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Government dodges supermarket tax bullet - again

Aneta Cichla 31 December 2018
POLAND A draft amendment to the tax on retail sales will further postpone the date of its introduction, after the European Commission asked Poland to suspend the tax.

“The act governing the tax on retail sales, which is colloquially known as the supermarket tax, was widely reported by the media being one of the main points of the current government’s legislative agenda. According to the justification of the bill, its aim was to: ‘provide fairer conditions to both small local stores and large retail chains’” reads a statement by the Business Centre Club [BCC].Disproportionate taxation results in family stores disappearing from the market while large retail chains grow bigger’. The law was finally passed in the Sejm on July 6th 2016. It introduced two tax rates: a 0.8 pct base rate for when sales did not exceed PLN 170 mln, and 1.4 pct for anything in excess. “The annual tax-free limit was PLN 204 mln (12 months x PLN 17 mln). Revenues raised by this tax were estimated at PLN 383 mln net until the end of 2016 and PLN 1.9 bln gross for 2017. However, no proceeds were collected due to the criticism of the European Union. The implementation of the law was suspended until the end of 2018. On June 30th, 2017, the European Commission ruled that the tax violates EU rules. After this decision, the Polish government appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The proceedings are still underway so the act has been suspended again until the end of 2019.

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