BRUSSELS, Sept 19 The European Commission opened
an in-depth investigation on Monday into a new Polish
progressive tax on the retail sector and ordered its suspension
until the investigation is concluded.
The injunction on the collection of the tax means less
revenue to the Polish budget, which is already under strain
because of a series of government moves, notably monthly
"The Commission has concerns that the progressive rates
based on turnover give companies with a low turnover a selective
advantage over their competitors in breach of EU state aid
rules," the EU executive arm said in a statement.
The investigation concerns a tax adopted by Poland in July
2016, which applies to companies that operate in Poland and are
active in the retail sale of goods.
The tax entered into force on September 1, 2016, and no
payments are due yet. Under the tax, companies in the retail
sector would pay a monthly tax based on their turnover.
Companies with a monthly turnover below 17 million zlotys
($4.41 million) would not pay any tax at all, those with
turnover between 17 million zlotys and 170 million zlotys a
month would pay 0.8 percent and those above 170 million zlotys
would pay 1.4 percent.
"The Commission does not question Poland's right to decide
on its taxation levels or the purpose of different taxes and
levies. However, the tax system should respect EU law, including
state aid rules, and should not unduly favour a particular type
of company, for example companies with lower turnover," it
said.($1 = 3.8523 zlotys)
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)