National Treasury Administration
Revolution within the Tax, Treasury and Customs Structures
Tax Alert 22/2016
On 21 October 2016 the lower chamber of the Polish parliament, the Sejm, passed a law on the National Treasury Administration (hereinafter: Law) and implementing provisions under which the Tax Administration Law of 10 July 2015 will cease to apply. Pursuant to the amendments introduced by the upper chamber of the Parliament, the Senate, on 3-4 November 2016, the law will take effect on 1 March 2017. The law is now awaiting approval by the Sejm.
General principles | Structure of the National Treasury Administration
Currently tax and customs administration operating within the central administration is scattered between three sectors: (i) tax administration, (ii) treasury control and (iii) Customs Service.
The law provides for replacing the current structures with a National Treasury Administration which will report to the Minister in charge of public finance and will be responsible for the amount, collection and control of public taxes.
The Minister in charge of public finance will be the authority responsible for coordination of tasks and for shaping the strategy of the National Treasury Administration and will be the direct supervisor of the Head of the National Treasury Administration.
The Head of the National Treasury Administration will perform the functions which are now carried out by the Head of the Customs Service, General Inspector of Treasury Control and General Inspector of Financial Information as well as the tasks of the minister in charge of public finance as regards the control of tax administration.
The Head of the tax office, just as before, will have the primary role in the collection of levies and enforcement of debts.
The Head of the tax and customs office will occupy a role similar to the existing Directors of Treasury Control Offices and Heads of Customs Offices, and will be responsible for tax and treasury control, establishing and determining levies and placing goods under customs procedures.
The Director of the treasury administration chamber will supervise the tasks carried out by the heads of tax offices and tax and tax and customs offices. The same function is now performed by directors of treasury chambers and customs chambers.
The Director of the National Treasury Information will report directly to the Head of the National Treasury Administration and will be responsible, among other things, for specific tax rulings. The Director will also process and release reliable tax and customs information.
The main objective of the new regulations is 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.
Changes in proceedings
The law also provides for standardisation of tax proceedings to improve collectability of taxes and unification of many similar proceedings. To this end the law regulates the following procedures to help perform the tasks of the National Treasury Administration:
- tax and customs control, which will replace control proceedings and which will verify whether regulations are complied with through an analysis of declared tax bases and the correctness of tax settlements;
- audit and audit activities (so far carried out by treasury control institutions);
- official verifications (so far carried out by the Customs Services);
- regulations concerning tax control and tax proceedings will remain in effect.
New regulations concerning the above procedures are aimed at integration of the powers and obligations of treasury administration.
Additional powers within the criminal law
In certain situations the National Treasury Administration will be also responsible for investigating, preventing, detecting and prosecuting crime: document fraud; intellectual fraud; using documents with false information and intellectual fraud; deceit; organised crime and participation in an organised criminal group; as well as: venality, bribery, corruption, abuse of power by public officials, punishable threat, battery, assault or abuse of an official.
The law also provides selected officials from the National Treasury Administration with control and investigation powers, e.g. to carry out a search without a prosecutor's warrant. Selected officials will be allowed to carry restraining devices and guns.
Changes in other laws
At the same time the Sejm passed regulations implementing the National Treasury Administration law which provide for a series of amendments in the tax ordinance, act on enforcement proceedings in administration or the act on excise duty.