New regulations effective as of 1 May 2021
Starting from the 1st of May 2021, new Penal Fiscal Code provisions have been introduced aimed at expediting and partially streamlining tax offence cases. Owing to those new regulations, proceedings will be carried out faster, on a penalty notice basis, without the need to involve any entities of a penal nature. With reference to the above, the solutions described in the article are aimed at providing equal market opportunities for entrepreneurs by simplifying the processes connected with running a business, and correspondingly, making them more difficult to operate within the so-called gray zone.
Excise Package for honest entrepreneurs
The most important provisions of the Excise Package include the following:
- Extending the grounds for refusal to issue and revoke excise tax permits and the grounds for refusal to make an entry into the register of tobacco sale intermediaries (as well as for the removal from that register) in order to avoid situations where persons who are authorized to manage the activities of such entities act as strawpersons or, in other words - individuals with no obligation to file taxes.
- updating the information on the institution of Binding Excise Information (BEI), responsible mainly for increasing content-related supervision over the issued BEI decisions, conducting adequate control when applying BEI (e.g., implementation of the binding force of BEI in respect of an entity to which the introduction of the validity of BEI was issued for a period of 5 years from its issuance date together with the possibility of extending this period upon request of the BEI holding entity), determination of the entities that are eligible to apply for BEI.
- restricting the catalog of personal data of final coal buyers (who are on the list of entities entitled to receive the coal allowance) provided by the seller of coal products as well as by the final coal buyer through a statement declaration concerning the purchased coal products for excise tax exemption purposes. This process effectively cancels out the over-intensive intrusion into the privacy of the persons whom such data concerns (the requirement of presenting an ID card number has been eliminated, provided that the buyer of coal products has been assigned a PESEL no.).
- The record-keeping requirement for natural persons (individuals) who produce electricity by means of generators with a combined capacity of 1MW or less has been removed.
- In order to better secure the state budget, as of 1 May 2021 an amendment was introduced to the Fiscal Penal Code, concerning an increase in the upper limit for applying penalties in the form of imprisonment, inclusion of acts which thus far have not constituted a fiscal offence (within the scope of trading in excise goods in a way that is not compliant with the provisions of the Excise Duty Act), and an increase in the upper fine limit in the penalty notice procedures for committed fiscal offences.
Legalization of novel products and electronic cigarette liquid.
The newest changes in regulations include all novel products and electronic cigarette liquid intended for sale. They must contain a tax or legalization excise mark.
Confirming excise goods lists
Starting from 1 May 2021, Heads of Customs and Fiscal Offices will assume the positions of persons responsible for confirming the lists of excise goods subject to legalization excise marking. Thus far the above-mentioned procedures had been carried out by Heads of the Tax Offices in charge of excise tax marking. Therefore, the new regulation will help eliminate the majority of problems connected with confirming the excise goods lists, and consequently - facilitate running a business.
Changes in the Penal Fiscal Code
Thanks to the entry into force, as of 1 May 2021, of the new regulations, a greater number of tax offences can be resolved on a penalty notice basis. Simplifying this procedure will consist in avoiding the need to provide the court with an indictment in cases where the fine that the offender faces exceeds the maximum fine that can be imposed by means of a penalty notice. This means that cases can be resolved through a one-time encounter between the tax offender and the relevant state authorities.
The possibility of the offender not accepting a penalty notice is another aspect concerning the changes in the PF Code. Should that be the case, further proceedings will take place in court. The offender’s acceptance and admission of the fiscal offence is a prerequisite for imposing the penalty notice (fine).
With reference to the above, the amendment to Article 48 § 2 of the Fiscal Penal Code (FPC) will increase the upper limit of the fine imposed by way of a penalty notice for a fiscal offence. As a result, as of 1 May 2021, regulations specifying a minimum fine of PLN 280,00 came into force, while the highest possible fine was set at PLN 14,000, which amounts to five times the minimum wage. The upper limit of the fine may apply mainly to smugglers and traffickers of illegal excise goods or cash smugglers across the borders of the European Union, at the moment when, in opposition to the established law, they fail to report a transport across the border in an amount exceeding the equivalent of EUR 10 thousand. What is also important to note is that the upper limit of the fine will not affect fines for minor tax offences, such as late filing of personal income tax returns.
08 July, 2021