6 months with a test purchase. What should sellers keep in mind?
The institution of a test purchase has been in operation for more than half a year. According to data from the Ministry of Finance, one in four acquisitions ends with a fine imposed on the seller. However, given current economic indicators, including inflation, it can be expected that the number of fines imposed will increase. This makes it all the more worthwhile to know how a test purchase proceeds, as well as what the rights and obligations are – of both the inspectors and the inspected.
For more than half a year now, tax administration employees have been able to take advantage of the regulations introduced under the Polish Order governing the institution of a test purchase. Previously, such activities were carried out de facto without a legal basis. This solution makes it possible to make a purchase of goods or services in order to check whether the sale will be recorded using a cash register, and then – whether a fiscal receipt will be issued. The purpose of introducing the regulation in the above regard was to continue the fight against the so-called “gray economy” by tightening the tax system and supporting other solutions against tax evasion, such as split payment, online cash registers and the obligation to send JPK_VAT files. What effects did the amendment have?
According to information from the Ministry of Finance provided to “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna,” during the four months of this year, employees and officers of the National Tax Administration (KAS) made 3156 test purchases and imposed 814 fines for a total amount of almost PLN 800,000. This means that one in four sellers failed to give a receipt to a KAS employee after making a sale.
Will there be more fines?
The above statistics are alarming. What’s more, given current realities, in particular, progressive inflation, they can be expected to worsen, as the relatively low amounts of fines imposed may not be severe enough to discourage the grey economy from trying to find tax savings. Although the public perception of the above solution is overwhelmingly negative, it is impossible to agree with the position that the Treasury should confine itself to fighting only organized crime and tax carousels. This is because abandoning the search for tools to combat minor tax offenses would result in tacit acquiescence to their commission.
The Treasury should not look for ways to meet budgetary needs by force. Given the fact that the expenses incurred by KAS employees and officers for test purchase are covered by a specially created fund and come from the state budget – it is necessary to use common sense when using this institution.
However, on the other hand, The Treasury should not look for ways to meet budgetary needs by force, because some of the cases cited in the media may indeed strike at the sense of social justice. Given the fact that the expenses incurred by KAS employees and officers for test purchase are covered by a specially created fund and come from the state budget – it is necessary to use common sense when using this institution.
It is worth recalling that a test purchase is not in the character of a tax inspection or customs and tax inspection, making it far less formalized. However, it should be borne in mind that the use of a test purchase by a KAS employee does not exclude the possibility of conducting a customs and tax inspection or a tax inspection with regard to the correct implementation of the obligation to record sales.
How is the test purchase going?
Checked persons should also bear in mind that immediately after making a test purchase, the Treasury employee is obliged to show the checker his official ID card, inform him about the test purchase and instruct him on his rights and obligations. In addition, at the request of the person being checked, the checker must show a permanent authorization to make a test purchase.
What is important, the person who is checked may be not only the taxpayer who sells goods or services, where the test purchase is made, but also the person who makes such sales in the name and on behalf of the taxpayer, i.e., for example, the cashier.
Goods purchased in the course of test purchase shall be immediately returned to the checker together with the fiscal receipt documenting the sale of such goods (if such receipt was issued). Goods are not returned if, due to their nature or special characteristics, it is not possible to sell them again. In this case, the goods may be left (with the consent of the person inspected) at the place of purchase, while the receipt is not returned. In addition, the receipt shall not be returned in the event of refusal to return the payment received for the returned goods, and in cases of waiver of the return of goods, in particular, when the goods constituting evidence of the commission of a crimes, fiscal crimes, contraventions, fiscal contraventions are subject to detention or seizure or security under separate regulations.
In turn, the checker is obliged to accept the returned goods and the fiscal receipt documenting the sale of the returned goods, as well as return the payment received. However, the service performed in the course of the test’s purchase is not refundable. Still, if the service for which the checker paid was not provided, the checker is obliged to return the payment received.