Severe penalties for fabricating invoices
From 1 March 2017, a new act came into effect which toughens the provisions on using fake invoices. This offense carries the penalty of up to 25 years in prison and high fines. A new category of crime entered the Criminal Code: issuing fake VAT invoices and fabricating them and modifying them in order to use them as authentic.
Pursuant to the act, forging or modifying an invoice in the way that may have impact on the calculation of tax or tax refund, as well as using such invoice, carries the penalty of imprisonment from 6 months to 8 years. However, if for an entrepreneur this type of activity is a usual practice or if the amount of liability on an invoice exceeds 5,000,000 PLN, they will face the penalty of 3 to 15 years of imprisonment. If the amount on the invoice (invoices) turns out to be higher than 10,000,000 PLN, that will be treated just like the most serious crime, punishable by 5 to 25 years of imprisonment.
That will also be the case in connection with issuing and using invoices to obtain attestation of false information with regard to actual circumstances that may be of importance for establishing the amount of tax or tax refund. Such act, in the case the amount of liabilities in total exceeds 200,000 PLN will carry the penalty of 6 months to 8 years. If the amount exceeds 5,000,000 the penalty will be 3 to 15 years of imprisonment, and if it exceeds 10,000,000 PLN or more, the offender will face up to 25 years in prison.
Such stringency was met with criticism of the opposition. The answer to that was a statement from the Deputy Minister of Justice saying that counterfeiting money also carries a penalty of the maximum imprisonment of up to 25 years.
However, the act predicts easing sanctions in the case of explaining the circumstances of the illegal activity or providing the names of collaborators. If you return the financial benefits resulting from such crime, it is even possible to lift the penalty altogether. This is to, among other things, crack the mob links in criminal groups – explanatory statement says.
Amendments alter not only the Criminal Code but also acts on the police, Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, Border Guard, Gendarmerie and fiscal control. The institutions are gaining the right to “carry out operational intelligence as well as control and record phone calls in case of the most severe types of illegal acts”.
Punishment of the aforementioned crimes will not strictly depend on the amount of loss in tax revenue. Its scope will be adequate to the amount of liability. The aforementioned solutions are regulated by the act of 10 February 2017 – Criminal Code and some other acts (Dz.U. item 244).