Secretaria da Receita Federal do Brasil

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The access to information and the provision of efficient public services are key measures in the process of improving contemporary democracies. In recent years a number of structuring actions have been implemented in a way that provides a more humanized, efficient public service, open to information and transparency in public management. Despite the efforts made and the advances achieved in the improvement of the public service, there are still, in the Brazilian context, great barriers that hinder the access to information and the achievement of universal and quality public services. Barriers that are not restricted to the economic issue, but also the social, cultural and educational difficulties. In the fiscal scope, access barriers are sometimes more pronounced, especially because of the complexity inherent to tax systems. At the same time that a part of the society has access to information and the hiring of specialized professionals, the less economically favored have difficulty to clarify their doubts or to petition through the official channels of the Tax Administrations, also facing difficulties of access to the accounting offices, which end up generating a real inequality in obtaining their rights and in the fulfillment of their duties. Often, the difficulty in complying with tax obligations by economic hardship entails, in addition to high levels of labor informality, the difficulties in complying with social security obligations and the existence of tax and cadastral issues that bring disruption to these citizens, often dependent on social programs that use the registers administered by the Receita Federal do Brasil - RFB, an agency of the direct administration linked to the Finance Ministry. Similar complexity was found in access to judicial provision for economically disadvantaged groups which, despite the possibility of access to the Public Defense, ended, due to access barriers, being unprotected in the recognition and defense of their rights. As a solution to this situation, the Law schools created the legal assistance centers (NPJ), which have as pillar of action the possibility of the citizen to defend or petition in court with the help of law students who, with the support of teachers, who act as supervisors, accompany the cause of the citizen. The success of the NPJ developed in the Law Schools, led the Receita Federal do Brasil to probe the possibility of encouraging the creation of practice centers in Accounting or Foreign Trade teaching institutions. These practice centers received the name of NAF - Accounting and Fiscal Support User Centers. In these user centers, citizens with economic hypersufficiency can rely on the assistance of students, supervised by teachers and trained by the RFB, to solve problems involving tax and social security issues.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
In recent years, Tax Administrations have sought to change the perception that citizens have regarding the fulfillment of their tax obligations. In general, the aim is to transform the tax administration paradigm, which changes from a purely fiscal perspective, in the case of noncompliance with the Fiscal obligation, for the provision of services and guidance, aiming to facilitate the compliance with tax rules. NAF is an action of the Faculties of Accounting Sciences , where, with the technical support of the Receita Federal do Brasil servants, the low income taxpayers, small entrepreneurs are aided in resolving their tax and Social security procedures. The students, who are responsible for the free service, are under the supervision of a teacher and the assistance is developed within a process of university professional practice, allowing the students to apply their knowledge, while reinforcing the idea of fiscal citizenship.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
NAF is an initiative that brings benefits to all involved: educational institutions, students, tax administrations and society. RFB participates in disseminating its fiscal and tax knowledge to students. Institutions of education increase involvement with society and provide Tax practice for its students. The students participate in the courses offered by the Receita Federal do Brasil, take fiscal assistance to the population and society, provided by students, complies with their mandatory and principal tax obligations. The main beneficiaries of the initiative are the citizens with lower purchasing power, as they expand their access to information, receive free accounting and tax assistance, get the chance to get out of economic informality and receive training in fiscal citizenship. In the 186 NAF implemented in Brazil, approximately 3,000 academics and 200 professors are currently involved. The Tax Administration does not exercise direct control over who participates in the initiative, but maintains a database, in the virtual platform used to train the students, with the contacts of the coordinating teachers of each use center to disseminate messages and exchange information. The result, in terms of relationship with society and impact on the media, is quite expressive. Since its inception in April 2011, NAF have spawned several videos on TV stations, numerous print and digital media releases, lectures at colleges, as well as participation in trade shows and events open to the public. The number of contributors served varies greatly from NAF to NAF and to the period of the year. At the time of delivery of the personal income tax return, NAF usually double the number of visits per week. Most interestingly, initiatives continue to be created. There are initiatives that serve nonprofit institutions. There are user centers that have modified regarding attendance ,rather than waiting for citizens at a certain time, students schedule support visits to unattended communities: illegal merchants, families of invaded condominiums, cadastral regularization of the elderly, among others.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
NAF can be considered innovative because it demonstrates a new way of acting of the Tax Administration. Changing its paradigms, the RFB starts adopting as principles and values the premise that non-compliance with tax obligations is not only a fraud, but lack of knowledge and the complexity of the liquidation technique. Such this position implies for the Tax Administration the need to offer greater support and assistance to the taxpayer. At the same time, it is believed that tax evasion derives from an inadequate socialization of ethical values, justice and solidarity, thus generating the need for Tax Administrations to encourage the development of tax education actions and the implementation of taxation mechanisms, fiscal transparency and access to information. In this context, tax administrations try to change their hermeneutic lens, turning the perception of fiscal hostility into friendship, assistance, guidance, dialogue and transparency. It is from this perspective that the NAF is considered an innovative and efficient model of interacting with the citizen in the pursue of the formation of his fiscal citizenship. The advantages are clear to all participants in the initiative. The community earns tha attention to its most basic issues.The RFB wins, as it fulfills its role in tax education and through the approximation and qualification of the accounting class. The Institution of Higher Education wins in three ways: through the formation of students, with the assistance of the RFB, for strengthening their image vis-à-vis the community where they belong, and Improvement in their assessment of the offcial authorities.