Simpler taxes? What awaits in 2020?

We have already got used to numerous, often surprising changes in Polish tax regulations. Their direction is clear — the newly introduced regulations are primarily to seal the tax system. At the same time, attempts are made to reduce bureaucracy through computerisation, automation and simplifying settlements. However, from the entrepreneurs’ point of view, it may mean that additional time has to be devoted to new administrative and reporting duties today.

Need an example? Although sending VAT returns will become a discontinued practice this year, taxpayers will have to face new rules of keeping tax records, which in turn will complicate the process of sending JPK files (Polish equivalent of SAF-T files), which were to replace the returns, to the offices.

In order to avoid negative tax consequences, taxpayers must also, from January onwards, in many cases, verify whether their counterparty’s account to which they make the payments is included on the so-called “white list” of VAT taxpayers. Additionally, while making payments for services and goods defined by the legislator as “sensitive”, in the case of larger transactions (over PLN 15 thousand), the buyer is obliged to divide the payment into two parts: the net amount and the VAT amount, and pay them into two separate bank accounts.

Of course, that is not all the accountants have to worry about. The relatively recently introduced regulations on CIT calculations (the principle of two sources of revenue and the limitation of the possibility to include financing costs and the costs of external services in the tax result) are still very difficult to interpret. What is more, this year, further changes in the collection of tax on cross-border payments that have been announced for a long time await us. The subject of mandatory disclosure of the so-called “tax schemes” to the tax authorities by entrepreneurs is also causing significant substantive and technical difficulties.

According to specialists from the American think tank Tax Foundation, a Polish entrepreneur has to spend 172 hours a year only on handling VAT duties which ranks us 36th (last) among OECD member countries. Moreover, in the latest global ranking “Paying Taxes” prepared by PwC and the World Bank, referring to the level of complexity of the tax system, Poland ranked 77th. Given the changes referred to above, it is doubtful that we will move up in these rankings this year.

author: Andrzej Pietrasik, Head of Tax Services, VISTRA

Last Updated on October 28, 2020 by Łukasz