The codification and simplification of tax regulations were the main topics discussed at a meeting in the headquarters of Employers of Poland. The event was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Finance – Deputy Director of the Value Added Tax Department Beta Rogowska-Rajda and Deputy Director of the Tax Policy Department Włodzimierz Gurba.
In his opening statement, Robert Oliwa, Chairman of the Tax Committee stressed that even though the Committee has been active for a relatively short time – less than a year – it has already had its first successes in influencing the legislative process. – I am very happy that we are building trust and the Ministry of Finance takes our suggestions into consideration – Oliwa said.
Włodzimierz Gurba presented the main guidelines of works with a view to simplifying tax law. – We start with the foundation, that is Tax Ordinance. With this in mind, probably for the first time in history, a Coordination Committee with 15 members will be established at the Ministry of Finance, which will include representatives of business and science – said director Gurba. In his opinion, the works of the committee will lead to a compromise on most contentious issues. In the next 4 months, a public debate with public hearings is to be conducted. – if it turns out that our propositions are fully accepted, works on translating them to a concrete draft of an act – added Włodzimierz Gurba.
Another initiative of the Ministry of Finance is to establish a Consultation Council for tax law. Its role will be to review regulations deemed problematic by business circles and suggesting appropriate amendments. A representative of Employers of Poland will be among members of this body. The works should result in a wide-ranging amendment of tax law. However, director Grub stressed that while works have already been underway for two years, one should not expect the ministry to act hastily. – We are not concerned with speed, but with quality – he added.
A change in practices regarding VAT return was an issue of particular interest. Information presented by the Ministry shows that in 2013 it returned over 80 bln PLN due to this mechanism. Less than 1 percent of these returns were verified and the total value of questioned returns amounted to 500 mln PLN. – The ministry is working to improve the verification system. Its pillar is the minister’s directive stating that the tax authority may only suspend the return of the questionable part of VAT and not the entire sum, as has often been the case before – Włodzimierz Gurba explained. – Suspending the return should be justified as soon as possible – he concluded.
Mariusz Cieśla PhD, representing the National Council of Tax Advisers, expressed doubt whether the Ministry could elaborate mechanisms facilitating the return and verification procedures.
The participants were also concerned with the idea of substituting individual interpretations with general ones. – Officials cannot continue to issue ca. 36 000 individual interpretations per year which are individual only nominally, as they overlap in many regards – stated Gurba. – For this reason we want to substitute them with formalized general interpretations issued by the minister of finance.
The Financial Platform associates the most important companies and institutions on the Polish financial market. Its meetings are attended by representatives of banks, insurance and consulting companies, as well as associations of financial industry institutions. It is chaired by Iwona Sroka, Vicepresident of Employers of Poland, Chairwoman of KDPW.