Employers of Poland have gained new allies in their efforts to stop unlawful practices of tax authorities. The campaign is now supported by Lewiatan, ZPP (Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers) and the “Niepokonani 2012” association. On March 25th, a letter of intent was signed at a conference in the Polish Press Agency.
The meeting was opened was President of Employers of Poland Andrzej Malinowski. – I am very glad that we are sitting at the table together. I am also sad that we have to be here. Why? Because I would rather we met on merrier occasions. Meanwhile, it transpires that not for the first time the state – or more precisely the tax authorities – forces us to take up initiatives which, it would seem, should not be required in a democratic country – he said. – We are gathered here today to fight for the principle of the presumption of innocence – fundamental not only for taxpayers, but for all citizens. Today, twenty-five years after the transformations we are still living in a time when the state treats entrepreneurs, taxpayers – those who build this country and make it function – as criminals. For the Tax Office we are all – to a man –criminals! – he emphasized. – We would like to deprive the tax authorities of the right to get away with oppressing taxpayers. Yes – oppressing, there is no other way to describe their actions – he added.
Adam Gizicki of Niepokonani 2012 expressed his satisfaction that so many organizations decided to fight the tax authorities’ harmful practices. In his opinion, the Ministry of Finance has waged a war on taxpayers and entrepreneurs as it cannot deal with the deficit in the budget. – The Ministry tries to get money from law-abiding entrepreneurs by accusing them of fraud. Modus operandi of the tax authorities has been the same for years. All basic principles are glaringly violated. But in this war there will be no winners and the treasury will lose too, as it will have to pay compensation for unjustified lawsuits – he pointed out.
Cezary Kaźmierczak of ZPP was clear with regards to the bad state of the Polish tax system. – The very fact that the president sees fit to take care of tax law is unprecedented and shows where we are and the gravity of the situation – he stated. – The Ministry of Finances has started a spiral of hysteria regarding this amendment. The Ministry elaborate a position on the amendment and sent it to the government as a draft in early February – Minister Cichoń did not find it appropriate to mention this at the meeting of a parliamentary committee on February 17th. A month later, he was still praising the presidential draft, while failing to mention that he has reviewed it very negatively. Minister Szczurek declares himself a supporter of the amendment. If so, why don’t they pass it? I think that the Ministry is trying to maintain its right to decide who is and is not a criminal – he said harshly.
Jeremi Mordasewicz of Lewiatan underlined another dangerous aspect of the Ministry’s action aimed at dismissing the presidential amendment. – Media speculates that if we resolve ambiguities in favour of taxpayer, we resolve them against the society. Presenting the issue in this manner violates the foundations of our political and economic system. If we believe we can put pressure on individuals in dubious situations, because we are effectively acting in society’s interest in increasing budget income, then we are undermining the trust in state institutions – he explained.
Participants signed a letter of intent, declaring the willingness to cooperate on getting the Sejm to pass the amendment.