Poland – Bill amending VAT Law to combat VAT fraud under public consultation

On 23 September 2016, the Minister of Finance released for consultation a draft Bill amending the VAT Law of 11 March 2004 (Ustawa o podatku od towarów i usług). Most of the proposed amendments are aimed at curbing VAT fraud.

The scope of the reverse charge mechanism in domestic transactions would be broadened to cover numerous construction services supplied (by subcontractors) between taxable persons and supplies of certain new categories of goods (mostly unprocessed gold and silver).

Rules regarding refunds of excess input VAT would be changed. Excess input VAT would be refunded within 60 days (subject to postponement) from the date of filing a tax settlement. A taxpayer would be allowed to apply for a refund within 25 days when, inter alia, excess input VAT results from invoices where the amount due had been fully paid by bank transfer or the amount of excess input VAT is small (PLN 15,000). Certain further conditions would apply, such as a lack of tax arrears exceeding PLN 20,000 within 2 years preceding the application.

Registration of entities for VAT purposes would be made dependent on meeting new requirements. A warranty deposit would have to be lodged, among others, by those who had tax arrears exceeding PLN 20,000 or had earlier been deregistered. The amount of the deposit would range from PLN 20,000 to PLN 200,000. Moreover, registration might be denied if contacting an entity wishing to register was impossible.

The currently available option to file quarterly VAT returns would be eliminated. Only small taxable persons would still file their returns quarterly.

An additional tax liability would be introduced at the rate of 30% or 100% (the higher rate applicable to blank invoices). This rate would apply to the difference between the declared amount and the amount of tax liability.

The registration threshold would be increased from PLN 150,000 to PLN 200,000.

The proposal also aims at implementing the judgment of the Court of Justice in Minister Finansów v. Aspiro SA, formerly BRE Ubezpieczenia sp. z o.o. (Case C-40/15) by eliminating an exemption from VAT currently applicable to auxiliary services in the financial and insurance sectors.

The proposed changes are scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2017.

Source: ibfd.org

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