Deputy finance minister wants VAT fraud probe: report
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s Deputy Finance Minister Paweł Gruza wants a to see a new commission charged with investigating Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud set up, according to the Rzeczpospolita daily.
Paweł Gruza. Photo: Sejm RP/Krzysztof Białoskórski (CC BY 2.0)
The daily quoted Gruza as saying that VAT fraud under the previous government was “the biggest disease” since the fall of communism.
Gruza said a special commission should probe finance ministry politicians and officials, as well as others who had a hand in the VAT system under the previous government which ruled in Poland from 2007 to 2015, according to the daily.
He added that a lot of controversy and disinformation has surrounded state VAT revenues over the past ten years and that budget losses could have been worth tens of millions of zloty each year, the daily said.
“The Law and Justice (PiS) government is exceptionally transparent in sharing information about the state of the budget and VAT revenue,” Gruza told the daily in response former finance minister Jacek Rostowski’s claim that PiS was “falsifying” the picture of state finances for “purely political” reasons.
The conservative PiS party, which swept to power in parliamentary elections in late 2015, promised to beef up state coffers by cracking down on tax cheats.
The government has clamped down on so-called tax carousels, which is when VAT payments are avoided by leaving a paper trail of international sales between a number of companies, so the final recipient of the goods is the same firm which issued the first invoice.
Companies in the carousel then take advantage of different VAT rates owed in the countries and apply for refunds of tax that had not been paid, while the goods sometimes never leave a warehouse. (vb/pk)