Revenue clamps down on 241 thousand MEIs in default; debts add up to BRL 326 million

Having a CNPJ, issuing an invoice, leaving informality, being entitled to INSS retirement… the advantages of being an Individual Microentrepreneur (MEI) are many, but they come with commitments that need to be honored. Every month, for example, the taxpayer has to issue the Simples Nacional Collection Document (DAS) and pay taxes. Those who do not do this will be left with debt and, if they do not bear the responsibilities until tomorrow (31), they will have a lot of headaches.

That’s what the IRS promises. As of September, the debts calculated will be sent for registration in the active debts of the union, states or municipalities. All this, because the taxes paid by the MEI – which can vary from R$ 56 to R$ 61 depending on the branch – are destined to the federal sphere – for the National Institute of Social Security (INSS), which pays the pension -, municipal or state, which pay, respectively, taxes on Services (ISS) and on Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS)

Most of this slice, R$ 55 in total, is allocated monthly to the INSS. And that’s where the debt can get bigger if the debts aren’t paid off regularly. The Revenue says that the social security debt will be forwarded to the Attorney General of the National Treasury (PGFN) for registration in Active Debt of the Union, with an increase of 20% as charges.

“From then on, people will have to resolve this pending issue with the PGFN, which normally establishes a collection schedule. It can make, for example, a collection without a tax foreclosure, but with an increase in debts. And if the person does not pay under the Attorney’s Office, then he goes to court collection”, explains the inspector of the Federal Revenue in Salvador, the fiscal auditor João Vicente Velloso Silva.

Therefore, it is important that the MEIs try to resolve their pending issues by tomorrow and thus avoid a more bureaucratic process. The debt related to ISS and ICMS will be transferred to the municipality or the state, also with additional charges. “This means that the payment will be made by the municipality or the state, in other words, the taxpayer will only have more difficulty. If he does everything until the 31st of August, he will only do it for one place, the Recipe”, advises João Vicente.

In addition to facing more bureaucracy and possible legal problems, MEI that does not pay its debts will be subject to other future consequences, such as, for example, not being insured by the INSS and losing social security benefits such as retirement, sick pay, among others; be excluded from the Simples Nacional and Simei regimes by the Federal Revenue, States and Municipalities; have difficulty obtaining financing and loans; among others.

Know how to settle the delayed MEI
1 – Check if you have debts on the Simples Nacional Portal or through the MEI app, available for Android or iOS cell phones. To access your account, use your digital certificate or passcode;
2 – If there are debts, you can generate the DAS and pay in cash;
3 – It is also possible to pay in up to 60 installments, with minimum installments of R$50. This can also be done online, selecting unpaid debts and issuing the DAS of the first installment;
4 – Do not forget to make the Simplified Annual Statement for the Individual Microentrepreneur (DASN-Simei), regarding the respective periods to be paid in installments;
5 – For more information, see the PGMEI Manual, the MEI Questions and Answers and the MEI Installment Manual.

Default in Bahia generates a loss of R$ 326 million
In Bahia, 241,000 MEIs are in default, generating a total debt of R$ 326 million, according to the Federal Revenue. This is registered at a time when the state sees the number of people choosing to be MEIs growing. In December 2020, there were 603 thousand micro-entrepreneurs from Bahia. In July 2021, that number jumped to 668,000, an increase of approximately 11%. It also means that 36% of MEIs are currently in default.

Read more: ‘Without leaving home’: entrepreneurs earn up to R$8,000 a month selling to neighbors

Although she struggled to pay bills regularly in the pandemic, saleswoman Denise Andrade, 38, managed to get regularized in time. “Earlier this year, I had some late payments. When I called to try to regularize, they told me to give priority to what was most late, because the more time passes, the greater the fine. Currently, thanks to God, I have everything up to date”, he celebrates. She makes a point of keeping herself regularized, as she enjoys the benefits of being MEI.

“It’s something that makes it much easier for people who undertake. I work with several brands and I have suppliers that only sell to those who have CNPJ. Even having a health plan is easier. I did the business and pay less than if it were a personal health plan. The difference is significant”, says the businesswoman, who sells cosmetics, bags, accessories and jewelry.

Even so, Denise knows that her reality is not the most common. “I have friends who stopped paying because they were tight and had to prioritize other bills, such as internet and energy, which are fundamental to our work. There are also those who simply failed to pay and are now worried because the debt is only increasing and becoming a snowball”, he says.

Denise has been MEI since 2018 (Photo: Paula Fróes/CORREIO)

Delegate João Vicente explains that when people no longer want to be MEIs, they need to close the registration and not simply stop paying. “Even when you are away from activities, if the MEI is open, you have to pay. When you pay, you earn social security benefits, you are entitled to a pension, sick pay. Besides, your CNPJ is valid even with the debts. It is not deactivated and you can continue issuing invoices, unless you close the MEI”, he says.

