Request from the tax office: how to calculate the deadline for a response?

Service-Tax

If we receive a request from the tax office, it may be necessary to submit certain clarifications within the prescribed period, e.g. with regard to tax declarations or delivered documents. The request ex officio should indicate the date by which the taxpayer should comply with the request contained in the letter. When submitting explanations, it is worth bearing in mind the applicable deadlines, as exceeding them may have negative and sometimes even irreversible tax consequences. How to calculate the term well so as not to get confused?

Dates are counted in days

As a rule, tax offices set fairly short deadlines, usually 7 days, counting from the date of delivery of the summons. So how to correctly calculate the required deadlines? Which day is the first day of the appointment and which is the last? Should the day on which the summons from the tax office is received be treated as the first day of the term? These are the most common doubts.

The answer to them can be found in Art. 12 § 1 of the Tax Ordinance. "If the beginning of the period specified in days is an event, the calculation of this period does not take into account the day on which the event occurred". So the day on which the summons is delivered is not the first day of the term. It is not included in the calculation of the period in days.

Example 1.

If the summons was delivered on March 12, the first day of the term is March 13, the second day is March 14, the third day is March 15, etc.

The last day of the deadline - i.e. when?

When is the latest time to reply in order to meet the deadline? According to the regulations, the expiry of the last of the designated number of days is considered the end of the period (Article 12 § 1 of the O.p.). Therefore, the answer must be given on the last day of the deadline at the latest. We will discuss whether it is enough to send a reply by post on the last day of the deadline, later in the article.

Example 2.

The tax office has set a 7-day period for the taxpayer, counting from the date of delivery of the summons. The summons was delivered on March 12. The first day of the appointment is March 13 and the last, seventh day of the appointment is March 19. The response on March 19 is timely.

The last day on Saturday or a day off

What if the last day of the appointment falls on a Saturday or a holiday? Then the last day of the term is considered to be the day following the non-working day or days (unless the tax laws provide otherwise).

It is about statutory holidays, i.e. those listed in the Act on non-working days. Therefore, it is not enough that a specific day is a "non-working" day, free from work in a given company.

Example 3.

On August 8, the taxpayer received a summons to provide written explanations within 7 days of receiving the summons. The seventh day falls on August 15 (statutory holiday - the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary mentioned in the Act on public holidays). Therefore, the last day of the deadline should be postponed to the next day, which will not be a Saturday or a statutory holiday.

Public holidays are:

  • all sundays

  • January 1 - New Year,
  • January 6 - Epiphany,

  • the first day of Easter,

  • the second day of Easter,

  • May 1 - Public Holiday,

  • May 3 - National Day of the Third May,

  • the first day of Pentecost,

  • Corpus Christi day,

  • August 15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

  • November 1 - All Saints,

  • November 11 - National Independence Day,

  • December 25 - the first day of Christmas,

  • December 26 - the second day of Christmas.

The date of the postmark is decisive

Is it enough for the response to the request from the tax office to be sent by post on the last day of the deadline? Or does it have to actually reach the tax office at the latest?

It is enough for the reply to be sent on the last day of the deadline, but on condition that it will be done via Poczta Polska. The deadline for responding is then considered kept - the decisive factor is the date of sending the letter, and not its receipt by the tax office (Article 12 § 6 of the Tax Office).

If we decide to send a reply, e.g. by courier (instead of Poczta Polska), this rule will not apply. Then, in order for the deadline to be considered as met, the parcel will have to be delivered to the tax office before the deadline.

It is not enough to send a parcel by courier on the last day of the deadline

The deadline is also considered met if, before its expiry, the letter has been sent to the tax office in the form of an electronic document and the sender has received an official confirmation of receipt. For this purpose, an account must be created on the ePUAP platform, and the document must be signed electronically (with a trusted profile or an electronic signature).

Request from the tax office and the indicated date

The letter from the tax office may contain a summons to appear in person at the office, e.g. in order to testify. In this case, a specific date, time and place are given where the summoned person or his representative should appear.

Time limits in weeks, months and years

The tax office usually sets deadlines in days. The provisions of the Tax Ordinance also indicate how to calculate these deadlines when they are specified in weeks, months and even years (Art. 12 § 2–4 of the Tax Law). The previously described rules on Saturdays and public holidays also apply here.

  • Appointments in weeks

Dates specified in weeks end on that day in the last week that corresponds to the start date of the period.

Example 4.

The taxpayer was given a two-week period for the reply, counted from the date of delivery of the letter. Received the letter on March 12, 2018 (Monday).The deadline is on Monday in two weeks, i.e. March 26 - then he has to provide an answer at the latest.

  • Dates in months

Any periods specified in months shall end on that day in the last month that corresponds to the starting date of the period. But if there was no such day in the last month - on the last day of that month.

Example 5.

The monthly period counted from the date of delivery of the summons (which took place on March 12, 2018) expires on April 12, 2018.

The monthly period counted from the date of delivery of the summons (which took place on January 31, 2018) expires on February 28, 2018 (because in February there is no 31st day, so the deadline expires on the last day of that month).

  • Dates in years

A similar rule as for terms in months applies to terms in years. Time limits specified in years end on the expiry of that day in the last year that corresponds to the starting day of the period, and if there were no such day in the last year, on the day immediately preceding that day.

Save the date - you will not forget!

It is good practice to enter the date of receipt (delivery) of the summons on the received summons from the tax office. It is best to do it immediately after receiving the letter - after a few days it is easy to make a mistake. This may result in failure to meet the deadline counted "from the date of receipt of the parcel". It is also worth entering on a copy of the letter and in the calendar when the deadline expires.

It is also recommended not to throw away the envelope in which the parcel was delivered, but to staple it with the letter received. The envelope has the parcel number - it allows you to find out in the mail search engine when the letter was sent and delivered.

The request from the tax office contains the following information:

  • the name and address of the tax authority;

  • name and surname of the requested person;

  • in what case and in what nature and for what purpose the person is summoned;

  • whether the summoned person should appear in person or through an attorney-in-fact, or should he or she provide an explanation or testimony in writing or in the form of an electronic document;

  • whether the documents can be submitted in the form of an electronic document or on computer data carriers;

  • the date by which the request should be fulfilled, or the date, time and place of the summoned person or their representative;

  • legal consequences of failure to comply with the summons;

  • instruction on the right to refuse to consent to questioning and the related possibility of not appearing on the summons (in the case of summoning a party to an interrogation);

  • signature of an employee of the tax authority, stating his name, surname and official position.