Video is misleading by suggesting that driver can ask for a refund of ‘federal tax’ on fuel

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Investigated Content: Video in which a man claims that gas stations must return to customers part of the amount paid when filling up the car referring to federal taxes. He claims that President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) would have zeroed the taxes.

where it was published: Kwai and YouTube.

Completion of Proof: A video recorded in the interior of São Paulo in which a man advises consumers to ask gas stations for reimbursement of part of the amount paid referring to federal taxes is misleading. He claims that the fuels would have been exempt from taxes by the government of Jair Bolsonaro and that the return of the amount charged “is a right, it is in the law”.

The federal government recently announced the exemption of federal taxes on imported diesel and ethanol to contain the increase in the price of these fuels. The measure does not include ethanol, gasoline and Natural Vehicular Gas (CNG) sold at pumps.

There is no way for the gas stations to return the tax amount because these establishments do not make the payment. Taxes are levied at earlier stages of the production chain.

misleadingfor Comprova, is content that uses inaccurate and confusing data, with or without the deliberate intention to cause harm.

Scope of publication: Comprova investigates the most far-reaching suspicious content on social networks. On Kwai, there were more than 134 thousand views and 15 thousand reactions. On YouTube, the video has been viewed at least 283,000 times.

What the author of the publication says: The author of the video could not be found because he does not identify himself. The Kwai and YouTube accounts that shared the most viral videos do not provide a way to contact them.

How do we check: By e-mail, Comprova consulted the Federal Revenue Service, through the Ministry of Economy, and the Secretary of Finance and Planning of the State of São Paulo, to check the validity of the alleged practice of returning tax amounts. We are also looking for a positioning of the National Federation of Commerce of Fuels and Lubricants (Fecombustíveis).

For recent information on fuel tax exemptions, news articles published by professional media outlets were consulted (Estadão, eInvestor).

To locate the establishment where the video was recorded, Google Street View searches were performed based on information available on the invoice that was shown.

The video

The video is divided into two parts. In the first one, a young man says his father has “returned his federal tax money” — not to mention what fuel — and calls out, “Everyone, please ask for the tax.”

In the second, a man who identifies himself only as Francisco speaks with a Castilian accent. He says that “the president took away” federal taxes on fuel, but that a gas station collected the taxes anyway — the narrator does not say which fuel he used in his supply, but shows an invoice where you can read that it was with added gasoline. . He claims that, when questioning an employee, he had the tax refunded (R$38). “Whoever wants to arrive, complain. It’s a right, it’s in the law,” he advises.

When he says that, he shows the invoice of the purchase. It is possible to see that he is at Auto Posto Santo Antônio, located at Avenida Doutor Teixeira de Barros, 1258, in São Carlos, in the interior of São Paulo. The information matches the narrator’s statement that the case took place at an Ipiranga gas station “in Vila Prado”, which is the neighborhood of the city where the establishment is located.

Also from the invoice, you can see that he filled up with gasoline additives. The date of purchase was May 16th.

To check if the two moments are in the same situation, Comprova looked for the address shown on the invoice on Google Street View and compared the neighboring buildings with those shown in the viral video. In both cases, it is possible to see a store with a blue and white facade. To the side, you can see a house with a garden in front. Thus, it was possible to confirm that the two parts of the video were recorded at the same post.

Federal taxes continue to apply to gasoline

The invoice shown in the video shows that the supply was made with gasoline additives. This fuel remains federally taxed and has not been covered by recent federal government tax exemption decisions.

President Jair Bolsonaro determined, in March, exemption from federal taxes (PIS, Cofins and Cide) on diesel for two months, starting on March 1st. The measure was announced as a response to the dissatisfaction of part of the population with Petrobras’ increases in fuel prices.

Also in March, the Ministry of Economy zeroed federal taxes for imported ethanol. The exemption applies both to ethanol mixed with gasoline and sold separately, until the end of the year.

In note disclosed on Friday (20), Fecombustíveis, representative of gas stations, reported that only federal taxes (PIS/Cofins) levied on diesel oil were zeroed. Other fuels, such as gasoline, ethanol and CNG, continue to be subject to these taxes.

Taxes are not collected by the posts

The agency Magnifying glass, an employee at the gas station reported that the attendant shown in the video returned the money because she felt “coerced”. She said it’s not post office procedure to return federal tax. Comprova contacted the establishment and asked for the manager’s contact to confirm the information. The employee who answered asked the report to leave a contact for return, but there was no response until publication.

It is false that it is possible to ask gas stations to refund the federal tax because taxation is concentrated in refineries, explained the Ministry of Economy through of note. “The gas stations have a zero rate on their sales and do not pay Pis/Cofins.”

The São Paulo Finance Department (Sefaz/SP) reinforced that the states recently regulated the single-phase taxation of ICMS (state tax on diesel) and the charge remained on producers or importers. “The gas station already purchases the fuel with the tax collected”, he summarizes.

Sefaz/SP also explains that the amount of R$ 38 shown in the invoice “seems to refer” to the provisions of Law 12,741/12, which establishes the obligation to inform the consumer of the approximate value of the tax burden that influences the price of sale.

“This information, of informative character to the consumer, does not generate any obligation, whether tax or return”, says the secretary. And he concludes: “It is not, therefore, up to the gas stations to return ICMS, a hypothesis not provided for in the legislation.”

The explanations were reinforced by Fecombustíveis. The entity said there was no possibility of tax refund at the gas station, since the establishment did not collect such taxes. It concludes by stating that any failures in the software that record the tax collection update do not change the way in which the tax is collected. “It is worth noting that this alleged failure does not harm the consumer and does not benefit the reseller.”

why do we investigate: In its fourth phase, Comprova checks content on the pandemic, elections and public policies of the federal government. The country is experiencing a moment of high inflation caused by the resumption of the pace of economic activities allowed by the vaccination against covid-19 and by uncertainties with the war in Ukraine. The increase in fuel prices is one of the elements that push up inflation and source of public discontent with the federal government, creating an environment conducive to the circulation of misinformation on the subject. This Monday (23), President Jair Bolsonaro fired the third president of Petrobras in your government.

Other checks on the topic: Comprova has already shown that the comparison is misleading made in a post with percentages about the readjustment of gasoline in Brazil and the equity growth of the Bolsonaro family. It also showed that a video on TikTok circulates out of context in which Lula calls a Petrobras employee corrupt.

THE UOL Check and the Magnifying glass also checked the video analyzed here. Last year, the Fact or Fake denied a video recorded in Cuiabá that made similar allegations.

Investigated by Estadão and Uol. Verified by CBN Cuiabá, Metrópoles, PLURAL Curitiba, SBT, SBT News, A GAZETA, Correio and NEXO.

Source: CNN Brasil

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