A restaurant with a tax debt of €92,000 has seen four cakes “seized” by the Autoridade Tributária (AT). The total cost of the cakes came to €1.20. Taxmen have since agreed that seizing “property” – particularly when it is crème-filled – does not always have the desired results. Seizures should involve the possibility of being able to sell the seized goods, which in this case was not possible.
The mix-up stems from the “fiscal bullying” that authorities use when indebted companies log on for “Guias do Transporte” and other documentation required for their goods.
The logic, tax experts told Diário Económico, is that by “destroying the economic activity of a business”, AT computer watchers can somehow bully it into coughing up whatever it owes.
It is a line of thinking that has already “seized food” from an indebted charitable organisation. The food had been destined for the poor.
Thus the AT is not unused to ending up with egg on its face – if not crème – and its staff have reacted to this latest story by refusing to answer journalists’ questions.
According to Diário Económico, the AT has applied other seizures to the restaurant in question. It has ‘frozen” a bank account … “and seized four more cakes”.