Read more: IBGE: Bahian trade grows in units and workers, but loses gross revenue

Couple had BRL 5,000 in debt as MEI
Sales consultant Gilvanete Bittencourt, 43, is living proof of the importance of paying attention to the charges generated by MEI. Her husband registered when he performed a service for a company that required CNPJ. “Then it turned out that it wasn’t necessary, he was employed as a CLT and forgot. Years passed and suddenly our bank accounts were blocked. The debt was already around R$ 5 thousand”, he reports.

This happened in 2019, the year the boy closed the MEI account and paid the debt in installments. “But when the pandemic came, we couldn’t keep paying the installments and I’m afraid they’ll block it again. I hope our financial situation improves by the end of the year so that we can regularize this”, he says.

Gilvanete herself was also MEI since 2016 and closed the CNPJ in 2019, as she was not in the habit of paying DAS monthly. Until today, its pending issues from that time have not been settled. “The priority is his debt, as we don’t want accounts blocked again. Unfortunately, most people, friends, neighbors, nobody knew that they had to pay monthly”, he laments.

Already the snack seller Rosangela Mangueira, 46, has the MEI active until today, but unable to make the payment. She has an unemployed daughter, another disabled child and even discovered a tumor in her uterus during the pandemic. She will undergo removal surgery in September.

“My luck was that, during this period, I managed to sell to neighbors, but the income is not the same as I used to get when it was for birthday parties, which decreased a lot with the pandemic. Last year, they even called me and made a deal, but I still couldn’t pay. I’ll wait for them to get in touch again this year with a better proposal”, account.

Snack seller Tania Santos de Assis, 46, also had the same difficulties in business during the pandemic, but she currently has only one ticket late. “It’s what won on August 20th and I intend to pay it this Monday (30th). I don’t want to start September with debts, because they (Federal Revenue) are on their toes”, he says.

Sebrae advises MEIs to have financial organization
If you are an Individual Microentrepreneur or want to become one, but have doubts or problems, it is better to seek help from someone who understands the subject. The Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae), for example, provides some services aimed exclusively at the category. “These are services, content, consultations and training, many of them free for MEI, and that it can take advantage of”, explains Fernanda Gretz, manager of the Individual Service Unit at Sebrae.

“We also guide the MEIs on the rights and duties they have. We carry out the formalization of the CNPJ, the write-off service, data change and the annual declaration. All together with the entrepreneur”, he reports. However, other services, such as debt settlement, are not performed at the institution.

“We do not carry out the installments or negotiation of debts at our agency. Yes, we can provide guidelines for him to resolve this directly with the Internal Revenue Service”, explains Fernanda.

For the manager, the entrepreneur must organize financially when becoming MEI, so that there is no accumulation of debt. “He needs to know the cost of being an MEI, which goes up to R$ 61 (per month) depending on the activity. It is a value that can be inserted into the company’s physical costs through the prices of sales or services offered. For this, it is important to know a little about sales price formation, which Sebrae can also help”, he says.

Becoming a MEI is recommended for people who want to get out of informality or start a business that has revenues of up to R$ 81,000 per year. “With this, the entrepreneur will have several social security and business benefits. Those who remain informal restrict their performance, either because they do not know the advantages of being MEI or because they are still testing some business idea and verifying in practice if there is a desired return”, he argues.

Questions and answers:

What happens to those who don’t get regularized?
Starting in September, the Federal Revenue will send the debts that are irregular for registration in the Active Debt of the Union (DAU). This registered debt will incur in judicial collection and incurrence of interest and other legal charges.

How can the MEI know if you have debts?
The debts being charged can be searched on the Simples Nacional Portal or through the MEI app, available for Android or iOS cell phones.

Can I pay the debts in installments?
Yes. In up to 60 installments, with a minimum installment of R$50.

I have difficulties doing the procedure over the internet. What do I do?
It is possible to contact the Accounting and Fiscal Support Centers (NAF), a partnership between the Federal Revenue and higher education institutions. Here are the contact details of the NAFs located in Salvador:

NAF Unifacs – Instagram @naf.nupac.unifacs and email [email protected]

NAF Uninassau – Telephones 71 992806303 / 99232-1388; Instagram @naff.uninassausalvador; e-mail [email protected] Face-to-face service from September in Uninassau Pituba, address R. dos Maçons, 364 – Pituba, Salvador – BA, 41810-205. Date and time to be defined

NAF CAIRU – Instagram @naf_cairu and e-mail [email protected]

NAF UFBA – Telephone 71 987744822; Instagram @nafufba and email [email protected]

* With guidance from Chief Reporter Perla Ribeiro.