The Supreme Administrative Court (NSA) has announced the ruling in the widely commented case of Stanisław Kujawa. In doing so, it provided entrepreneurs with a new defense instrument against mindless officials of the tax authorities. NSA has decided that tax authorities cannot pester companies with controls forever and that they should make a ruling within two months even in the more complicated cases.
In the ruling referring to the case of Stanisław Kujawa’s, whose company was destroyed by the Tax Control Office in Lublin, the NSA has clearly taken the side of the entrepreneurs. It has also fully corroborated the earlier ruling made the Regional Administrative Court in Lublin, which already thoroughly criticized the director of the office in question in its ruling from last June. The office took 30 to control Kujawa’s company. The court ruled that the office had not only been indolent and guilty of a glaring abuse, but had also violated the law.
– The tax organ has the right to control taxpayers. However, it should act quickly, effectively and without unnecessary tardiness. Unjustified prolonging of the control is unacceptable – explains judge Artur Mudrecki. NSA is of the opinion that the tax office cannot prolong control procedures if it is not able to say when they will be finished and why they are needed.
According to Kujawa, this ruling is a breakthrough. – It is important not only for me, but for thousands of entrepreneurs who have similar problems with the tax authorities as well. This is a clear signal that the administration cannot treat entrepreneurs like that – he comments.
His case is special in that, in a way, he brought the problems on himself and was the whistleblower of sorts. Not only that, he also cooperated with the tax authorities and provided relevant documents – all in order to close the procedure as quickly as possible. However, the controls destroyed him.
The case stretches all the way back to 2011. Kujawa, who was trading digital equipment, realized that some of his employees have been guilty of misconduct in VAT payment. As a law-abiding citizen he resolved to do what the law dictated – he filed a relevant correction to his tax report and notified the Tax Office of what had happened. This is when it all started. The tax authorities put him under a siege of control procedures. The mechanism was always the same: control, suspension of tax returns, blocking accounts and further controls. Procedures extended over and over again. All this to find a proof of his dishonesty. As a result, a prosperous company with an annual income of 330 mln PLN was destroyed, its owner left without his assets and 180 employees lost their jobs.
The ruling in Stanisław Kujawa’s case could trigger an avalanche of similar complaints. He comments this briefly. – It would be good if that were the case. Officials need a wake-up call. Maybe they will finally understand that they are not allowed to do whatever they please. This is a light in the darkness of administrative lawlessness with which we are faced in Poland – he says.