According to the data of the National Revenue Administration (KAS), in the first half of 2021, over 85,000. fictitious invoices for a total gross amount of PLN 6.2 billion. It took place in the course of tax and customs and fiscal audits as well as control proceedings.
– This is a really large amount. Of course, I am pleased with this information that it was possible to identify more fictitious invoices and eliminate them from the market. But KAS has had the tools for several years, and you can easily get to cost sales quotes all the time. For some reason it is still an attractive practice for dishonest entities – comments Michał Borowski, BCC expert on taxes and fighting the shadow economy.
According to Małgorzata Samborska, partner at Grant Thornton Poland, trading fictitious invoices is becoming more and more difficult. This is mainly the result of legislative changes, combined with the implementation of system solutions and IT tools. However, we are still dealing with criminals who deal only with extorting tax refunds on the basis of false invoices.
– By design, the controls are aimed at detecting irregularities, and even directed with a thesis in order to find them. But not every invoice identified by the tax authorities as empty is related to criminal practice. The state is unsuccessfully pursuing real criminals. It focuses its activities on entities running legal businesses and possessing assets from which possible enforcement of liabilities can be carried out – says Marek Niczyporuk, tax advisor and attorney-at-law from Ars AEQUI.
As a result of the analyzes carried out on JPK_VAT files, submitted for the first six months of this year, invoices were submitted for verification to tax offices, which were issued by entities not registered for VAT. Over 53,000 have been identified. such fakes for a total amount of almost PLN 794 million.
– This is a shocking amount. KAS basically has access to this type of information almost live. All taxpayers also submit SAF-T with the registration part, even the smallest entrepreneurs. I think there is a problem with the efficiency of the fiscal administration functioning system – says Michał Borowski.
On the other hand, Małgorzata Samborska points out that the basic VAT rate is 23%. Therefore, non-payment of the tax may be a considerable temptation for dishonest taxpayers, hence the phenomenon of the lack of registration will probably never be completely eliminated. As the expert points out, we are talking not only about conscious action. Sometimes the seller, in a manner resulting from ignorance, failed to complete formal and administrative activities. Possibly, he lost the status of an active VAT taxpayer.
– I believe that the issuers of such invoices may be companies that have not registered for VAT, as well as fictitious entities. But the taxpayer has many tools to check a potential contractor. The white list of VAT and the databases of the Ministry of Finance function quite well. You can protect yourself against all sorts of negative consequences. There are still many entrepreneurs who are unaware or careless. And these data show that it is profitable for such unregistered entities to act – adds the BCC expert.
Moreover, on the basis of settlements for the period from January to May this year. over 12 thousand entities that did not declare sales, which issued about 320 thousand. invoices for a total amount of nearly PLN 1.8 billion. According to Aldona Międlar, a lawyer from Ars AEQUI, such entities are still a huge problem for the economy, especially since it is usually honest entrepreneurs who are drawn into criminal activities. This practice is based on the activities of the so-called poles, i.e. those that do not conduct economic activity. Their role is to invoice the entity that acts as a buffer.
– If someone issues an invoice and does not declare it, he / she is breaking the law. The above data show that the scale of the practice is still very large, and this should be alarming. This means that the shadow economy, which the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice, of course, are trying to fight against, still exists. It is decreasing, at least according to the messages transmitted. However, the problem is still very big – emphasizes Michał Borowski.
According to Marek Niczyporuk, the detectability of fictitious invoices will certainly increase. Thanks to SAF-T, the authorities have a broader knowledge of the documents issued. However, in the reported records, a blank invoice does not differ from the real one. As the expert points out, the taxpayer has a variety of tools to choose from. But they cannot fully guarantee that the contractor is actually honest.
– If taxpayers do not use cost sales offers, part of the shadow economy will definitely disappear by itself. For this, an effort of the tax administration is also needed. But it should not only be aimed at identifying and eliminating, although this is a very important aspect. First of all, there is a lack of education. It will not bring immediate results, but in the long run it is a very important element – summarizes the BCC expert.