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The project, in partnership with Institutes of Higher Education, is administered by the Federal Receita Federal do Brasil. The implementation has begun in 2011, in a regional way in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The pilot universities were Faculdades Integradas São Judas Tadeu, Instituto Cenecista de Ensino Superior de Santo Ângelo and Universidade do Ijuí. Then it was transferred to a national project of the Receita Federal do Brasil and was implemented in the other States of the Federation. In some states there is partnership with state and municipal level tax administrations, as well as institutions supporting tha small and microentrepreneurs such as Sebrae and accounting class entities. As a result of the national highlight of the NAF project, in 2013 international cooperation was established with the EUROsociAL Program to provide technical assistance by the Receita Federal do Brasil to the Latin American Tax and Education Administrations in order to assist them in the design and implementation of the NAF In their countries. The RFB calculates the number of 2.000.000 citizens, such as potential population size that can be achieved by the NAF initiative. Currently, based on information received from user centers, the estimated value is that about 5% of these people are already looking for the services of an NAF. Actions are being developed to promote and disseminate user centers to increase the percentage of people who know and use the service in an NAF
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
2011:The initiative has conceived in a regional manner, and its development took place only in Rio Grande do Sul. The work team carried out the implementation of 3 NAF. 2012: After the award of the NAF project in an internal competition of the RFB in 2011, the project was raised in 2012 at the national strategic level. A national work team was formed that established the general concept of the NAF and started the process of communication and assistance to the regional and local managers of the decentralized units of the RFB, with the objective of guiding them in the task of monitoring and the installation and development of the NAF In the Institutions of Higher Education of its circumscription. 2013: International cooperation was established with the EUROsociAL Program to provide technical assistance By the Internal Revenue Service to the Tax and Education Administrations of Latin America. Technical assistance was provided in Guatemala, Brazil and Peru for the following countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador. In the year 2013, 12 NAF were implemented in Brazil and 2 in other Latin American countries. 1 2014: Encouraging the creation of NAF and supporting its development have brought challenges to the RFB. It was necessary to transmit the idea of the NAF to the managers of the decentralized units and to assist them in the task of monitoring the installation and development of the NAF in the Higher Education Institutions. With this in mind, it was initiated the creation of a Referential to serve as a guide to support the actions of regional managers to better encourage and develop the creation of NAF in their regions..14 NAF were created in Brazil. In Latin America 26 NAF were created. From 2015: The advances obtained with the NAF made the RFB reanalyze the way the project was structured. It was necessary to increase the network of NAF representatives and to map each stage of the implantation, structuring and monitoring of the use centers The project was structured as follows: Administration of NAF follow-up actions; Capture of new use centers Assistance, provided by the RFB, for the universities to implant their use centers; Training of students. For the administration of NAF follow-up actions, we have 3 categories of RFB NAF representative: national level; Tax Regions level, Federal RFB Office level.Currently this network has 120 servants. Still on administration of actions: the monitoring of the virtual platform used for the training of the NAF students; control of the services provided through the four questionnaires to follow up the user centers; the national network created with the NAF coordinators of the Teaching Institutions; the way of disseminating the actions of the user centers through news, bulletins and reports. In order to attract new institutional partners, a protocol of intent was signed for the dissemination of the NAF to all State and Municipal Secretaries of Tax Administration. The training of the students was structured with an initial presencial course for NAF students consisting of classes on: Fiscal Education; Structure of the RFB; notions of Tax law and RFB Self-Service; lectures on various subjects related to RFB and the use of distance learning courses, which are available on the virtual platform used to train students. To implement and provide technical support to a NAF there is no need for many resources from RFB. Resources are limited to the supervision of the network of students and teachers that integrate the NAF, providing them with training and continuing education. Eventually, events for the recycling of these students and teachers are promoted. Until February 2017 186 NAF were installed in Brazil

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
All participants involved in the NAF contributed to its creation and to the administration of actions related to the initiative. There was participation of public servants. These civil servants are divided into three levels of action in the NAF initiative: national team, representatives of the ten tax regions of which the RFB and at least one representative of each of the local units of the Receita Federal do Brasil. The signing of a protocol of intent at X ENAT 2015 (meeting of federal, state and municipal tax administrations held annually in Brazil) for the dissemination of the NAF to all State and Municipal Secretaries of Tax Administration has increased the adhesion to the NAF project by states and municipalities. The initiative also counts on the participation ofo institutions with which the RFB signs the technical cooperation agreement for the creation of user centers, students of the courses in Accounting Sciences, Business Administration and Foreign Trade, organizations that provide services For small and microentrepreneurs and account class entities.