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Tax on retail sales

2016-02-29

The Ministry of Finance published this month a draft law on the tax on retail sales long awaited by the commercial sector. Below we present a brief summary of the most important elements of the draft law.

Taxable subject matter and entities

The draft law assumes that the new income tax will cover retail sales, to be understood as the sale of goods in the physical premises of a business against payment, pursuant to a contract concluded on a distant basis or outside the premises of a business, as well as in other circumstances, provided that the buyer is a consumer and the goods are released within the territory of Poland. The taxpayers liable to pay the new tax are commercial chains and retailers who are not a part of commercial chains.

Taxable basis and tax rates

In accordance with the presented draft law, the taxable basis is to be revenue from retail sales, which is understood by the legislator to include everything that constitutes payment (both received as well as to be received by the seller), excluding the goods and services tax (VAT).

The tax rates are to depend on whether the revenue is generated on business days or on days off work (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays), and also on the value of such revenue. The tax scale of the tax on retail sales is to be as follows:

Type of sales

Revenue

Tax rate

Sales on business days

up to PLN 300,000,000

0.7 %

surplus in excess of PLN 300,000,000

1.3 %

Sales on days off work

up to PLN 300,000,000

1.3 %

surplus in excess of PLN 300,000,000

1.9 %

At the same time, the draft law envisages exempting from tax the retail sales of up to PLN 1.5 million per month. The tax is to be levied only on the surplus revenue in excess of that amount.

The draft law envisages also exemption for the selected revenue of pharmacies, among others from the sale of reimbursed drugs and medical products.

Collection of tax, tax returns

The retailers will be required to calculate and pay the tax, to the account of the relevant tax office, by the 25th day of the month following the month when the tax obligation arose. They will be also required to file tax returns disclosing the amount of tax within the same deadline.

While in the case of commercial chains, the duty to calculate, collect and pay the tax will rest on franchisors. The entities making part of a commercial chain are to be jointly and severally liable, provided that liability of a retailer concerned (who is not a franchisor) will be limited to the tax attributable to his own sales. Such retailer will inform the franchisor by the 20th day of the month about the sales generated in the previous month, so that the franchisor is able to pay the tax and file the return to the relevant tax office by the 25th day of the month. At the same time, the law imposes on the franchisor an obligation to submit information to the tax office and to the retailers about a part of tax attributable to the retailer concerned, by the end of the month in which the tax was paid by the franchisor.

 

Entry into force

The law is to enter into force as of the first day of the next month after the lapse of 14 days of its publishing. An exception will apply to Article 11, covering the sales effected by a retailer established outside territory of Poland, which is to enter into force on the first day of the fourth month following the month of publishing.

The draft law on the tax on retail sales has raised a lot of controversies and in accordance with the most recent statements of the reigning party it is possible that numerous amendments will be made to the proposed wording of the law. It does not, however, change the fact that taxpayers covered with this new public levy will be required not only to pay the tax in a timely manner, but to comply with numerous information obligations as well.