The Withholding Agent's Obligations and the Concept of Open Government

Magdalena Budziarek


his article aims to present principles imposing withholding agent’s obligations under Polish law and their evaluation from the point of view of assumptions of the open government concept. This assessment is important due to the widespread nature of the withholding agent’s obligations and the seriousness of the burden of obligations.

Withholding agent’s obligations in the Polish legal system are currently being imposed on a wide range of entities; on employers and other entities paying benefits subject to personal income tax and legal persons, notaries on inheritance and gift tax and tax on civil law transactions, on enforcement bodies and court bailiffs in respect of goods and services tax and excise duty, and also on entities hosting a poker tournament in the field of gaming tax.

The strong tendency to expand the catalog of entities acting as withholding agents should also be noted. In an international context, the OECD in seeking ways to reduce tax evasion, is now proposing to introduce a withholding tax for international digital economy transactions. In this case, the withholding agent’s obligations would be imposed on business entities purchasing digital goods or services (business-to-business) and on payment institutions if digital goods or services are purchased by the consumer (business-to-consumer).

A significant ailment of the withholding agent’s function indicates the essence and scope of the withholding agent’s obligations. Determinations in this respect define the legal limits of imposition of the withholding agent’s function, which are necessary for the assessment of the Polish law from the point of view of an open government concept

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