The decision to change VAT will primarily affect small shops

Luc Williams

The President of the Polish Chamber of Commerce, Maciej Ptaszyński, believes that the restoration of the VAT rate on food from April 1 this year. will most affect entrepreneurs running small stores, because unlike discount stores, these establishments offer a wider range of products, with at least 6 to 9 thousand items. Each of these products must be marked with the so-called price list. The need to inform about the new product price means that the vast majority of them will have to be changed. Entrepreneurs will have just a few days to do this during the biggest shopping peak before Christmas. New prices cannot appear too early, because they cannot appear next to the old, still valid ones. In practice, the change will have to be carried out on the holiday weekend.

Preparation periods should apply to all regulations important for the economy

“Changing price lists will be a time-consuming task, requiring a lot of staff work. Meanwhile, smaller establishments usually employ only a few people,” Ptaszyński told PAP. “Smaller establishments are also characterized by a lower level of automation. This means that adapting cash register systems and information on price lists will require them to perform more activities. Naturally, it will also take more time,” he emphasized.

According to PIH, sufficiently long preparatory periods before entry into force should apply to all regulations important for the economy, and such important provisions as those regarding the non-extension of zero VAT on food should not be announced two weeks before the expiry of the regulation. In the opinion of the Chamber, they should be preceded by extensive public consultations and announced many months in advance so as not to put entrepreneurs operating in the retail trade in a difficult situation. “We call for legal acts and decisions of economic importance to have at least a six-month vacatio legis,” added Maciej Ptaszyński.

The zero VAT rate on some food products will not be extended after March 31, 2024, the Ministry of Finance announced on Tuesday. The reason given was the continuing downward trend in inflation and the decline in the growth rate of food prices.


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