A witness who will avoid appearing for questioning will be brought by the tax authorities under duress. The controlled entrepreneur will not even be notified of such a hearing. Proposed changes to the tax inspection regulations are provided for in the draft of October 5, 2020, the act amending the act on the National Revenue Administration and some other acts.

Currently, a witness may be punished with an administrative penalty for failing to appear at the hearing, the maximum limits of which are defined annually in an announcement by the Minister of Finance. Currently, the upper limit of the order penalty is PLN 2,800. As a result, it sometimes happens that the tax authorities are unable to take evidence from the hearing of a witness.

According to the proposed art. 76a of the Act on the National Tax Information, in the event that a witness did not appear on the summons without due justification, the provision of Art. 285 § 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which allows the use of coercive measures. In such cases, the interview may take place without prior notification of the inspected taxpayer, and the tax authorities will inform the inspected party about the interview within 3 days of the event and provide the prepared report. The change will only apply to controls carried out by customs and tax offices. It will not cover tax proceedings or tax audits conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Tax Code.

The proposed changes may adversely affect the situation of inspected taxpayers, if the new methods will be used instrumentally by tax authorities. The inspected party may not be able to ask the witness any questions (to which he is entitled during “ordinary questioning”), because the tax office, as a rule, will probably not notify about such questioning. As a result of the above, the taxpayer would be unable to prove his point in the proceedings.