Tax War

No Escape

No Escape

The huge amounts of revenue that seeped out of Poland in the years 2003-2012 was rather due to the efforts of criminals and not legitimate tax optimisation, according to Deputy Minister of Finance Jarosław Neneman. He has assured the public that the treasury already has the tools to fight this problem. Deputy Minister Neneman explained that new measures focus more on the illegal inflow and outflow of money (i.e. tax fraud) that various criminal groups utilise and to a lesser extent legitimate tax optimization.
podatki.gazetaprawna.pl

Cheap Vodka Pays Dividends

Drinking It Up

Drinking It Up

The production of vodka is now only 5% below what it was two years ago, according to data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). This signifies a return to ‘normality’ after the turmoil of the second half of 2013 and throughout 2014, caused by the tax hikes of January 2014 which were announced in September 2013. Then, the industry decided to increase production en masse resulting in a double figures production boom. In December 2013 production was approximately 47% higher than a year before, in November it increased by 35%, and in October by almost 30%.
pb.pl

Leaders to Fight in Warsaw

Kopacz and Kaczyński

Kopacz and Kaczyński

Rumors that the Law and Justice deputy Beata Szydło will become its leader or at least truly independent have proved to be exaggerated. In Warsaw, the genuine leaders of the two largest parties in Poland will fight it out with each other during the upcoming parliamentary elections. Ewa Kopacz versus Jarosław Kaczyński. For a moment it seemed that the Law and Justice (PiS) candidate for Prime Minister (Beata Szydło) would represent PiS in Warsaw thus competing head to head with the current Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz who will represent Civic Platform (PO) in Warsaw. Any illusions were dispelled by Szydło herself. Not only did she indicate that she would be the candidate for Chrzanów, but also that everyone in PiS understands that if they win the elections this autumn, the real leader, directing the government from the back seat, will be Kaczyński. Szydło, when questioned by journalists about the rumours concerning her possible candidacy in the capital, said, “Jarosław Kaczyński is the head of Law and Justice and he will represent Warsaw”. The fact that Beata Szydło used the word “leader” about Kaczyński twice in one sentence shows both her total loyalty to the PiS head as well as a certain anxiety about Kaczyński not taking seriously her campaign image of being an ‘independent’ Prime Minister.
newsweek.pl

Jan Kulczyk Dies

Jan Kulczyk

Jan Kulczyk

Jan Kulczyk, Poland’s wealthiest businessman, has died of complications after minor heart surgery in Vienna at the age of 65. According to Kulczyk Holding SA, he was supposed to leave the hospital on Wednesday, he already had business appointments arranged on Thursday. “It is impossible to talk about the transformation in the Polish political system after 1989 without mentioning Jan Kulczyk,” according to Leszek Balcerowicz, former Polish Minister of Finance. He was the most important Polish international trading businessman. He operated on the European, African and South American markets and created Kulczyk Holding with its headquarters in Warsaw as well as the international investment group Kulczyk Investments. He has consistently topped the Polish Rich List since 2002. His fortune is estimated at PLN 15.2 billion.
polskatimes.pl

PhD Student Benefits

PhD and Proud

PhD and Proud

Universities in Poland do not fund doctoral students, however, they can count on a host of perks. A doctoral ID card provides discounts of 51% for rail travel and PKS buses. However, this also differs from city to city. For example, Warsaw doctoral students can count on a discount of 50% exclusively on long-term tickets. In addition, a criterion of age has been introduced. Doctoral students need to be over 30 for these discounts to apply. Furthermore, doctoral students in a difficult financial situation can apply for ‘social scholarships’. Persons applying for it have to meet income criteria, which change year on year.
serwisy.gazetaprawna.pl

Pensioner Funds Hospital

Original Knight Hospitaller

Original Knight Hospitaller

One year ago, an elderly man visited the Knights Hospitallers in Chojny. He requested to speak to the prior of the community and moments later he was ushered into the hospital’s administrative office. Franciszek Salezy Chmiel, member of the order, says: “He introduced himself as doctor Wacław Łęcki. He said he was 91 and that he came to us because he wanted to build a new hospital”. Brother Chmiel admits that at first he was sceptical; he told the older man that the idea required some thought. One week later, Wacław Łecki returned. He told the monks that he did not have much time left and that, if they wanted to proceed, they needed to hurry. The elderly man owned three hectares of land and wanted to start building there. As it turned out, the Knights Hospitallers had already started building a rehabilitation centre in another place, but they lacked sufficient funds to finish the construction and open the facility. The monks suggested that instead of building another centre, Łęcki could help the Knights Hospitallers complete the unfinished one and have it named after himself. The man agreed, explaining: “I didn’t choose this hospital randomly. I had a chance to see many different hospitals in Łódź, but only the one ran by the Brothers Hospitallers really stood out. They treat their patients well.”
dobrewiadomosci.net.pl

Pay by Selfie

Not Just Vanity

Not Just Vanity

No PIN, no signature, only a smartphone photo taken on the spot is needed. This is the latest idea for quick payments which is being tested giants like Mastercard.The experimental system allows users to “pay by selfie”. The user turns on the application, his/her smartphone films him/her for a brief moment, and when it recognises the face, allows payment to go ahead. According to Mastercard, this payment method will be particularly attractive for young people. However, Google has already found a problem with the system. It is enough to show the smartphone a photo taken earlier by someone else and the system accepts it. Now Mastercard wants the user to wink in order to prove that the user is not a photograph. But it seems that this solution is not foolproof. According to experts, the system will need a two-phase system: facial recognition and the traditional PIN.
serwisy.gazetaprawna.pl