oportunidade da política econômica e fiscal estabelecida pelo Executivo, com a aprovação do Legislativo”.

“É notória a situação de degradação das contas públicas nacionais, que enfrentam um segundo ano consecutivo de déficit orçamentário e um prognóstico terrível de crescimento do endividamento público, o que inclusive ameaça a eficácia da política monetária”, continua. Acrescenta ainda que “decisões judiciais que inviabilizam ingredientes sensíveis da política fiscal, gerando insegurança jurídica e perda de arrecadação anual bilionária, contribuem para o chamado custo Brasil”.

Sobre o processo propriamente dito, a PGFN afirma que os ministros “não realizaram exame aprofundado do mérito da controvérsia”. Argumenta que o programa não exigia qualquer condição onerosa aos comerciantes varejistas. As condições que constam na lei, segundo a procuradoria, referem­-se ao “industrial produtor de bens”. “Contudo, na venda efetuada pelo industrial não há benefício instituído pelos artigos revogados”, completa.

Fonte: Valor Econômico
Data: 23 de dezembro de 2016
Acesso: 23 de dezembro de 2016

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