1. Penalties for failure to prepare and sign financial statements on time
The Accounting Act requires management boards to prepare annual financial statements no later than three months after the balance sheet date. If the financial year of a company coincides with the calendar year, this report should be prepared by the 31 March of the year after the year for which a report was prepared. The report should be approved by the end of June.
A change in the regulations means that a financial report for 2018 has to be signed with a qualified electronic signature, or a free trusted profile, and be submitted to the Financial Documents Repository. The deadline for submitting financial statements has not changed, and should be done within 15 days of being approved.
Failing to submit a financial statement, and preparing a report inconsistent with the provisions or including unreliable data, as well as failing to submit a report for publication, is subject to a fine or a custodial sentence.
Signing reports electronically is new and requires the use of new ICT tools, and persons representing companies and signing reports need to go through an electronic submission procedure. This needs to be borne in mind and preparations should be made in advance.
2. One hectare free of restrictions
On May 10 this year an amendment changing the act on shaping the agricultural system was sent to the President of Poland for signing. The amendment will make purchasing agricultural land easier.
After the entry into force of the new regulations, it will be easier to sell agricultural land up to 1 hectare in size in towns and villages. Currently, such sales are provided for agricultural real estate with an area of up to 0.3 ha.
A pre-emptive purchase right to land up to 1 ha has also been granted to the National Center for Agricultural Support (KOWR).
3. Tax office to notify businesses exposed to tax fraud
The National Tax Administration (KAS) will now inform taxpayers about exposure to tax fraud. Taxpayers will learn whether a transaction made with a specific contractor is risky from the point of view of the tax authorities. Thanks to this they will be able to avoid problems in the future, e.g. loss of the right to deduct input tax from suspicious invoices. The KAS will recommend that a company protects against negative consequences that may result from continuing to do business with a suspect business partner. The split payment mechanism is one such protection. Thanks to this the tax amount will be paid into a special VAT account, which will be overseen by the tax office.
The KAS had information related to risk in the past; however, that information was not analysed as quickly as it is today.
Similar programs for alerting businesses also exist in other European Union countries.
4. Entrepreneur tests not to be introduced
The government’s previously announced entrepreneur test, in which sole proprietorships were to be placed under the spotlight to limit the abuse of self-employment to take advantage of the lower 19% tax rate, will not be put into practice. In particular, the test was to be taken by businesses that issue only one invoice every month to one customer.
The dropping of the entrepreneur test does not mean that in the future there will be no attempts to limit self-employment. It is still possible to introduce changes to the regulations on personal income tax that will enter into force at the beginning of 2020.
5. The Personal Data Protection Office sets out how long documentation on occupational illness should be kept
Documents regarding occupational diseases are not employee documentation within the meaning of the Labour Code, and thus there is no obligation to keep them for 10 years. There is no provision in national law that sets out how how long this documentation should be stored, despite the fact that the GDPR requires a reduction of the time to collect documents containing personal data.
The data protection office stressed that the current situation is a legal loophole. It pointed out that employers should periodically review this documentation and assess whether the documents are still useful for diagnosing occupational illness so as not to violate the provisions of the GDPR.
6. From 31 May 2019 it will be possible to receive letters digitally from administrative courts
Pursuant to the amendment to the act on proceedings before administrative courts, parties will be able to receive letters electronically if they apply to the administrative court in electronic form or if they request delivery of letters in this form and supply an email address.
Parties will be required to to inform the administrative court in the event of a change in email address. They will also be able to opt out of this form of receiving letters.
Under the new rules, letters submitted during a case will no longer be procedural documents but attachments to the protocol, which will be a better reflection of the principle of the orality of a process.
The President of the Supreme Administrative Court will be able to prepare models of electronic documents that can be used in court and administrative cases.
In cases that are currently pending before administrative courts before the act comes into force, parties will have the right to choose in what form documents will be served.
7. From 1 January 2020 the waste register will be only electronic
The Council of Ministers has adopted a draft amending the Waste Act. It further clarifies the provisions on the Electronic Product and Packaging Database and on Waste Management (BDO) which will enter into force on 1 January 2020.
According to the amendment:
- notification about account activation in the registry will be made electronically;
- it will be possible to attach copies of certain documents attached to applications for entry in the register;
- electronic delivery of documents via BDO will be possible.