Businesses outraged over sudden 4% tax on bank card transactions

It has come out of the blue, but was apparently given the green-light almost a year ago. We’re talking about the government’s new 4% tax on bank card transactions, which Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs Rocha Andrade said last February would not impact on clients or businesses.

Rocha Andrade’s pledge was that the tax would be applied “on the commission covered by the bank on the payments terminal”.

Thus, clients of service provider Redunicre were “surprised” (to say the least) when they started receiving bills for “yet another tax” in December.

As catering and hoteliers association AHRESP has told Público there are doubts that the charges are even legal.

Said AHRESP director general José Manuel Esteves: “We are urgently studying the legal interpretation of this unilateral decision which, beside being unjust and overbearing, is illegal”.

He said the association would be giving its official position very soon, but for the time being did not accept it.

One of the major questions is why charges only started being made last month, when the issue was enshrined in the PS government’s budget for 2016.

Redunicre’s parent company Unicre has explained that this is because “the necessary technological developments to implement the government measure” were only recently concluded.

It has to be remembered that when Rocha Andrade said no clients or businesses would come off worse for this new tax, he also said that the government could not “control the way economic agents passed taxes on”.

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