Responsibility of the accounting office for errors in JPK_V7 - who will pay the penalty?

Accounting Offices

From October 1, 2020, a new JPK_VAT was introduced. As a result of the changes, taxpayers will no longer have to send separate declarations and JPK_VAT. In addition to the above convenience, however, many new obligations have been dropped on taxpayers. In economic practice, they usually fell on accounting offices that keep companies' accounting. Check what the accountability of the accounting office for errors in JPK_V7 looks like!

Who is responsible for tax returns?

Pursuant to Art. 26 of the Tax Code, the taxpayer is responsible for tax liabilities with all his property. Thus, he is responsible for liabilities, and not the accounting office keeping his accounts. Below are some of the mistakes you can be responsible for:

  • understatement of the tax liability;

  • failure to pay taxes within the prescribed period;

  • failure to collect or collect, and then failure to pay the collected taxes in connection with the performance of the payer function;

  • overestimation of VAT refunds.

Fiscal penal liability of the accounting office

As it results from the above regulation, as a rule, the accounting office is not responsible for the tax settlement. However, the above does not mean that it does not bear any responsibility for its mistakes. The accounting office may be liable for incorrect bookkeeping. According to Art. 77 item 1 of the Accounting Act, who, contrary to the provisions of the Act, allows not to keep accounting books, keeping them contrary to the provisions of the Act or providing unreliable data in these books, shall be subject to a fine or imprisonment for up to two years or both of these penalties jointly.

Moreover, the bureau may also be subject to fiscal penal liability. Pursuant to Art. 9 § 2 of the Fiscal Penal Code, each of the accomplices performing the prohibited act is liable within the limits of his intention or inadvertency, regardless of the liability of the other perpetrators. In the further part of this regulation, we read that for fiscal offenses or fiscal offenses is also the responsibility of the perpetrator who, on the basis of a legal provision, decision of a competent authority, contract or actual performance, deals with economic matters, in particular financial matters, of a natural person, legal person or entity. organizational without legal personality.

In addition, the accounting office may bear civil liability.

Example 1.

The taxpayer entrusted his settlements to an accounting office. As a result of settlement errors committed by the office, the taxpayer was exposed to the need to pay interest and tax sanctions. The above also had negative consequences in terms of tax liquidity of the taxpayer. Therefore, can the taxpayer claim compensation from the accounting office?

Yes, the taxpayer may claim compensation. The example clearly shows that the cause of the damage was the errors made by the accounting office. Thus, it was errors and unreliability of the office that had negative consequences for the taxpayer.

Pursuant to Art. 471 of the Civil Code, the debtor, here an accounting office, is obliged to repair the damage resulting from non-performance or improper performance of the obligation, unless the non-performance or improper performance is a consequence of circumstances for which he is not responsible. Thus, the debtor may be released from liability only if he proves that he has performed the obligation or that the non-performance or improper performance of the obligation was not due to his fault.

In conclusion, the accounting office cannot completely escape responsibility. Thus, when running an accounting office, settlements should be made with due diligence so as not to be exposed to the consequences.

The responsibility of the accounting office begins with the signing of the contract for the provision of services. A very important issue is therefore the appropriate structure of the contract for the provision of accounting services. Thus, when writing a contract, the terms of cooperation should be specified in great detail, precisely describing what the parties are responsible for.

New sanctions related to SAF-T

Due to the introduction of the obligation to use new markings in the SAF records, cooperation between taxpayers and accounting offices must definitely increase. Obtaining correct data, which should be included in the new JPK_VAT, will be possible thanks to appropriate cooperation.

The legislator introduced new sanctions for errors in the JPK_VAT file. The first results from Art. 109 paragraph. 3h of the VAT Act. The second - from Art. 61a of the CC.

Monetary sanction

The first penalty is a fine. The legislator set its amount at a maximum of PLN 500. A penalty may be imposed on the taxpayer for any error that prevents the verification of the correctness of the transaction. The head of the tax office may impose this penalty if the taxpayer:

  1. despite the summons, he does not send the records corrected in the scope of errors indicated in the summons, or he will do so after the deadline specified in the act;

  2. fails to submit explanations or fails to submit them within the time limit specified in the Act;

  3. in the submitted explanations he does not show that the records do not contain the errors referred to in the summons.

The taxpayer has 14 days from the date of delivery of the summons to send the corrected records or submit explanations.

In the case of a taxpayer who is a natural person running a business and is subject to a penalty for a tax offense, he will not incur a financial penalty.

The fine is specified in the decision. It will have to be paid within 14 days from the date of delivery of the decision.

Fiscal penal liability

The second sanction concerns fiscal criminal liability. In this case, it concerns the liability of specific natural persons. The person who has committed an offense or a fiscal offense is therefore responsible for this act.

In the light of Art. 61a of the Civil Code, the fine is 240 daily rates.

The new regulations (Article 61a of the Code of Criminal Procedure) provide for a fine of up to 240 daily rates for:

  • failure to send the records to the competent tax authority, or

  • sending unreliable records.

In cases of minor importance, the perpetrator of these acts is subject to a fine for a tax offense.

A fine for a fiscal offense will also be punished by a person who:

  • will send the records after the deadline or

  • will send defective records.

Responsibility of the accounting office for errors in JPK_V7

As shown above, the taxpayer is liable for errors in the new JPK_VAT. Thus, the above sanctions cannot be transferred to the accounting office. He cannot include in the contract provisions that the office will pay a penalty for him.

However, taxpayers may change the provisions of the contract in such a way that this office incurs contractual penalties for errors it makes in the new JPK_VAT. Despite the inability to transfer the penalties to the accounting office, the taxpayer can relatively effectively protect himself against sanctions. Of course, the provisions of the contract should also protect the office. Often, errors in the records are not the fault of the office, but the fault of clients who, for example, did not provide all the documents. Thus, accounting offices should analyze the provisions of their contracts and adjust them in such a way as to avoid negative consequences.

Summing up, the new JPK_VAT is definitely more difficult to fill. Thus, especially at the beginning of its operation, one should be particularly careful that the records are kept correctly. This will avoid negative consequences in the form of sanctions.