Jerónimo Martins owes State €32M
Jerónimo Martins, the owner of the Pingo Doce supermarkets in Portugal says it will contest a tax bill of €32 million that the State says is outstanding and harks back to as far as 2012.
The payment refers to the food security tax charged to supermarkets and hypermarkets which it has fought successively through the courts since the tax was introduced a decade ago.
Introduced in 2012, the Extraordinary Food Security Tax was created to finance official cost controls for crop protection, animal health welfare and food safety.
The amount is calculated according to the food court areas in supermarkets, corresponding to €7 per square metre.
It is applied to establishments that have more than 2,000m2 or belong to companies or groups that nationally have an accumulated area equal to or more than 6,000m2.
Since it was created, the tax has been contested by Jerónimo Martins and, according to the latest data from the company’s half-year accounts, has accumulated to €32 million.
“The Directorate-General of Food and Veterinary Affairs is seeking from Pingo Doce, Recheio and Hussel the amount of €29 million, €3 million, and €0.06 million respectively, corresponding to the liquidation of the tax (Taxa de Segurança Alimentar Mais (TSAM)) and covering the years 2012-2023.”
Hitting back, the group led by Pedro Soares Santos states: “Despite decisions having been made that the tax is not unconstitutional, the group’s companies maintain their position, having presented appeals to the Constitutional Court, which has upheld its decision”.
“However, the group has presented a complaint to the European Commission because the tax is, in its understanding, an “illegal State aid”.
In 10 years to 2021, the TSAM tax has brought in around €73 million to State coffers.