The State of São Paulo recently published, Portaria CAT No. 42/2018 that once again amends the procedure for refund of ICMS withheld by tax substitution. It is important to remember that in the last 4 years, the rules for reimbursement of the tax have been modified at least 2 times.

From now on, the refund and calculation of the improperly collected tax will be carried out with the help of manuals and a specific system developed by the São Paulo State Treasury Department.

By the year 2015, the taxpayer who had been obliged to reimburse, was obligatorily used the complex methodology provided for in Ordinance CAT No. 17/99. As of 2016, CAT Ordinance No. 158/2015 came into force, with the purpose of simplifying the methods of restitution and establishing the credit through the use of the Ancillary Obligation SPED Fiscal.

However, in order to further facilitate the mechanism for the return of amounts unduly paid by companies to the São Paulo tax authorities, the State Government again chose to modify the current system, indicating the use of a tax assessment manual and differentiated systems that allow the control of amounts already reimbursed and pending reimbursement, as well as the accomplishment of a pre-validation of the digital files proving the credits.

The State’s intention to disrupt these procedures is valid and well received by many contributors. However, it does not fail to bring a degree of insecurity to companies that, in the face of every change in legislation, need to adapt to the new method to enable reimbursement.

It is important that companies with outstanding amounts of compensation pay attention to the new model of restitution, mainly due to the repeal of ordinances CAT 17/99 and 158/2015. That is to say, even for events generated before 01/05/2018, compliance with the new legislation is mandatory, unless a certain establishment has already been credited, requested or used the amount due by another system until 05/21/2018.

And for those who feel insecure with this “innovative method”, the legislation allows, in relation to the generating facts that took place between 01/05/2018 and 12/31/2018, the rules set forth in Ordinance CAT 158/2015 are adopted.