Brazil: Expectativas tributárias para 2019 no Superior Tribunal de Justiça

Last Updated: 1 February 2019
Article by Marcelo Reinecken and Maria Clara Seabra Sallum
Most Read Contributor in Brazil, March 2019

As Cortes Superiores exercem um importante papel no desenvolvimento do Direito ao fixarem teses e orientações que dirigem todos os demais Tribunais do país.

Por isso, voltar os olhos, com atenção, ao que tem sido discutido não só no Supremo Tribunal Federal, mas também no Superior Tribunal de Justiça, é tarefa indispensável. Afinal, ao STJ compete a última palavra em matéria infraconstitucional, razão pela qual muitas demandas, inclusive tributárias, terão seu resultado final decidido por referida corte.

É assim que, com o retorno das atividades no dia 1º de fevereiro, o semestre forense se inicia com grandes expectativas para o Direito Tributário no âmbito do STJ e da sua dinâmica de recursos repetitivos.

Dos onze temas inseridos atualmente nessa sistemática, um deles já tramita há quase nove anos no Tribunal e é um dos julgamentos mais aguardados para esse ano. Visa definir o prazo prescricional para o redirecionamento da execução fiscal contra sócios e administradores da sociedade, na hipótese em que ocorra a sua dissolução irregular.

No caso concreto, os ministros analisarão se, a partir da citação da sociedade, o ente público teria o prazo de cinco anos para pleitear a responsabilização dos administradores ou se tal prazo começaria a contar quando da ciência da dissolução irregular do empreendimento — posicionamento este defendido pela Fazenda.1

Outro tema emblemático analisará a possibilidade de redirecionamento da execução fiscal contra o sócio que, apesar de exercer a gerência da empresa devedora à época do fato tributário, dela regularmente se afastou, sem dar causa, portanto, à posterior dissolução irregular da sociedade empresária. 2

Será definida, ainda, a possibilidade do pedido de redirecionamento da Execução Fiscal, quando fundado na hipótese de dissolução irregular da sociedade empresária executada ou de presunção de sua ocorrência (Súmula 435/STJ), ser autorizado em face de sócios com poderes de administração da sociedade, à luz do art. 135, III, do CTN. 3

Discussão que chama novamente o STJ a se pronunciar se refere à definição dos contornos do que já havia sido julgado pela Primeira Seção, em 2009. Trata-se da tese fixada no REsp nº 1.111.164/ (Tema nº 118), na qual se assentou a necessidade de comprovação do recolhimento indevido ou feito a maior para que o contribuinte fizesse jus à compensação tributária. Caberia, portanto, à segunda instância a avaliação, a cada novo caso, do encaixe das razões de decidir do precedente ao caso concreto.

Contudo, na prática, o que ocorreu foi o direcionamento da interpretação de modo diverso, pelos Tribunais de origem, cuja linha de raciocínio ora exigia a juntada da prova de todos os pagamentos efetuados com os quais pretendesse ter a compensação reconhecida, ora exigia tal prova apenas para os casos em que estivessem em discussão os valores envolvidos.

Sob a relatoria do Ministro Napoleão Nunes, a Primeira Seção terá, então, a missão de delimitar o alcance da tese firmada no Tema repetitivo nº 118. Não se pode descartar a hipótese de um novo posicionamento sobre a matéria, sobretudo em razão de o colegiado ter sofrido alteração desde o julgamento do repetitivo que formou o Tema.

Ainda é alvo de discussão o repetitivo sobre a legalidade da "inclusão da Tarifa de Uso do Sistema de Transmissão de Energia Elétrica (TUST) e da Tarifa de Uso do Sistema de Distribuição de Energia Elétrica (TUSD) na base de cálculo do ICMS". Quase 51 mil processos em todo país são relacionados ao tema. 4

A matéria não é nova e tem sido objeto de divergência entre as turmas responsáveis pelo julgamento de questões tributárias no STJ.

Isso porque, enquanto a 2ª Turma tem decido de forma favorável aos contribuintes para reconhecer que o ICMS não poderia incidir sobre a TUSD e a TUST, eis que a tarifa remunera o exercício de uma atividade de meio de transporte da energia elétrica que foge do campo de incidência do tributo, a 1ª Turma afirma ser legal a incidência do ICMS também sobre as tarifas componentes da fatura de energia elétrica, já que não seria possível dividir as etapas do fornecimento de energia para fins de incidência do ICMS.

Em meados de 2017, ao apreciar a controvérsia, o STF afastou a hipótese de análise sob o viés constitucional, definindo que o tema comporta, em verdade, matéria de natureza infraconstitucional. Desse modo, está nas mãos do STJ a palavra final.

Por fim, há grande expectativas na definição da possibilidade de inclusão do ICMS na base de cálculo da contribuição previdenciária sobre a receita bruta, instituída pela Medida Provisória nº 540/2011 e convertida na Lei nº 12.546/2011. 5>

O debate volta-se ao conceito de receita e faturamento, já conhecido pelos tributaristas, que ganhou destaque ainda maior após a decisão do STF sobre a impossibilidade de o ICMS compor a base de cálculo do PIS e da Cofins, por não espelhar receita ou faturamento da empresa (Tema nº 69 da Repercussão Geral).

Como se vê, em 2019, a expectativa é a de que o STJ se debruce sobre matérias de alto impacto na vida de inúmeros contribuintes, o que revela a importância da corte na pavimentação do Direito Tributário no País.

De outro lado, a pauta exige dos operadores do Direito o domínio e o monitoramento das discussões, compreendendo o impacto de cada uma delas, além de dar espaço para uma atuação colaborativa com o Tribunal, formador de teses, principalmente naqueles temas de maior sensibilidade, cuja complexidade envolvida recomenda municiar os julgadores com estudos, materiais e demonstrações técnicas do direito em discussão.

Footnotes

1 STJ. REsp 1.201.993, Tema Repetitivo 444, Min. Herman Benjamin, 1ª Seção.

2 STJ. REsp 1.377.019, Tema Repetitivo 962, Min. Assusete Magalhães, 1ª Seção.

3 STJ. REsp 1.645.333; REsp 1.643.944; REsp 1.645.281, Tema Repetitivo 981, Min. Assusete Magalhães, 1ª Seção.

4 STJ. REsp 1.692.023; REsp 1.699.851; EREsp 1.163.020, Tema Repetitivo 986, Min. Herman Benjamin, 1ª Seção.

5 STJ. REsp 1.638.772; REsp 1.624.297; REsp 1.629.001, Tema Repetitivo 994, Min. Regina Helena Costa, 1ª Seção.

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