The Polish provisions of the VAT Act allow for the imposition of an additional tax liability in VAT (the so-called “VAT sanction”) in the event of understating the liability / increasing the return in the indicated declaration or in the absence of its submission (its amount is 30% or 20% of the due liability). Doubts were raised in particular by the fact that the sanction arose even if the taxpayer corrected the declaration and the tax and interest were paid.
The Court assessed that Polish solutions are inconsistent with EU law, including the principle of proportionality, as they are applied “automatically”, even if the irregularity results from an error, where there is no fraud or depletion of budget receivables.
The settlement will be of great practical importance. Taxpayers who have been charged a “sanction” may, in the above-mentioned circumstances, apply for the reopening of the proceedings or for a declaration of overpayment. The Ministry of Finance should also analyze the issue of changes in the scope of the indicated provisions.
Judgment of the CJEU of April 15, 2021, file ref. file C-935/19 (Grupa Warzywna)