The National Revenue Administration (KAS) has been operating in Poland since March of last year. It incorporated the structures of the tax administration, the tax inspection and the Customs Service. The reform was aimed to better utilise the potential of these authorities in the fight against tax offences. In principle, as explained by the authors of the act on the establishment of this authority, the new structure will monitor whether tax revenues, customs duties and other fees are duly settled. The integrated structure in the form of revenue administration chambers, to which revenue offices and revenue and customs offices have been subordinate thus far, is aimed to help close loopholes in the tax system, including by integrating taxpayer databases, thus increasing the efficiency of controls. These changes are also aimed to better utilise human, financial and organisational resources of the entire institution.
According to the assumptions, the combination of knowledge and experience of Customs Service officers as well as tax administration and tax inspection employees, the fast process of issuing decisions, and the effectiveness of tax collection will ensure a tax gap reduction. The new structure is comprised of 16 revenue administration chambers, 400 revenue offices and 16 revenue and customs offices, along with 45 branch offices and 143 customs branches. As emphasized by the head of the new institution – Marian Banaś, Deputy Minister of Finance, the reform has two objectives: to make revenue and tax administration as taxpayer friendly and helpful as possible, while also more effective at preventing fraud.
In the environment of broadly understood maritime and logistics industries, the new institution has raised and continues to raise both hopes and fears. Fears related inter alia to the uncertainty of impact that the changes will have on the functioning of the system of simplified customs clearances in Polish sea ports. The “Ports 24h” system, which has been in effect as of 1 January 2015 and aims to improve the competitiveness of Polish ports and implement the act on facilitations in conducting business activity, has gained the recognition of companies involved in port and maritime traffic and significantly improved control procedures. The efficient conduct of clearances and their coordination between all services was monitored by the “Control Coordination System – Ports 24h” developed by the Customs Service, which is currently implementing a limited staff replacement. After nearly 4 months since the establishment of the National Revenue Administration, can we say that the fear was justified? According to logisticians and port workers, it is too soon to judge. We have to be patient for a while longer in order to reliably assess the results brought about by the reform.
Article developed in cooperation with "Namiary na Morze i Handel" magazine.
phot. Tadeusz Urbaniak/ZMPG-a S.A