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Beer tax. Lewiatan Confederation on inspections of entrepreneurs by the tax administration, the National Tax Administration responds

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On Friday, the Lewiatan Confederation announced an “extreme fiscal interpretation” of the so-called beer tax. The National Tax Administration (KAS) referred to this information. The verification of the settlement of the so-called beer tax is the same as in the case of any other debt whose collection and control has been entrusted to KAS – we read in the response sent to TVN24 Biznes. It was also ensured that the KAS authorities do not create any new interpretation of the regulations.

Lewiatan explained that the obligation to pay the so-called beer tax results from the provisions of the Act on upbringing in sobriety and counteracting alcoholism. Entrepreneurs who provide advertising services for alcoholic beverages are obliged to pay it. The tax amount is 10%. value of the advertising service.

Doubts about the “beer tax”

“This is not a new regulation, it has been in force for many years and there has never been any doubt that beer tax must be paid by professional companies (advertising agencies) that derive profits from providing advertising services for alcoholic beverages,” the organization noted. She added that the justification for introducing this tax was to limit the presentation of alcoholic beverage trademarks, especially on billboards, in the media.

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“Recently, however, the tax authorities, which are responsible for the control and collection of this tax, have adopted a new interpretation of the concept of advertising services for alcoholic beverages and are demanding a tax from entrepreneurs who present alcohol sold inside stores and bars and simply inform their customers about the availability of given brands of alcoholic beverages. ” – said Przemysław Pruszyński, director of the tax department of Lewiatan, quoted in the release.

In his opinion, “the broad interpretation of the concept of advertising service adopted by the tax authorities leads to an absurd situation in which the tax office demands tax from entrepreneurs who have a refrigerator with the logo of a specific manufacturer in their store, or from owners of restaurants and pubs for serving a drink in a glass or with a stand , which shows the name of the beer, claiming that presenting the manufacturer’s logo constitutes an advertising service.

“In the opinion of the tax authorities, such an ‘advertising service’ should be valued, and 10 percent of its value should be declared and paid to the tax office by the entrepreneur,” Pruszyński noted.

Lewiatan emphasized that it “protests against the extremely fiscal interpretation presented by the tax authorities, contrary to the purpose and justification of the act.” According to the organization, “this is a manifestation of excessive state fiscalism, which destroys entrepreneurs’ trust in the state and the laws it creates.”

Lewiatan is a Polish business organization that brings together over 4.1 thousand people. companies employing over one million employees.

The National Tax Administration is responsible

National Tax Administration in a response sent to TVN24 Biznes, it emphasized that it “does not conduct any extensive inspection activities in the indicated area.” “The verification of the settlement of this levy is the same as in the case of any other receivable, the collection and control of which has been entrusted to KAS,” it was assured.

KAS explained that “if inspections are carried out, they concern entities providing the service of advertising alcoholic beverages, i.e. both those that declare that they provide this service and those that do not, and there is a suspicion that they should.”

At the same time, it was emphasized that the KAS authorities do not create any new interpretation of the regulations. It was also pointed out that in their activities they are guided by the previous jurisprudence of the Supreme Administrative Court in this respect – e.g. the judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court of July 24, 2018, ref. no. II FSK 38/18.

The court indicated in this judgment that “the complainant, pursuant to the provisions of the cooperation agreement, provided a service advertising beer produced by “(…)” SA. The service was provided by presenting the names of beer sold at the company’s premises on dispensers, glasses, coasters, or refrigerators, as well as presenting graphic symbols and trademarks of beer in a seasonal garden outside the premises.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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