Annual billing - what are the consequences of mistakes?


Taxpayers usually have a lot of time to sum up their income for a given year and then settle accounts with the office - in most cases, the annual declaration must be submitted by the end of April. In practice, most entrepreneurs leave such matters at the last minute, and often even forget to submit the PIT form. Why is annual billing important and what to do if the deadline is exceeded?

Annual settlement - the most common mistakes

The annual statement must be completed carefully and on time. In this case, the fiscal penal code is decisive, as each breach in the settlement of annual income may be the basis for punishing the taxpayer.

Pursuant to Art. 54 of the Code, penalties may be imposed on the entrepreneur when it is found that he is evading tax without disclosing to the competent authority the subject or the tax base, or when he does not submit a declaration, which reduces the amount due to the state. Tax authorities may impose a fine on the taxpayer in the event of failure to submit (delay in submitting) the annual declaration or failure to settle the tax underpayment on time.

The taxpayer may also experience negative consequences if there are gross errors in the annual tax return resulting from incorrect filling. Pursuant to Art. 56 of the Fiscal Penal Code, when a taxpayer submits an untrue declaration or declaration to the tax authority or other authorized payer or authority, does not inform about the change of data or conceals certain data, he is exposed to legal consequences. This means that the mere submission of a declaration does not protect against the consequences - it must additionally be devoid of any errors and ambiguities. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the possible consequences related to its incorrect filling.


Taxpayers who, due to inattention or ignorance, made a mistake in filling in the annual tax return, do not have to be immediately afraid of "severe" consequences resulting from the Fiscal Penal Code, especially when the harmfulness of the act is not significant. Such negative legal consequences await taxpayers who intentionally made a false declaration, where the value of the prohibited act exceeds certain (large) amounts.

In practice, minor mistakes can be corrected by correcting the annual declaration and paying additional tax interest (if they do not exceed PLN 8.70, they do not have to be paid).

Incorrect annual statement and a crime or a misdemeanor

The issue of penalties is regulated in this respect by the Fiscal Penal Code. It should be emphasized that the consequences are not provided for what the taxpayer did or did not complete, but because of the so-called social harmfulness of the act. Therefore, the amount and type of penalty will depend on the amount of the taxpayer's negligence. As indicated in Art. 53 of the Code, a prohibited act may be a fiscal offense and a fiscal offense.

Art. 53

§ 2. A fiscal offense is an act prohibited by the code under penalty of a daily fine, restriction of liberty or imprisonment.

§ 3. A fiscal offense is an act prohibited by the code under the penalty of a fine specified in amount, if the amount of public law receivable depleted or exposed to the depletion of the act or the value of the subject of the act does not exceed five times the minimum wage at the time of its commission. A fiscal offense is also another prohibited act, if the code so provides.

Therefore, an act causing damage up to 5 times the minimum wage in a given year is considered a tax offense.

Example 1.

In 2017, the minimum wage was PLN 2,000. Therefore, an act that causes damage not exceeding PLN 10,000 (PLN 2,000 x 5) may be considered a fiscal offense.

Pursuant to the Code, a taxpayer may be fined from 1/10 to 20 times the salary - from PLN 200 to PLN 40,000 in 2017.

If the taxpayer commits a prohibited act causing damage exceeding 5 times the minimum wage, but not more than 20 times the minimum wage, then he will be accused of a privileged offense. In the event of a crime, the amount of the fine is set in the form of daily rates. The rates are determined by the court, adhering to the statutory spreads. The basis of the rate, as in the case of an offense, is the minimum amount of remuneration, while the daily rate is from 1/30 to 400 times the lowest national gross salary. In turn, the number of daily rates ranges from 10 to 720.

Example 2.

In 2017, the minimum wage was PLN 2,000. A privileged crime may be a prohibited act causing damage in excess of PLN 10,000 (PLN 2,000 x 5), but not more than PLN 40,000 (PLN 2,000 x 20).

Daily rates in 2017 ranged from PLN 66.66 - PLN 26,664.

If the taxpayer commits a prohibited act with a value exceeding 200 times the minimum wage (i.e. PLN 400,000 in 2017), then he will be accused of a fundamental crime. This means that, in addition to the fine described in the case of a privileged crime, the penalty of imprisonment from 5 days to as much as 5 years may also be applied (alternatively to a fine or additionally).

It should be remembered that the necessity to pay the fine is independent of the obligation to pay the tax arrears and penalty interest. The taxpayer must therefore remember to settle the debt, interest and fines.

Correction and active regret as a way to avoid punishment?

If the taxpayer, despite good intentions, did not notice certain elements when filling in the tax return or did not submit the tax return on time for specific reasons, do not panic right away. Each case is considered individually, so the tax office needs some time to prove a possible error. If the taxpayer becomes aware of the errors in advance, he or she has a better chance of rectifying and correcting without consequences.

To this end, the declaration or its correction must be submitted to the office without delay. It should be remembered that next to a correctly prepared form, any possible underpayments with penalty interest should be paid. It is also worth safeguarding your interests through the institution of active grief. By using this mechanism, the taxpayer admits that he made a mistake, indicating the reason for such a state of affairs. The application is also accompanied by a request not to punish the committed criminal act. If the annual declaration does not raise any objections, and the act of active regret is submitted before the taxpayer is checked by the tax office, then the negative consequences should be lifted by the office.