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No resolution of Supreme Administrative Court on Polish Classification of Products and Services contained in applications for individual rulings


24.01.2020

No resolution of Supreme Administrative Court on Polish Classification of Products and Services contained in applications for individual rulings

evaluate the nature of the Polish Classification of Products and Services (PKWiU) in proceedings for issuing tax rulings. The Court decided to refuse to adopt a resolution on that matter (file ref. no. I FPS 3/19).

The Court examined the motion of the Ombudsman for Small and Medium Enterprises for a resolution intending to clarify legal regulations, the usage of which had caused a discrepancy in administrative courts’ rulings.

In the Ombudsman’s opinion, a doubt arose based on administrative courts’ rulings “whether in light of article 14b § 3 in connection with article 14c § 1 of the Tax Code of 29 August 1997 (uniform text in the  Journal of Laws of 2018, item 800 , further: ‘TC’)  the PKWiU statistical classification indicated by the applicant for a tax ruling constitutes an element of the facts and, thus, whether the ruling authority is bound by the statistical classification that is being relied on and, therefore, is not authorised to verify the same, or whether the statistical classification constitutes an element of the legal norm, as a result of which the ruling authority is obliged to verify its correctness during the proceedings”.

The Court took the stance that the Ombudsman’s motion had not sufficiently proved that a ruling discrepancy existed about the issue at hand. The Court also indicated that it was the entity applying for a ruling that decided what was an element of the facts and what was their legal evaluation, which was showed in the structure of applications for rulings.

In addition, the Court stressed that it was accepted uniformly in the case law that both courts and authorities could not interfere with the facts and that the facts were not an element to be assessed by them.

No resolution of the Supreme Administrative Court means no clarification in favour of taxpayers of issues that have been raising serious doubts for many years. Reliance on a statistical classification in the facts/future event of an application for an individual ruling interpreting tax law vests in taxpayers feeble protective-ruling value, rather easy to be challenged during a potential inspection. A definitely more favourable solution for taxpayers would be if the authority examined the correctness of the statistical classification indicated.

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