Tax inspectors on invoice hunt

The Portuguese government argues that the requirement of an invoice is an effective measure to fight against the black economy, tax evasion and underbilling (in terms of not declaring the entire revenue) and thus tax inspectors are preparing to fine consumers who do not request a ‘factura’ after a purchase.

The Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs said that tax inspectors have already detected this year several cases of infraction among consumers who do not ask for invoice after a purchase.

An official source of the Secretary of State told Lusa news agency that “several infraction proceedings have been opened”.According to the Fiscal Affairs department run by Paulo Núncio, the amendments to the law “have created the conditions to make it functional, contrarily to what was happening until 2012”.

“Until December last year, consumers only had to require an invoice from sole traders, but many consumers, unaware of the business category of the service provider, ended up creating a hindrance to the enforcement of the law. Now, the law is applicable to all transactions, regardless of the service provider category (individuals or companies), so it will be applied without any exceptions,” he explains. Thus, the new rules have created the necessary conditions to allow the tax authorities to supervise and fine whoever does not obey the law and, therefore, any consumer can be “checked” while leaving a commercial establishment (e.g. restaurants).

For Paulo Núncio, “this is the best way to make customers effectively demand an invoice afterthe purchase” and adds that this measure aims to stand against shadow economy, tax evasion and other forms of not legally declaring the overall revenue.

Lusa news agency asked for precise data on the number of offences applied to taxpayers who have not asked for an invoice on purchases. The information has not been released to date.