Starting January 1st 2016, the biggest taxpayers in Poland were supposed to be served by a single specialized tax office. However, as it transpires the reform will not be completed before the deadline specified in the relevant act. At the same time, taxpayers hope that the Ministry of Finance decides not to go ahead with the establishment of the so-called “super office”, as the reform would have many negative effects.
On December 3rd 2015, the draft of an amendment according to which some of the changes included in the tax administration act would come into force on July 1st 2016, prepared by MPs, was sent to Sejm. This change of date would also apply to the establishment of a specialized tax office relevant for the biggest taxpayers.
Employers of Poland have repeatedly emphasized that contrary to the intentions of the act, some of the solutions contained therein may prove harmful for taxpayers. If the “super office” is based in Warsaw, entrepreneurs may be forced – against their will – to move parts of their business operations there. Such a development would also surely have a negative impact on local markets, as many entrepreneurs use legal, bookkeeping and financial advisory services provided by trusted specialists in the regions were they are based. Local markets would be faced with losses and a significant capital drain should the entrepreneurs in question decide to use such services in the capital.
Moreover, Employers of Poland have indicated that this solution may be in conflict with the Tax Ordinance. When working on the tax administration act, the regulation on summons was not taken into consideration. It states that the person summoned is obliged to appear only within the borders of his/her voivodeship of residence.
Explanations provided by the Ministry of Finance suggest that this problem could be solved by making the centralized office subject to the regulation stating that in extraordinary cases the obligation to appear in person is extended beyond the limits of one’s voivodeship of residence. It should, however, be clearly stated that the aforementioned mechanism applies to extraordinary cases only.
In light of the above, it should be concluded that the tax administration reform should be conducted in a manner ensuring that no additional burdensome obligations are imposed on taxpayers. The Ministry of Finance should prioritize a change in its aggressive fiscal policy – a policy which is flagrantly harmful for entrepreneurship growth and is an obstacle to its development. The first thing to be changed should be the administration’s attitude towards entrepreneurs, so that law-abiding taxpayers are no longer victims of officials’ harmful decisions.
The Tax Committee of Employers of Poland