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Poland: Poland overhauls structure of fiscal administration

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Alicja Sarna

Fiscal administration in Poland will face major changes in its structure and organisation from March 1 when the new law on National Fiscal Administration enters into force.

The main objective of the new regulations is, as its justifications says, to reduce tax fraud, improve collectability of taxes and customs duties, reduce the costs of treasury administration with respect to the amount of government revenue obtained and adjust tax administration to the conditions of cooperation with the tax administration of EU member states.

Governmental tax and customs administration operate separately, and tax competencies are divided between the tax administration and fiscal control unit. From March 1 all these sections will become combined. The law will also limit the role of the finance minister with respect to taxes. His responsibilities will be taken over mostly by the chief of the new administration, i.e. the head of the National Fiscal Administration, who will perform the functions that are now carried out by the Head of the Customs Service, General Inspector of Treasury Control and General Inspector of Financial Information. Additionally, the Minister of Finance will issue general tax rulings (i.e. rulings not addressed to an individual taxpayer).

The newly established Director of the National Fiscal Information will take over responsibilities regarding, i.e. issuance of the individual tax rulings and processing reliable tax and customs information.

The head of the tax and customs office will perform a role similar to the directors of fiscal control offices and heads of customs offices, who are responsible for tax and customs control, as well as establishing and determining levies and placing goods under customs procedures.

The head of the tax office, just as before, will have the primary role in the collection of levies and enforcement of debts while the director of the fiscal administration chamber will supervise both authorities at the first instance.

The new law also provides for standardisation of tax proceedings, including:

  • Tax and customs control, which will replace fiscal control proceedings and will verify whether regulations are complied through an analysis of declared tax bases and the correctness of tax settlements – the decision issued as a result of such controls can be challenged by appealing to the same authority;

  • Audit and audit activities (so far carried out by treasury control institutions);

  • Official verifications (so far carried out by the customs services); and

  • Regulations concerning tax controls performed by the head of the tax office and tax proceedings will remain unchanged.

In certain situations, the National Fiscal Administration will be also responsible for investigating, preventing, detecting and prosecuting given crimes i.e. document fraud, intellectual fraud, using documents with false information and intellectual fraud; deceit; organised crime and participation in an organised criminal group.

Alicja Sarna (alicja.sarna@mddp.pl)

MDDP, Poland

Tel: +48 (22) 322 68 88

Website: www.mddp.pl

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