All ambiguities in the tax procedures should be resolved in favour of the taxpayer. The example of the destruction of two companies – Zakłady Magnezytowe Ropczyce and Odlewnie Polskie in Starachowice – who have successfully overcome problems resulting from the use of currency options, but now have to deal with claims by UKS (Tax Control Office) that it is owed money, is a perfect illustration of why this principle HAS to be adopted before the end of this term.
On Monday April 27th, President of Employers of Poland sent an open letter to Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, urging her to pass the amendments to the tax Ordinance drafted by President Bronisław Komorowski. “Today, more than 70 percent of state budget is generated by small and medium companies. At the same time, these very companies most often do not use professional legal advice and the services of tax advisers, which would enable them to adopt so-called “tax optimization”, that is to pay lower tax. Such employers are most often the victims of tax control authorities” – he writes.
In decisions regarding currency options, tax authorities repeat one phrase over and over like a mantra: “Negative financial consequences of taxpayers’ decision to pay currency options cannot be borne by the Treasury”. However, the problem is that those who bought the options were not aware of the full extent of the risk they took when they acquired them. Due to the non-implementation of the MIFID directive, banks did not inform clients comprehensively of the risk, could freely select financial instruments and the freedom to choose which information to present and what to recommend.
It should be stressed that all financial prognoses (including those made by the government) in 2007-2008 suggested a “long-term trend of strengthening the złoty”. No one, including the main state institutions and the NBP, predicted such a radical change in currency rates.
Taxpayers should have the same margin of error as the state. – The state has to collect taxes and not treat the money as loot. Sometimes, I am under the impression that not all officials understand this – said Ewa Kopacz. The cases described above clearly show that her message did not get through to all officials of the tax authorities. The time it will take the special commission by the Ministry of Finance to elaborate guidelines for changes in Tax Ordinance is estimated for two years. How many jobs will Poland lose in that time? Employers of Poland urge the decision makers to pass the changes drafted by President Komorowski as soon as possible.
The letter is available here.