“We are postponing the deadlines, i.e. from 1 April to 1 July 2020, for the obligation to submit a new JPK_VAT with the statement; from 13 April to July 2020 for the submission of information to the Central Register of the Real Beneficiaries” – such information was posted by the Ministry of Finance on its Twitter profile on 1 April 2020.
The extension of the deadlines was introduced by the Act of 31 March 2020 amending the act on special arrangements for preventing, counteraction and combating against COVID-19, other infectious diseases and the crisis situations caused by them, and certain other acts (hereinafter: the amending act on the COVID-19).
Central Register of Real Beneficiaries
The Central Register of Real Beneficiaries (CRBR) is a public register, free of charge, created to reveal the often complex structures of capital-ownership relations in companies and thus prevent crimes involving money laundering and terrorist financing mechanisms.
As I wrote in the following article:
the obligation to register in the CRBR was introduced in the Polish legal system on 13 October 2019. Originally, the provisions of the Act introducing this institution stipulated that entities, existing before it having been entered into force and obliged to make an entry, shall complete it within the deadline of 6 months, i.e. by 13 April 2020 at the latest.
Due to the current situation caused by the coronavirus, the deadline proved to be difficult to maintain, and as a result the legislator included it in the so-called Anti-Crisis Package regulations. Article 52 of the COVID-19 Amendment Act extended the notification period to 9 months, i.e. until 13 July 2020.
Failure to submit an entry may result in high fines – even of PLN 1,000,000.
Draft amendment to the Act on Counteracting Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism
Importantly, a draft act amending the Act on Counteracting Money Laundering and Financing Terrorist and certain other acts is currently under review (available at the following link: https://legislacja.rcl.gov.pl/projekt/12330901).
The draft act partially implements into the national legal order the provisions of Directive 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, and amending Directives 2009/138/EC and 2013/36/EU (OJ L 156, 19.06.2018, p. 43) (hereinafter: 5AMLD), which deadline for implementation expired on 10 January this year. The Polish legislator did not manage to introduce the changes on time, and the coronavirus epidemic will definitely not make it easier.
Where to expect changes?
Among other things, the draft expands the catalogue of obliged institutions to include entrepreneurs – collectors of works of art and antiques, in the field of trading and brokering, and clarifies the definition of the real beneficiary and a politically exposed person.
As it appears from the explanatory statement to the act, it implements the essential aims and objectives of 5AMLD:
- Clarification of the provisions concerning actions to be taken by obliged entities with regard to relations with high-risk third countries;
- Improvement of the detection of suspicious transactions carried out using virtual currencies;
- Limiting the use of anonymous prepaid instruments;
- Improving access by financial intelligence units to information held by the obliged entities and to increasing the possibilities to exchange such information;
- Providing authorised entities with the possibility of quick access to information on the identity of bank and payment account holders;
- Enhancing the transparency of information on the real beneficiaries of corporate entities and legal arrangements.
The JPK_VAT combines two statements so far made separately by large companies:
- VAT records of the entrepreneur for a given period, i.e. a summary of information about the purchase and sale;
- VAT-7 or VAT-7K declaration.
The replacement of two documents by one means fewer formalities for entrepreneurs and a reduction in the reporting obligation, on the one hand, and a facilitation of audit for tax authorities, on the other. The JPK_VAT was originally intended to enter into force on 1 April 2020, but the amending act on COVID-19 extended this deadline to 1 July 2020.
For entrepreneurs who are not a large enterprise, this obligation is also set for 1 July 2020.
Dominika Bielecka, trainee attorney-at-law