VAT revenues 'will be steadily higher': former minister

Government revenues from ‘VAT will increase steadily due to tax reforms”, the former Finance Minister, Paweł Szałamacha told Poland In on Wednesday.

The former Finance Minister, Paweł Szałamacha, who in 2015 initiated the reform of VAT, said on Poland In that the benefits of the reforms this government has started will “continue to lead to a steady increase in VAT revenue this year.”

The difference between what could be collected by the taxman and what actually was brought into the coffers, the so-called VAT gap, is the subject of an ongoing parliamentary inquiry. Experts say that the gap could be as high as 60 bln euro during the previous Civic Platform government’s term ending in 2015.

It is not clear what part of this sum could have been grabbed by the organized crime. Mr Szałamacha said that the customs and VAT regulation reforms his ministry initiated ‘led straight away to a 15 percent increase in takings from large petrol chains, PKN Orlen and Lotos.” This is certainly connected with “petrol mafia’s”.

Speaking to the inquiry at the end of last year, the former government’s Finance Minister, Jacek Rostowski put the decrease in reported VAT revenue down to the recession and a change in the methods of calculation.

The present Finance Minister Teresa Czerwińska said on Monday that VAT revenue in 2018 increased 12 percent, or PLN 18.8 bn (EUR 4.4 bn) on 2017 and the deficit was at a low of 0.5 percent. The budget deficit for 2019 is forecast at 1.7 percent

Mr Paweł Szałamacha, was Law and Justice Finance Minister from 2015- 2016 and is now at the National Bank of Poland.

Watch the full interview here: VAT revenues 'will be steadily higher': former minister