Opinion – Maria Inês Dolci: Teles pretend that there was no reduction in ICMS for telephone bills and pay TV

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Opinion – Maria Inês Dolci: Teles pretend that there was no reduction in ICMS for telephone bills and pay TV

Law can only be modified in the Legislature, or questioned in the Judiciary. Sorry for the obviousness, but it seems that the telephone operators did not understand this. So much so that Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency) is investigating why telecoms have not yet passed on, to fixed, mobile, broadband and pay-TV tickets, the reduction in the ICMS rate (Tax on the Circulation of Goods and Services) sanctioned by the President of the Republic last June.

Operators defend themselves, claiming operational complexity to adjust the value of the accounts. However, I do not know of any case in which a readjustment was not charged due to this ‘complexity’.

State governments must also have faced operational difficulties in reducing ICMS on fuel, electricity, telecommunications and public transport services. But they did. Those who did not agree went to court to question the complementary law, a legitimate resource in a democracy.

The telecoms guarantee that they will pass on the full amount of the tax reduction. I don’t doubt they will, but that should have already happened. At the very least, they would have to inform the consumer when and how this will be done.
This situation reminds me of interest rates, which rise quickly as soon as the Selic is raised, but which fall slowly when there are cuts in the basic rate of the economy.

There are precedents where citizens were left in the lurch. In December 2012, the TCU (Union Court of Accounts) denied the return of R$ 7 billion unduly charged from consumers on electricity bills, due to a methodology error in the calculation of tariff readjustments between 2002 and 2009. , the justification was to avoid legal uncertainty.

The collective agreement regarding savings losses with the economic plans of the 1980s and 1990s, in turn, is in its final stretch, and there are complaints about delays in payments. It was a long legal fight to obtain this right.

What remains for the consumer, whenever their rights are disrespected, as in the case of telephone and pay TV tickets, is to formalize a complaint to the nearest Procon and to Anatel. And wait for Complementary Law 194 of 2022 to be complied with, which determined a reduction in ICMS on some products and services.

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