Last week I was asked to help out somebody who was in need of a translator, they had some paperwork they had to sort out at the ‘Finanças’ and felt they needed a helping hand. When they asked me, initial I cringed a little., but I said I would and met them the next day as planned.
Fortunately in São Brás de Alportel, we have a nifty little ‘finanças’ office, and there are no long waits. Never the less, just the bureaucracy is enough shatter your nerves, even when you do speak the language fluently.
It seemed straight forward enough. The gentleman had to fill out two ‘modelo 1 de IMI’ forms, so that he could inform them of his recently added swimming pool, and they can tax the hell out of him. However upon seeing the forms, I felt the alteration within my mind taking place, the one which questions reason and logic, or rather lack of it. A two page document using the most bazaar technical terms ( I am sure all of you who have property are familiar with it) which also came with two pages of instructions on how to fill out it out!
We filled some of the forms and the bits we were unsure of we asked the lady behind the counter, however she was not too forthcoming, then she informed us that the field ’Confrontações’ required the name of immediate, and not so immediate neighbours. She could not give us this information she said, and told us we had to go to the ‘Registo Predial’ , where the property was registered after its completion. Luckily we also have a nifty one of those offices in São Brás too So we went there, got that information and went back to the ‘Finanças’.
Unfortunately the gentleman did not have his deeds on him and needed some specifications of the land, to complete the form. We asked the lady if it was possible, seeing we were in the ‘Finanças’ and they have all these records on file, for her to pull the file and give us the required information. After a hard stare she said she could, but it would involve and extra cost. I asked her how much did they charge and her answer was, and I quote:
“7,8,9,10 or 11 euros.”
We just laughed and the gentleman just agreed to anything at this point. She gave us the information then when we thought all was well, she informed us that there were two other forms to fill out. These were much simpler though. They were closing and the gentleman had to check out the information on his deeds so we would have to return the next day with the necessary photocopies etc.
When we f finally handed in the forms, and photocopies, I asked the lady why the process was so bureaucratic and why they simply could not just ‘add’ the information onto the documents they already had, using the IT system.
That didn’t get me any where.
Just a last note to inform you all that the ‘Finanças ‘is now called AT – Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira. So if you get a letter with that letter head you know…:)