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The NAF initiative has proven to be truly effective for everyone involved in the project. For the Tax Administration, the advantages can be summarized in:(I) increased spontaneous compliance with tax and customs obligations due to the dissemination of information and access to services;(II) reduction in the number of attendances in the RFB units in relation to demands that can be met by the NAF, as well as of several tax and customs litigation that can be avoided with adequate guidance;(III) strengthening of the institution's image vis-à-vis society. For the Universities the advantages involve:(IV) higher qualification of its student and teaching staff;(V) improvement in the image of the institution before the community in which Inserted. For the society, (VI) the citizen benefits from free access to guidelines and accounting and tax services in relation to which he or she would be deprived of knowledge and / or lack of to bear their costs. Still the following results stand out: · Reduction of the costs of access to services provided by the Tax Administration and social security benefits; · Reduction of economic informality; · Expansion of access to information; · Accounting and tax assistance to low-income people; · Generation of fiscal knowledge in the university scope; · Strengthening the practical training of students of accounting and foreign trade; · Formation of fiscal citizenship.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Difficulty in ensuring the implementation of NAF by the decentralized units of the RFB due to the lack of mandatory implementation of the initiative. Contour strategy: dissemination of the experience in the National and Regional Strategic Evaluation Meetings. Also, the positive impact of the Fiscal Education events was carried out, which integrate the list of strategic indicators of the RFB, in order to value and encourage the implementation of the NAF. Policy of containment of public expenses, with travel expenses limitation for shiftin servents, delay in schedule and unfeasibility of meetings. Contour strategy: use remote labor instruments to minimize travels expenses and adjust the project schedule to available resources. User center with students qualified to provide service, but does not appear the public to be attended. Contour strategy: Begin the NAF by serving students and staff of the university, so that they spread it to family and friends; Leave the folder with the hours of service and services provided in a NAF in the units of service of the RFB so that they can be distributed to the citizens; Set up itinerant centers in a shopping center; Publicize NAF events in the local press; Disclose the services provided and the hours of service on the RED NAF website; The coordinator works with students establishing a proactive care guideline: each student has a goal to observe, control and assist, for example, 10 small entrepreneurs or individuals with problems in their neighborhood or their work. The student collects the service, studies the case with the teacher or in a group, and then takes the response to the interested party.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The NAF initiative is something innovative in guiding and providing accounting and tax services to society. When students of Accounting Sciences meet free citizens who do not have access to an accounting office are taking citizenship to these people. There are cases that, because of a registry's inconsistency, the citizen can not receive his retirement or a medical service or receive medication provided at no cost by the government, and the NAF is a place where these inconsistencies can be solved. The NAF also brought to formality thousands of people who, for lack of knowledge or money, did not register their business, not having access to social security and banking systems for their activities, for example. There are examples of people who because of the formality have managed to expand their business. The NAF makes it possible for people with special needs to be able to purchase vehicles adapted with exemption from the tax on industrialized products. Each year, students providing services in a NAF, advise people on how to send their statements of Personal Income Tax, including the exemption guidance service for people with serious illnesses. The centers also provide guidance services for small rural producers and special insured persons, who are rural workers who produce in a family economy, without the use of wage labor, and the artisanal fisherman and the Indian who exercises rural activity, and the family members participating in production Each year the NAF increases the number of services provided to the community and responded to the needs of people, notably the poorest and more vulnerable.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
With the spread of fiscal education concepts, through the NAF initiative it has made it easier for people to hold the government accountable for public service delivery. The students' work with society helps citizens to understand that it points out the fundamental duty to pay taxes as the main duty of citizenship because if such a duty is evaded by the components of a society, the possibilities of realizing their rights will remain unfeasible. And as the next step after understanding that the social cost that will sustain fundamental rights must necessarily cross the question of the fundamental duties of payment of taxes to the State, the NAF also provides the citizen with understanding that he must follow the actions of the state in the provision of public services.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
No mechanisms have been employed to benefit women exclusively, but there are examples of several women who have benefited from the NAF initiative, both as students, as teachers and as citizens who has sought the service in an user center. A student who participated in an NAF and at that time worked as a bus ticket collector got an internship in accounting because of the recognition of services provided in an NAF. A teacher who excelled with NAF work was promoted to the director of a unit of the institution. And finally as an example of a citizen benefiting from the NAF, there is a case where an illiterate lady, a paper picker on the street, became ill and, since she did not know that she did not need to collect social security contributions while on medical leave, she continued to collect contribution. Upon learning that she could request restitution of the values, her husband sought a unit of the RFB, but failed to achieve its goal, because his wife did not have a bank account. She sought the services of a NAF and the students attempting to solve the issue completely, took a bank branch manager to her home while she was still ill. He collected her fingerprints, opened a bank account, and it was possible through NAF to obtain the reimbursement of social security contributions improperly collected.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Secretaria da Receita Federal do Brasil
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Antonio Baltazar
Title:   Head of Taxpayer Asistance and Taxpayer Education  
Telephone/ Fax:   +55 61 34129670
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   SHTN QD 6 BL J Sala 1001
Postal Code:   70070-917
City:   Brasília
State/Province:   Federal District

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