Draft amendment to the KAS Act and amended tax returns
A draft law amending the National Revenue Administration Act (hereinafter: the KAS Act) and several other statutes has been published on the website of the Government Legislation Centre providing for, inter alia, changes in the rules for filing amended tax returns.
According to the KAS Act amendment drafted by the Ministry of Finance, where a taxpayer amends a tax return following the conclusion of tax proceedings conducted as a result of the conversion from a customs and treasury audit, such correction will not be effective insofar as it purports to reverse the findings of a customs and treasury audit. The relevant authority will inform the taxpayer of such return being ineffective in writing (Art. 83(1c) of the KAS Act).
Under the current regulations, taxpayers are entitled to amend their returns:
- within 14 days of the date a customs and treasury audit warrant is served upon them, in relation to the scope of the audit (Art. 62(4));
- within 14 days of the date the audit report is served upon them, in relation to the scope of the audit (Art. 82(3)).
Notably, under current Art. 82(4) a tax return can still be amended following a customs and treasury audit where such audit did not establish any irregularities or the relevant authority approved an amended return in implementation of the audit findings. This solution means that a taxpayer can amend their tax return in accordance with the findings of the relevant authority, and subsequently amend the return in the same respect, thus ignoring the audit results. The new regulation sets out to prevent such situations from occurring – an amended return will be deemed final.
However, depriving taxpayers of a right to file subsequent amended returns may arouse certain doubts. For instance, certain audit findings could concern provisions with respect of which there has been an interpretation dispute between different authorities. A subsequently emerging line of rulings that proves favourable to the taxpayer would be of no importance in this respect as the amended return will be incapable of being ‘reamended’.
According to the explanatory statement for the draft, the aim of the amended Art. 83 of the KAS Act is to make more precise and supplement the norms concerning the conclusion of an audit for compliance with tax regulations in cases where it is necessary to issue ascertaining decisions, and to introduce a provision ensuring that the right to amend a return is not used to reverse audit findings.
It is also worth noting that Art. 83(1c) has itself been worded rather casually as it speaks of a subsequent amended return after “the conclusion of the proceedings”, whereas according to the explanatory statement it should indicate a customs and treasury audit.
Opinions are currently being issued on the proposed amendment to the KAS Act. Its final wording may differ from the current version. Nevertheless, it may be worth finding out about the proposed amendments now.
Anna Skórska, Tax Consultant, ATA Tax Sp. z o.o.
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