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Comments on latest opinion of Juliane Kokott: Polish entrepreneurs can recover the overpaid VAT

  • Polish entrepreneurs can recover the overpaid VAT included in the price of goods or services sold to consumers, according to the latest opinion of Juliane Kokott, the spokesperson for the European Court of Justice.
  • Although the opinion is not binding for the court, judges often consider the guidance provided by the spokesperson, indicating a high likelihood that the Polish tax authorities will lose the long-standing dispute over the refund of overpaid tax from fiscal receipts.
  • The dispute arises when the tax authorities initially expect higher VAT rates from entrepreneurs and then, after a series of unfavorable court rulings, acknowledge that a lower rate was appropriate. Entrepreneurs seek a refund of the overpaid tax, but the tax authorities refuse, arguing that the refund should go to consumers who ultimately bear the burden of the overpaid tax in the price of the purchased goods or services.
  • If the overpaid VAT were to be refunded to the sellers, they would be unjustly enriched. The issue has been referred to the European Court of Justice by the Supreme Administrative Court, and the spokesperson for the court has sided with Polish entrepreneurs, stating that a member state cannot benefit from errors in the tax rate when it contributed to such errors.


Note that this post was (partially) written with the help of AI. It is always useful to review the original source material, and where needed to obtain (local) advice from a specialist.


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