– We do not want any privileges, but we demand that the rule that irresolvable tax doubts are always interpreted in favour of the taxpayer, which in Europe is considered a standard, is also finally introduced in Poland – says Andrzej Malinowski, the President of Employers of Poland.
On 27 April, Employers of Poland addressed to Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz an open letter regarding the introduction of changes to the tax ordinance, which were originally proposed by President Bronislaw Komorowski, in the current parliamentary term. The changes involve the introduction of the rule that any interpretational disputes between the taxpayers and the tax officials should always be ruled in favour of the former. Unfortunately, what we have in Poland is quite the opposite – and this is the reason for the campaign “Wyrwij fiskusowi bat”, through which Employers of Poland want to support the initiative of the head of state.
– For the last 25 years we have seen how the Polish tax office treats companies which today constitute 70% of GDP. It behaves towards them like a medieval tax collector who loots citizens not caring about the consequences – points out Andrzej Malinowski. The President of Employers of Poland emphasizes that it is unacceptable when , on one hand, the Minister of Finance spends huge amounts on creating new workplaces but, one the other, his own people with ease make decisions that result in the bankruptcy of well prospering companies, which in turn leads to many people being laid off. – The taxpayer cannot be treated like a villain! And the worst is that the very same state that represses its citizens has also created unclear regulations which now it uses as a beating stick.
One of the latest examples is the case of Zakłady Magnezytowe “ROPCZYCE” S.A. (a company producing refractory materials) and Odlewnie Polskie (a Polish foundry) from Starachowice. Both companies were the victims of the “currency option tsunami” a few years ago. They managed to settle down with the creditors, pay off their debts and survive. There were also prospects for growth. However, one problem appeared: just before the expiration of the period when tax claims could be vindicated, tax officials knocked on the companies’ doors and undermined the legitimacy of tax settlements from previous years demanding multimillion payments with interest.
– Last year in December we paid the last installment of option liabilities and we had prospects to be out of the woods. And now the tax office issues a ruling that will be the nail in our coffin – as if their goal was to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs – says Robert Duszkiewicz, the Vice-president of Zakłady Magnezytowe. He also points out the fact that his company directly employs more than 800 workers. Companies from the business environment hire another 2.5 thousand people. Since 2008 he has paid to the budget more than 200m PLN in all sorts of levies. Half of the production is exported – and now the state wants to tax our loses. The state itself has not fulfilled its obligation by not passing on time the directives which could have shielded us from the danger.
Odlewnie Polskie is in a similar situation – we were also affected by the “option tsunami”, we also settled down with the creditors and we started to do well. And the state puts the skids under us as well, demanding overdue tax – says Leszek Walczyk, the Vice-president of Odlewnie Polskie.
Andrzej Malinowski emphasizes that this situation is unacceptable. This is why we appealed to Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz to introduce the President’s proposals to the tax ordinance. – On one hand. The Prime Minister agrees that the ordinance needs to be changed, but on the other, her civil servants are doing everything to postpone the changes that favour the taxpayer. However, entrepreneurs need them immediately so that the tax office bureaucrats, who lack common sense and the ability to think logically, stop destroying companies and depriving people of their jobs. It cannot be that entrepreneurs, instead of competing within the market, have to concentrate on fighting with state officials. The society has run out of patience – sums up the President of Employers of Poland.