What are the penalties for late payment of VAT?


VAT is one of those levies in which the entrepreneur is obliged to calculate the amount due to the office and then transfer it to the account of this office. For this reason, entrepreneurs may often fail to pay their debts on time. What are the penalties in this situation? What do they depend on?

Failure to pay VAT may occur when the taxpayer has submitted a reliable and non-defective declaration on time. In this case, as provided for in Art. 57 of the Fiscal Penal Code, an act is considered a fiscal offense only at the time of persistent non-payment of tax. This means that a taxpayer who has defaulted on a one-off basis does not have to fear a fine from the tax authorities. However, the regulations do not specify when such persistence begins - therefore it is difficult to determine at which unpaid tax action will be taken. A fine for an offense of persistent untimely tax payment may range from PLN 160 to PLN 32,000.

However, the situation is different for an entrepreneur who evades taxation - in accordance with art. 54 above of the code. Such an act takes place when the taxpayer does not disclose to the tax authority the events that should be included in the tax base.

IMPORTANT! Tax evasion is also a failure to submit a VAT return on time. Such an act is treated as failure to report events subject to tax on goods and services tax.

However, in Art. 55 of the Code describes tax fraud. It is a situation in which the entity discloses economic events, presents the tax base to the tax authority, but does so unfairly - concealing a part of the turnover in the declaration.

Both of these acts - tax evasion and tax fraud - are punishable in the same way, and their recognition as a crime or misdemeanor depends on the social harm of the act. If the amount of tax not paid does not exceed the statutory threshold of PLN 8,000, such an event will be classified as an offense. In such a situation, the entrepreneur is threatened with a fine of PLN 160 to 32,000.

However, if the depleted or unpaid tax is greater than the threshold provided for in the regulations, but does not exceed PLN 320,000 (defined by law as the so-called low value), the act will be considered a privileged crime. In such a case, the taxpayer may fear a fine of up to 720 daily rates, which in practice means an amount from PLN 533 to over PLN 15,000,000.

The largest restrictions are provided for when the unpaid VAT exceeds a small value - then the prohibited act is considered a basic crime. This means that a taxpayer may be fined the same amount as for a privileged offense, but an additional consequence may also be imprisonment for 5 days to 5 years. Both types of consequences can be used together.