Fiscal audit at a firm
Under Polish law, a “fiscal audit” (kontrola fiskalna) is conducted by a fiscal audit authority pursuant to the Fiscal Audit Act (as distinct from a “tax audit” conducted by a tax authority, such as the local tax office, pursuant to the Tax Ordinance, although the subject matter covered by a fiscal audit may overlap with the subject matter covered by a tax audit). Fiscal audits are generally regarded as involving more serious matters than tax audits.
Initiation of fiscal audit
A fiscal audit may be initiated solely at the tax authority’s own initiative, in the form of an order.
The date of commencement of the audit is the date of service on the taxpayer of the order to initiate audit proceedings.
Similarly to a tax audit, a fiscal audit may be initiated no earlier than 7 days and no later than 30 days after service of the notification of the intent to conduct the audit. If the audit is not initiated within 30 days after service of the notification, a new notification is necessary.
Upon request of a business taxpayer, a fiscal audit may be initiated less than 7 days after service of the notification.
Fiscal audit authorities, as in the case of a tax audit, must notify a business taxpayer of the intent to initiate an audit.
The notification must include the designation of the authority initiating the audit, the date and location of issuance of the notification, the name of the audited enterprise, the scope of the audit, and the signature of the person authorised to issue the notification.
Audit proceedings without notification
Under the Business Freedom Act, a business entity need not be notified of the intent to initiate an audit if:
- The audit is to be conducted on the basis of directly applicable provisions of EU law on the basis of a ratified international treaty
- The audit is necessary to counter a criminal offence or fiscal offence or to secure evidence of commission of an offence
- A fuel quality inspection is conducted on the basis of the Monitoring and Quality Control System Act
- The audit is conducting during the course of proceedings under the Competition and Consumer Protection Act
- The audit is justified by a direct threat to life, health or the environment
- The business has no residential address or registered office or service of correspondence at the address was ineffective or hindered.
A fiscal audit inspector conducting an audit must present personal authorisation to conduct the audit as well as official identification.
The authorisation to conduct an audit should clearly state the legal basis of the audit, the audit authority, the date and location of issuance, the name of the inspector, the names of the employees conducting audit activities, the official identification numbers of the inspector and employees, the name of the audited party, the date of commencement of the audit and estimated conclusion, and the scope of the audit. It must also bear the signature and official title of the party granting the authorisation. The authorisation must also include an instruction on the audited party’s rights and duties.
A fiscal audit authority may conduct a tax audit as part of the fiscal audit.
Audits in most cases are conducted at the audited party’s registered office or other location where activity is conducted, or at locations where documents are stored.
Representation of audited party
An audited party is primarily represented during an audit by the persons authorised to issue statements in its name, as well as members of the management board, proxies and persons authorised by the management board. Also, a tax adviser or lawyer can represent the audited party during an audit if holding an appropriate power of attorney.