Taxman eyes summer events blitz

By Carrie-Marie Bratley, in News · 07-06-2019 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
Taxman eyes summer events blitz

Portugal’s Finance Ministry could go ahead with a clampdown on summer events after it was announced that tax officials would be launching inspections on businesses linked to music festivals and weddings.

Respected business newspaper Jornal Economico broke the news last week that the Tax and Customs Authority (AT) would be launching a three-month “mega-operation” targeting summer weddings and music festivals, starting this coming weekend.

According to Jornal Economico, the action aimed to tighten the reigns on wedding-related businesses, such as catering and entertainment companies, rental venues, photographers and florists, as well as activities linked to music festivals such as ticket sales, contracts and performer payments.

The newspaper reported that the order came at the start of last week from regional Finance Directorates “from practically the whole country”, and would “be staged in out-of-work hours with a predominance on Saturdays”, from the second weekend of June through September.

This news was followed later in the day by a flurry of reports stating the Finance Ministry had “ordered the cancellation” of the operation.

Among them, news site Observador said: “The Finance Ministry has revealed in reply to Observador that it ‘issued a cancellation order during the day when it became aware of the scheduling’ of the inspections on weddings and music festivals, which were planned for the summer”.

Jornal Economico later countered with another report maintaining the wedding inspections would be going ahead, “but the rule is not to bother the bride and groom at the ceremony or at the wedding party”.

“The order for tax inspectors to avoid ‘intrusive’ behaviour was made by the Tax Office”, the newspaper reported, explaining “the Tax Office has asked the Tax and Customs Authority (AT) that its methodology is reassessed”, and reiterating: “Wedding inspections will remain in place”.

News site TSF gave a different angle, reporting that the Finance Ministry had cancelled the clampdown on weddings, but not inspections at festivals.

According to TSF, music festivals will still reportedly be receiving visits from the treasury, which will inspect ticket sales, food and drinks areas, contracts and payments to artists performing at around 100 events.

TSF clarified: “The early information initially disseminated stated that enforcement actions must comply with the principle of proportionality between the means and the defined purposes.

“The text went on to say that any inspection that disrupts the normal functioning of a wedding ceremony or party can not be considered proportional to the objective of monitoring compliance with tax obligations. Nowhere, however, did the text say that the action had been suspended.”


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