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In Poland there is neither an internet portal nor an institution for employers responsible for monitoring the legislation process of regulations that determine the rules for business activity. At present employers  learn about changes in the law mainly from mass media or simply through the grapevine, usually with delay.

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“Rzeczpospolita”: The VAT carousel goes on and on


I intended to write an article full of legal minutiae on the intricacies of the VAT carousel. I wanted to express my honest indignation at the indolence of the tax authorities. Instead, I wrote a text which clearly shows  that both I and other entrepreneurs have had enough – writes the President of Employers of Poland Andrzej Malinowski.


Malinowski emphasizes that according to the Ministry of Finance Poland loses 40 bln PLN a year due to “VAT carousel” crimes. The decision makers in the ministry are fully responsible for this state of affairs, as they are setting the controllers on honest entrepreneurs, showing complete helplessness when it comes to those who are actually doing truly illegal businesses he assesses.


Gigantic VAT swindles are now the job of organized crime groups, who trade legal goods – only on paper and with a much lower risk  of being punished. And not because the Polish law does not penalize such actions, but because in this case the tax officials demonstrate staggering incompetence. Why? Because they do not have the time and skills required. They are insufficiently qualified. This is not only my subjective impressions – they are confirmed by independent control institutions, including the Supreme Audit Office remarks the President of Employers of Poland.


According to Malinowski, the superiors – knowing the extent of their employees’ incompetence  chose the simplest strategy and set officials on defenseless victims, in this case companies from the electronic and IT sectors.


“The Letter of Warning of the Ministries of Finance and Economy”  apparently addressed to entrepreneurs   is de facto a precise annual for tax controllers.


The list of the distinguishing features of unlawful transactions includes a.o. the following: “goods are offered in large quantities, the parties of goods are not divided, payments are short-term, the value of goods is high, goods are stored in a logistics centre, trade exchange is quick”. – I do not know about you, but for me the conclusion is simple:  every entrepreneur who runs a wholesale business in this country is a link in a chain of swindlers. This applies particularly to those who sell goods which quickly become old fashioned, as is the case with XXI century electronic devices writes the President of Employers of Poland.


– Those who are accused by the tax authorities may prove their innocence after an arduous and cost-consuming court procedure. What will they gain, if many of them do not survive? Legal services may cost hundreds of thousands – he points out.


The Treasury will also lose – entrepreneurs may seek compensation and the budget will not get money from PIT, CIT, VAT and ZUS contributions. Employers will join the ranks of the unemployed. – Long story short: in this case nobody wins – everybody loses, and the main objective of administration is to act for the common benefit –  assesses Malinowski.


What are the effects? The President of Employers of Poland reminds that in a recent interview with “Rzeczpospolita” Agnieszka Królikowska, General Tax Control Inspector, admitted that thus far no one has been convicted for organizing a “VAT carousel”.


– The letter that Employers of Poland wrote about this issue to PM Kopacz is a cry of despair. After all, she “listens, understands, helps”, as the election slogan goes. We may be naïve, but we still believe that by appealing for focusing tax controls on looking for organizers of actual VAT carousels, we will finally register a success in this regard. We still hope that with our help a logically coherent set of characteristics can be clearly expressed, which will help uncover and punish the perpetrators. If this does not help, praying would be the only thing left to do – concludes Malinowski.