Polish Taxpayers to File Tax Returns Electronically

All companies and businesses will be able to file their tax returns via the internet as of the Jan. 1, 2008. Until now only 8 percent of companies have been able to do so. Some 39 various forms of tax return declarations will be made available by next January. This will include the VAT-7 monthly tax declaration. The Ministry of Finance has announced this method will simplify the process.

According to Rzeczpospolita the ambitious plan will also be made available to normal tax payers.

They however will have to wait until April 2008. Tax return forms such as PIT 36, PIT 37 and PIT 38 will be able to be lodged electronically.

Although lodging taxation declarations has been available since August 2006, it only applied to companies with annual profits of 5 mln euro net. Such companies were permitted to file their declarations at specially designated tax offices. Statistics showed however that only 677 companies used this method out of the 7.5 mln companies eligible.

The primary cause for this according to experts is a lack of knowledge. Additionally, declaration documents have been partially available in electronic format and partially in paper. This has made the process confusing and the electronic option merely an experiment for most companies.

For the system to work and be user friendly much needs to be done in the way of improving the tax office web site. Taxpayers in Poland are often unaware of procedural changes and current web sites offer little in way of information.

Currently the electronic system available to eligible companies is quite convoluted. One of the major requirements to be able to lodge claims electronically is to be in possession of an electronic signature with the help of a certificate.

A taxpayer must first attend an authorized certificate centre and apply for such a certificate with a 401.38 zloty fee. The certificate is valid for one year only and can be renewed for just a little over 100 złoty.

The price of such certificates has dropped significantly. In 2003 the cost was around 1,000 złoty.

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