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Consumers go to court for illegal collection of ICMS on light bill

Consumers from all over the state can appeal to court to reduce their electricity bill by up to 12% and recover the amounts unduly paid in the last 05 years due to improper collection of the ICMS tax.

Lawyers specializing in Tax Law have won victories in thousands of lawsuits in various courts to overturn the illegal collection of ICMS, incident on energy bills. Among them, tax lawyer Leandro de Mello Chaves, known as Doctor Tributo (instagram), a partner at Mello Chaves Advogados Associados, in the Rio Center, who explains that the action is not for consumer protection, but tax, with the objective of reimbursing taxpayers, not only individuals, but also companies, Condos and major consumers.

According to Mello Chaves, consumers of electricity and telephony in the state of Rio de Janeiro are required to pay ICMS (tax on the Circulation of Goods and Services), which ranges from 29% to 32% over consumption. It occurs, however, that the Court of Justice of the State of Rio de Janeiro has considered this collection illegal since 2008, reducing this rate to 18%, the average value of ICMS charged in our State. “Despite the binding force of such a decision, it should be noted that the State of Rio de Janeiro continues to unduly tax taxpayers in an abusive and arbitrary manner, imposing an average increase of 12% in energy and telephone bills, and taxpayers have to immediately reduce them by 12% of monthly consumption and receive back taxes improperly paid in the last five years. Today 1/3 of the value of the bill refers to energy actually consumed, the remaining 2/3 of which relates to taxes and charges levied by the customer, “stresses the taxpayer.

Leandro Mello Chaves clarifies that the lawsuit to reduce the energy bill and refund these amounts considerably faster, and the taxpayer can use such benefit to reduce his account, which can be up to 30% depending on the case.

“It is up to the taxpayer to exercise his right already recognized by law, because it is convenient for the State to continue unduly paying consumers, who must collect their rights especially at a time of economic crisis, and most consumers do not know this information” says Doctor Leandro Mello Chaves, noting that less than 5% of consumers have recourse to justice. “I often say to consumers: So, are you going to stand or charge your rights?” The action is not proposed against the concessionaire, but against the State Treasury, responsible for the illegal collection of ICMS. The lawyer explains that “ICMS is a tax guided by the principle of essentiality, that is, the more essential the good the less taxation, which is why the TJRJ and STJ recognize this illegality, reducing the ICMS rate from 32% to 18% .

How to Proceed

ATTORNEY – Anyone wishing to file a lawsuit should seek a tax lawyer, because in that case, it is not possible to go to court on their own. Individuals and legal entities may enter.

JUSTICE – As the lawsuits are filed against the State Government, the lawsuits are filed in the Public Finance Courts. Light and Wide customers who have not kept their invoices guards can withdraw them through the site in the last 48 months. At Ampla, customers have access, through the site, to accounts for the last two years. For those from prior periods, just look for a dealer agency.


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Source: Revista Carioca


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