Secretary of State for Tax Affairs António Mendonça Mendes said in an interview with Lusa that it is "expected" that IRS refunds will begin to be processed earlier this year.
IRS refunds to be faster in 2021
Last year, the first refunds were processed on April 21, 21 days after the start of the IRS annual return submission campaign, a longer period than recorded in previous years, but one that Mendonça Mendes considers to have reflected the "appropriate speed for the moment", i.e. the fact that the country was then facing its first general lockdown.
This year, he acknowledges that the context is "similar" to that of last year, but in his opinion there is a big difference. An accumulated experience that in 2020 did not exist, notably with regard to the fact that a significant proportion oftax authorities (AT) are carrying out their teleworking duties due to restrictions imposed by the need to contain the covid-19 pandemic.
Last year, when the final preparations for the IRS campaign coincided exactly with the start of containment, it was normal for us to be more cautious about how we proceeded with IRS liquidations," said the government official. Recalling that this not only results in refunds, but also payments or cancellations of invoices. Despite the conditions, the tributary authority managed to make the liquidations well ahead of the legal deadline (the law sets August 31).
Given that the IRS refund is the result of the sum of withholdings and deductions from taxpayers' collections, António Mendonça Mendes pointed out that in recent years the government has sought to reflect political decisions in the withholding tables.
The aim is for withholding tax to be increasingly close to what is due, and for refunds to occur more than they do, or for municipal tax benefits or deductions not to result correctly from any excess withholding that may exist.
Given the accuracy of withholding tax tables in 2020, the average refund could be lower this year.
Launched with the State Budget for 2020 (OE2020), the IRS Jeunesse will be reflected for the first time in the annual income tax return (IRS) to be submitted this year, the deadline for which begins this Thursday April 1st and ends on June 30.