STF decide excluir ICMS da base de cálculo de PIS e Cofins

STF decide excluir ICMS da base de cálculo de PIS e Cofins

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Maioria dos ministros da Corte concluiu que ICMS não compõe faturamento ou receita bruta das empresas; governo prevê impacto bilionário nas contas públicas com mudança da regra

Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) decidiu ontem (15) que o governo federal não pode incluir o Imposto sobre Circulação de Mercadorias e Serviços (ICMS) na base de cálculo das contribuições para o Programa de Integração Social (PIS) e para a Contribuição para o Financiamento da Seguridade Social (Cofins).

A decisão da Suprema Corte terá repercussão geral no Judiciário, ou seja, a partir de agora, as instâncias inferiores da Justiça também terão de seguir essa orientação.

O PIS e a Cofins são pagos por empresas de todos os setores e ajudam a financiar a Previdência Social e o seguro-desemprego.

Em nota, o Ministério da Fazenda informou que a União ingressará com o recurso de embargos de declaração quando o acórdão for publicado, “a fim de que o seu pedido de modulação de efeitos seja apreciado pela Corte”.

“Nele a União requererá que a decisão do STF tenha efeitos a partir de 2018. Somente com a apreciação dos embargos de declaração pelo Plenário do STF é que se poderá dimensionar o eventual impacto dessa decisão, acrescentou a pasta.

O modelo atual de cobrança é complexo e existem formas diferentes de incidência do tributo, com regime não cumulativo (para empresas que estão no lucro real, que é uma modalidade de cálculo do Imposto de Renda) e o sistema cumulativo (para empresas que estão no lucro presumido), além de uma sistemática diferenciada para micro e pequenas empresas.

Segundo as estimativas do governo, com a mudança da base de cálculo, a Receita Federal deixará de arrecadar R$ 250,3 bilhões em tributos que estavam sendo questionados na Justiça desde 2003.

O julgamento havia sido iniciado na última quinta (9), mas foi interrompido quando o placar da votação estava em 5 a 3 contra o governo porque os ministros Gilmar Mendes e Celso de Mello não estavam no plenário.

Os dois magistrados votaram nesta quarta-feira. Gilmar votou a favor do governo para que não ocorresse a mudança na fórmula de cálculo dos dois tributos, mas Celso de Mello acolheu a orientação da relatora do caso, ministra Cármen Lúcia, e votou pela desvinculação do ICMS do PIS e da Cofins.

Acompanharam a relatora, além de Celso de Mello, os ministros Marco Aurélio Mello, Luiz Fux, Rosa Weber e Ricardo Lewandowski. Por outro lado, além de Gilmar Mendes, votaram contra a exclusão do ICMS da base de cálculo e foram derrotados no julgamento os ministros Edson Fachin, Luis Roberto Barroso e Dias Toffoli.

Argumentos da AGU

Ao fazer a defesa do Executivo federal na tribuna do STF, a advogada-geral da União, Grace Mendonça, alertou que, além dos R$ 250,3 bilhões que o governo deixará de arrecadar com as derrotas judiciais, a eventual desvinculação do ICMS da base de cálculo do PIS e da Cofins também fará com que o Fisco deixe de obter daqui para frente R$ 20 bilhões por ano.

Ela ressaltou ainda que, com base nesta fórmula, o governo teria direito a receber R$ 100 bilhões nos últimos cinco anos.

Decisão pode reduzir preços

Professor de direito tributário da FGV e sócio do escritório Tozzini Freire, o advogado Vinícius Jucá afirmou ao G1 que a decisão do STF de excluir o ICMS da base de cálculo do PIS e da Cofins pode resultar em queda de preços para os consumidores.

Especialmente, ressaltou o especialista, nos mercados em que há muita concorrência e nos quais a margem de lucro é apertada, como nos segmentos de alimentos, cervejas e refrigerantes.

“Em mercados muito concorridos, sempre que há a oportunidade de reduzir o pagamento de impostos os empresários utilizam essa margem para baixar os preços de seus produtos e também para ganhar mercado”, avaliou Vinícius Jucá.

Para o advogado Felipe Alves Ribeiro de Souza, coordenador do núcleo tributário administrativo do escritório Nelson Wilians e Advogados Associados, o precedente aberto nesta quartapoderá resultar em mudanças na atual metodologia de arrecadação de impostos do governo, que tem por base de cálculo o faturamento ou a receita bruta.

“Outros questionamentos emergirão a partir do entendimento exarado neste julgamento, tal como a exclusão do ISSQN da base de cálculo da contribuição social para financiamento do PIS e da Cofins”, destacou o especialista.

Processos suspensos

De acordo com a assessoria do STF, pelo menos 10 mil processos estão suspensos no país atualmente à espera da decisão da Corte sobre o tema. A ação julgada pelos ministros nesta quarta foi proposta pela Imcopa, empresa do Paraná especializada no processamento de soja.

