Idea of MF to levy tax arrears

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The Ministry of Finance is going to open a debtor register of those who are in arrears with payments against a state or local government. In the register there will be people who have a debt exceeding 500 zlotys.

Among the reasons for a planned amendment, the Ministry of Finance gives i.a. unsatisfactory tax and duty collection as well as heavy costs of conducting an executive proceeding of these dues. The exposure of indebted entities is supposed to affect the increase of the business trading’s safety. Additionally, legislators are going to encourage creditors (heads of tax offices and directors of Customs Chambers) to take steps reminding about necessity of payment all unregulated taxes and duties before undertaking actions aimed at imposing enforcement measures. On the assumption, regulatory debtor register is supposed to perform a function of a means which induces debtors to a voluntary payment of tax and duty arrearages, charged by tax offices and Customs Chambers.


Panoptykon Foundation is protesting against assumptions of the project proposed by the Ministry of Finance. It points out, referring to the Constitution of Poland, that the debtor register of regulatory dues will constitute the extension of a state’s fiscal role, thus it will limit a right to privacy of citizens. Moreover, the foundation indicates the lack of data illustrating the range of losses incurred by a state due to the insolvency of debtors.


According to the project’s assumptions and the assessment of regulation’s effects proposed by the Ministry of Finance, suggested solutions are supposed to contribute to i.a. increase the collection rate of tax, duty and followed from penal fiscal Code – arrears and limitation of administrative execution’s heavy costs. Simultaneously, none of above mentioned documents indicates the real range of those problems. We do not claim that they do not exist but we pay attention to the necessity of a precise justification of indispensability and proportionality of a suggested solution. The originator is obliged to carry out a compliance test of proposed solutions from the Article 51 and 31 of the Constitution of Poland, which should contain in our belief – besides a detailed problem’s diagnosis – an analysis of alternative solutions. Without it, it is difficult to assess fairly if the creation of the register is actually necessary and, thus state that this proposition satisfies the requirements indicated in the Constitution – we may read in the official standpoint of Panoptykon Foundation.


The regulation’s project envisages foundation of an independent debtor register, the liabilities of which exceed 500 zlotys against one creditor. The procedure of a debtor’s exposure, proposed in the bill, raises concerns. According to it, 30 days have to pass between the notification about possibility of positioning in the register and making an entry. Panoptykon Foundation points out that it may lead to a situation in which a debtor will repay the liability, yet it will be exposured in the register as a result of a mistake and he will not realize it.


Controversial is also the idea of the Ministry of Finance, according to which a mentioned register will be run online on the BIP website of the Ministry of Finance. People who are interested in providing information included in it will be able to use the searcher for free, which finds debtors on the basis of a company’s name, its PESEL or NIP numbers, thus everyone will be able to easily find information concerning any person or company. Furthermore, the project envisages that a full access to data concluded in the register will be available to economic information offices, that is – as Panoptykon indicates – very wide range of private entities.


In accordance with plans, the Act is supposed to come into force in the half of 2015, whereas starting of the debtor register will come on the 1st January 2016.


The full text of the law is presented below.

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