The “Polish Deal” legislative package now processed in the Sejm includes a proposal to amend the Fiscal Penal Code (“FPC”), specifically its Article 16a providing for leniency for tax offenders who have duly adjusted their tax returns and paid the amount of the public revenue loss they have caused or threatened to cause.

The proposed changes are as follows:

1. The law will be extended to apply also to books

Currently this law applies only to adjustments to returns. After the change, it will also apply to adjustment to books.

By Article 53(21) FPC, books include: 1) books of account, 2) the tax books of revenues and expenditures, 3) records, 4) registers, and any similar recordkeeping devices, including cash tills, which are required by law to be maintained.

In accordance with the explanatory memorandum, the change is designed to extend this law also to JPK VAT filings submitted as a single file comprising two parts: the return and the record, which is intended to remove the previous punishability inconsistencies between returns non-compliance and records non-compliance.

2. Restricted options to escape liability for fiscal crime or misdemeanour

Another change is that, by Article 16a(3) FPC, a person will be punished for a fiscal crime or misdemeanour if, before the adjustment to the return or record is submitted, criminal prosecution involving the fiscal crime or misdemeanour has been launched or this fiscal crime or misdemeanour has been revealed in course of a pending criminal prosecution.

Once the change takes effect, the time when the adjustment is filed will be all-important. If it is filed after commencement of the prosecution, then the person will not escape FPC liability. The same will happen if the fiscal crime or misdemeanour is revealed during the prosecution.

The draft had its first reading in the Sejm on 17 Sep 2021. The Public Finances Committee’s report on the draft (paper no. 1597) was delivered on 28 Sep 2021.

We will keep you up-to-date with the progress of this legislation.

If this issue pertains to your business and you are interested in our assistance, please contact us.

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