O julgamento

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Os seis ministros que votaram pela desvinculação do ICMS da base de cálculo do PIS e da Cofins avaliaram que o imposto de circulação de mercadorias e serviços não compõe o faturamento ou a receita bruta das empresas.

Os magistrados que votaram contra o governo ponderaram que o valor correspondente ao ICMS, que deve ser repassado ao fisco estadual, não integra o patrimônio do contribuinte, não representando nem faturamento nem receita, mas simplesmente ingresso de caixa ou trânsito contábil.

Já a União afirmava que a ação distorcia o conceito de faturamento e receita bruta definida pela Constituição.

Cobrança do PIS e do Cofins

Até então, a tributação de PIS e Cofins ocorria sob dois regimes: o não cumulativo (para as empresas que são tributadas com base no lucro real) e o cumulativo (para as empresas tributadas pelo lucro presumido). Havia ainda uma sistemática diferenciada para micro e pequenas empresas.

As empresas que optavam pela tributação pelo lucro real pagavam 9,25% (1,65% de PIS e 7,6% de Cofins), mas podiam abater desse percentual o imposto pago por seus fornecedores por meio de créditos tributários.

Já as empresas sob o regime de lucro presumido pagavam uma alíquota menor, de 3,65% (0,65% de PIS e 3% de Cofins). Essa categoria costuma reunir as empresas do setor de serviços, cujo maior custo costuma ser o de mão de obra e quase não tem insumos para gerar créditos tributários para compensar o imposto maior. Daí o temor de que uma unificação de PIS/Cofins faça aumentar a carga tributária.

STF analisa tema há quase 20 anos

O tema da mudança na base de cálculo do PIS e da Cofins estava em discussão no STF há quase duas décadas.

Em 2014, os ministros chegaram a julgar um caso que solicitava a desvinculação do ICMS da fórmula dos dois tributos e, naquela ocasião, após uma série de pedidos de vista (mais tempo para analisar o caso), a maioria da Corte entendeu que o Imposto de Circulação de Mercadorias e Serviços não integrava o faturamento ou a receita bruta das empresas.

À época, no entanto, o caso em julgamento não tinha repercussão geral e valeu somente para uma situação específica questionada ao tribunal. Com isso, outros milhares de processos que solicitavam a mesma mudança de cálculo continuaram tramitando na Justiça.

Reforma

Diante da iminência de uma derrota no STF, o governo federal decidiu ressuscitar o projeto de reforma do PIS e da Cofins.

A ideia de unificação dos dois tributos tinha sido apresentada no final de 2015 pelo então ministro da Fazenda Joaquim Levy como um primeiro passo para a reforma tributária. A proposta recebeu críticas de empresários e de entidades do setor de serviços, que alertaram para o risco de aumento dos impostos e de perda de postos de trabalho.

Na semana passada, o presidente Michel Temer afirmou que o governo pretende editar uma medida provisória até o final de março para simplificar as regras do PIS. Outra MP, segundo o presidente, deverá ser enviada até o fim do primeiro semestre para ajustar a Cofins.

O ministro da Fazenda, Henrique Meirelles, também alertou na última semana que a pasta entregará para Temer, em 30 dias, uma proposta de simplificação do PIS e da Cofins, e que, somente após esse estudo, é que o governo deverá definir se a mudança será enviada ao Congresso Nacional por meio de uma medida provisória. Na ocasião, entretanto, não foram divulgados detalhes da proposta em estudo.

“Por enquanto, não temos como confirmar se elas [eventual reforma dos dois tributos] tratarão da unificação do PIS e Confins”, disse o Ministério da Fazenda em nota na semana passada.

Repercussão

Tributaristas e empresários do setor de serviços temem que as mudanças impliquem em aumento de imposto e gerem mais desemprego.

Segundo cálculos feitos no ano passado pelo Instituto Brasileiro de Planejamento e Tributação (IBPT), a unificação do PIS e da Cofins implicará em elevação de alíquotas e poderá provocar uma perda de cerca de 2 milhões de empregos no setor de serviços.

O temor dos empresários do setor de serviços é que uma mudança no PIS/Confins acabe com o sistema cumulativo, com alíquota mais baixa, usado hoje por empresas em que o gasto com mão de obra costuma representar o maior custo e não conseguem se beneficiar do sistema de abatimento de créditos pelo qual as empresas descontam as compras de insumos dos impostos pagos.

Na última quarta-feira (8), Meirelles rebateu as críticas de entidades do setor de serviços e disse esperar que a reforma do PIS/Cofins tenha efeito positivo no mercado de trabalho, segundo informou o jornal “O Globo”.

“Eu não sei quais são as hipóteses de trabalho para levar à conclusão de que uma reforma levaria a uma perda de empregos. Não ficaria surpreso se ali estiver embutido um aumento da carga. Mas o que fizermos será feito para simplificar e melhorar”, afirmou.

Fonte: Fenacon
Data: 16 de março de 2017
Acesso: 17 de março de 2017

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