Electronic tax returns more popular than ever

April is the last month for filing PIT tax returns. This means it is about time to do your taxes, at least if you are an employee. A vast number of Poles wait till the last moment to do that. For many years that meant spending considerable amount of time queuing in tax offices.

A remedy for this time-wasting is submitting your tax return electronically. This method for dealing with tax authorities is getting more and more popular in Poland. According to the latest data – more than ever before.

The Ministry of Finance has just revealed that in the first quarter of 2016 there were more Poles who submitted their tax return online than those who chose paper. This is the first time since the introduction of electronic tax returns.

In 2015, the total number of electronic tax returns submitted to tax authorities exceeded 7 million. This means that over 40 percent of the taxpayers decided to do their taxes online. This year, the number is expected to grow to the record 8 million.

Convincing people to do their taxes electronically did not occur overnight. The beginnings were not very impressive, to put it mildly. In 2010, the year electronic tax returns became available to the public, only 2% of the taxpayers decided to try this unfamiliar option.

A year later 95% of the submitted documents were on paper, followed by 88% in 2012. Things started to change in 2013, with an 8 percent rise in the number of online submissions. Since then, the number of electronic tax returns grew steadily by 10% every year, to reach 44% in 2015.

Taxpayers can fill out their tax returns themselves or use pre-filled tax returns. The latter option was introduced last year. Tax returns are automatically filled in based on the information submitted to tax authorities by the employers.

Submitting a tax return online is fast and easy. Taxpayers provide the required data and electronic forms do the necessary calculations for them. The forms also check whether all the necessary data has been entered no fields are left empty.

In order to submit a tax returns over the internet, a person needs to provide his or her personal identification number (PESEL) and the amount of income they reported the previous year. No electronic signature or other method of authorization is required.

Tax authorities hope in the near future all tax returns will be submitted online.