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”Rzeczpospolita”: I pay taxes, I am a patriot


Partnership between the state and business, transparent regulations and raising awareness of the need to support Polish economy are the main pillars of tax patriotism among Polish companies. Such are the conclusions of a discussion held within the framework of the Polish Business Patriotism Index, organized by “Rzeczpospolita” and the Economic Patriotism Foundation.


As indicated by research commissioned by Ceneo, for half of Polish internet users a Polish product means a product created by an entity registered in Poland and paying its taxes here. However, such a patriotic stance is hard to achieve. Maciej Stańczuk, Vicepresident of Employers of Poland, remarked that patriotism was not only buying domestically-produced goods and paying taxes, but also an appropriate policy of supporting entrepreneurs regardless of the country of origin of their capital. He stressed that denying the role of foreign entrepreneurs is against Poland’s interests as it makes its economy counterproductive.


Deputy PM and Minister of Science and Higher Education Jarosław Gowin emphasized that not only entrepreneurs should be patriotic – the state should too. – Everyone would be more willing to pay taxes if they did not see instances where the state senselessly spends our money. I say that as a minister and taxpayer, who would want tax money to be spent appropriately – Gowin remarked.


Participants agreed that the complicated nature of the Polish tax system has a detrimental impact on its efficiency. As pointed out by Maciej Stańczuk, the VAT deficit created by low tax collection rates in 2014 was as much as 53 bln PLN – almost equaling the value of the budgetary deficit for 2016. In the case of CIT, the deficit was ca. 46 bln PLN. – Currently, 25 percent of VAT is not collected – this rate has a tendency to grow. The European average is ca. 10-11 percent – he said.


Stańczuk added that investments depend on savings. – A low savings rate is one of the causes of a low investment rate. Strengthening export is a way to improve the macroeconomic situation – he argued.


Participants agreed that the importance of the efficiency of the tax system has to be emphasized. Experts pointed out that tax patriotism could be based on solutions used in other countries. Maciej Stańczuk used the example of the  digital VAT evidencing system which has proven its merits in Czech Republic and  Slovakia. – If we manage to implement it fairly swiftly, I suppose we could see and improvement in the VAT collection rate within two to three years – he said.