About 17 billion zlotys are lost annually in the budget, the National Health Fund, the Social Insurance Institution and local governments due to illegal work or the gray economy – Deputy Minister of Finance Jan Sarnowski informed at a press conference. The deputy head of the Ministry of Finance emphasized that this was “a scale comparable to the VAT or CIT gap”. In January, new regulations on penalties for employers for undeclared employment or payment of part of their salary under the table will come into force.
– An important task of the Polish Deal tax package is to reduce the shadow economy, which is aimed at protecting honest employers, but is also important in terms of caring for employees, especially those with the lowest earnings, who do not have a strong position in talks with employers, said Sarnowski.
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Illegal work – consequences. Changes from January
As he said, on January 1, 2022, the regulations related to punishing employers who employ undeclared employees or paying part of their salaries under the table will change. Under the new regulations, from the beginning of next year, the employer will have to pay taxes and contributions in a situation where it is confirmed that he employs employees illegally or pays part of the remuneration outside the official records (previously, such an obligation was imposed on employees).
The employer will also incur an additional penalty, because for each indicated month of illegal employment, an amount equal to the minimum remuneration for work will be added to his income.
– About 6 percent salaries in Poland is paid outside the system. This problem especially affects the smallest companies, where up to 27% may be paid without registration. salaries. An even bigger problem is the payment of part of the salaries under the table – this may already apply to 12 percent. employed, i.e. as many as 1.5 million employees. This problem is also the most common in the case of micro-enterprises, it may concern as much as 31 percent. of them, ”said Sarnowski.
He added that employers who use this practice now have time to enter into a legal contract with undeclared workers or end the internship related to the payment of part of their wages under the table.
Illegal work – losses of the budget, National Health Fund, Social Insurance Institution and local governments
– The losses of the budget, the National Health Fund, the Social Insurance Institution and local governments due to illegal work or the gray economy amount to approx. PLN 17 billion. This scale is comparable to the VAT or CIT gap, said the deputy minister.
However, he made a reservation that it was impossible to estimate the financial consequences for public finances related to the changes made in the Polish Lada. These changes will primarily have a psychological effect, he said.
– It is worth noting that we will have a synergy effect. The changes related to the Polish Government will reduce the tax wedge for the lowest earners, which will make the continued illegal employment less taxable. In addition, there is a transfer of responsibility to the employer. And if the employment is now legalized, the obligation to pay the outstanding tax will disappear, both on the part of the employer and on the part of the employee. Now, in the perspective of December, we will have the most profitable moment to legalize employment, because there has never been such an opportunity before – emphasized Jan Sarnowski.
Illegal work and retirement
The issue of non-payment of contributions by employers or undercutting salaries also – as ZUS President Gertruda Uścińska pointed out during the conference – has an impact on the amount of pensions.
– We currently have approx. 360 thousand. people who have pensions below the minimum, and in 2035 it will be over 500,000 people, maybe even 550 thousand. people. So there will be more people who have pensions lower than the minimum due to non-payment of contributions or due to paying contributions for a short period of time – said Gertruda Uścińska.
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