The inspection task

Image: Evgeny Chebotarev


The role played by tax auditors for fair and efficient taxation as an instrument for State financing

The State is an agent of development. There is no example in history of development without a State. Nor, since Ancient Rome, has there been a State without fiscal auditors, then called “publicans” or “tax collectors”. If the State is the guarantor of social rights and the promoter of competitiveness in a democracy, we can say that tax auditors are the true guardians of these rights. Little ants – sometimes misunderstood, neglected, when not trampled – that patiently gather resources for the prolonged winter and the survival of the community. Public servants who pave the foundations for rights and citizenship to take effect.

The role of the State has proved to be even more vital in times of pandemic and economic recession and becomes more pressing in a continental country like Brazil, with one of the most shameful rates of social inequality in the world. To change this scenario and promote regional and national development, State actions must encompass the provision of social justice, security, health and quality education services to the coordination and encouragement of the economy.

Such objectives necessarily depend on financial resources. Fair and efficient taxation proves to be the best instrument for financing the State. Other forms of income, such as public debt and currency issuance, have their limits, challenges and risks, ranging from inflation to high interest rates for the treasury and society. The balance of public accounts is of great importance for the economic and social stability of the country. This does not only happen on the spending side, it also involves the inflow of tax revenues in an efficient and equitable way – a task to which tax auditors are dedicated.

Although inspection may be the best known aspect of tax auditors by citizens, their attributions are diverse in order to guarantee the necessary tax collection for the State treasury. The tax auditors are responsible for drawing up tax rules, providing guidance and charging taxpayers, as well as studying, planning and developing all the means necessary to provide these services.

Another fundamental task performed by the auditors concerns the identification of fiscal and tax crimes. Combating tax evasion must be in the interests of society and the economy. This must occur not only by restoring misappropriated public resources, and by applying the law to all, but also by combating unfair competition practiced by those who distort, degrade the market and seek competitive advantage through fraud and tax evasion.

To this end, the tax administration demands well-qualified professionals to deal with the complex and constantly changing legal, economic and political environment, requiring constant investments and competitive conditions, not only material but also institutional, for the full fulfillment of all its attributions.

It is not without reason, therefore, that the tax authorities were granted the rare constitutional priority in terms of allocation of public resources for the performance of their functions. Article 37, inc. XXII, of the Federal Constitution, recommends that tax administrations are essential activities for the functioning of the State and must be carried out by civil servants with specific careers, having priority resources to carry out their activities and acting in an integrated manner.

Brazil's social and economic challenges, including São Paulo, are immense. To overcome them, the role of the tax revenue and the tax auditor is fundamental in promoting a State and a society in which citizens can be guaranteed the essential rights to a dignified life and opportunities for full development, in all senses. . It is vital, therefore, to guarantee the necessary conditions for the tax authorities to carry out their institutional mission robustly.

*Marco Antonio Chicaroni President of the Union of Tax Auditors of the State Revenue Service of São Paulo (Sinafresp).

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