Vivo, Claro, TIM and providers are forced to reduce prices after ICMS cut – APK Games

THE Anatel created an offensive against telecom operators: the regulator will issue a precautionary measure that forces companies to fully pass on the discounts generated by the reduction of state tax rates (ICMS). The measure affects telecoms such as Claro, Oi, TIM, Vivo and Sky, in addition to regional providers.

Anatel forces discounts after ICMS drop (Image: Vitor Pádua / APK Games)

The injunction will still be published in the Official Gazette of the Union. According to counselor Emmanoel Campelo, the text was created after several complaints at Anatel of consumers who did not receive a discount on the plan after the tax reduction.

The complementary law that determines the reduction of ICMS was enacted in June 2022. The maximum rate that states can charge for essential services is 18%, while previously the rate for telecommunications could exceed the 30% mark, depending on the federative unit .

With the precautionary measure, operators are obliged to pass on the difference in the rate to their customers within a maximum period of 15 days after publication. The exception is for providers opting for Simples Nacionalwhich already have a reduced tax burden and were not benefited by the ICMS cut.

According to Abraão Balbino, Anatel’s superintendent, operators were also obliged to make retroactive transfers since when they started to enjoy the ICMS reduction. The customer must compare the current invoices with the old ones to verify which amounts are due.

Of course, Oi, TIM and Vivo had already announced ICMS transfers to customers, with different terms and mechanics. Campelo says that many companies announced the reduction in a non-homogeneous and non-transparent way, something that must be corrected with the new injunction.

Some operators tried to compensate for the ICMS transfer with extra packages in the plan, such as more internet or new added value services. For Anatel, the maneuver is not allowed and may be an irregular adjustment to the monthly fee:

“The non-transfer of ICMS to the consumer can be considered a readjustment through transversal ways, illegally and irregularly, and this must also be investigated. Offering extra services so as not to pass on the readjustment is a ‘way’ to break the law.”
Emmanoel Campelo, director of Anatel

Some operators used this maneuver to avoid transfers. This is the case of TIM, which announced an extra 1 GB in the minimum prepaid allowance, but promised cash transfers to control or postpaid users.

Campelo was very critical of this type of mechanics:

“It is unreasonable for the telecommunications sector alone to seek subterfuge to not comply with what is determined by law. This story of compensating with other services, additional internet packages or whatever comes in the creativity of companies cannot be tolerated at all.”
Emmanoel Campelo, director of Anatel

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