Tax proceedings are regulated by articles 120 - 271 of chapter IV of the act of August 29, 1997 Tax ordinance (that is from 4 January 2005, Journal of Laws no. 8, item 60).
The provisions of this chapter are the legal basis to institute legal proceedings in order to issue a tax decision and verify it in standard mode, or in extraordinary mode involving annulment, repeal or change of the final decision. This is the basic role and function of the rules contained in chapter IV of ordinance adapted in its structure and content to different situations that must be reflected in the course of establishing the factual and legal basis for fiscal affairs, and then preparation, issue and service of the tax decision on an individual case. The provisions of chapter IV of the ordinance are also a source of legal regulation of certain procedural actions taken by tax authorities, which are in certain relationships with tax obligation or tax liability including tax proceedings in a broader sense.
The provisions of articles 120 - 129 of tax ordinance shall determine the general principles of tax proceedings, considered as legal standards particularly important for such procedures. They have fundamental meaning to all administrative proceedings. Standards in the form of general principles should apply in all stages of procedure and constitute a binding guideline for the application of all provisions of ordinance, both in material and legal terms. Violation of general rules is a violation of law resulting in serious legal consequences, which can cause defectiveness of decision threatened by sanction of liability or sanction of nullity.
To assess the correct application of substantive law, it must first be ascertained whether tax authorities carried out the procedure in accordance with the provisions of tax ordinance, while respecting the principle of objective truth (article 122, tax ordinance), rules of evidence and comprehensive examination of all of the evidence (article 187 § 1, the tax ordinance), and finally the principle of free assessment of evidence (article 191, tax ordinance). Against the background of the latter, a general view is approved that the authority is not entitled to weigh the evidence according to "their whim", because its assessment in this respect is bound to rely on convincing foundations and should be reflected in reasons for the decision. As emphasized by the Supreme Court verdict of 23 November 1994 III ARN 55/94 (OSNAPiUS 1995 / 7 pos. 83), the charge of arbitrariness can be excluded only by the findings made upon totality of evidence (article 191, tax ordinance) accumulated and audited exhaustively (article 187 § 1, the tax ordinance), in other words, after having taken all necessary steps to clarify the exact facts, as a prerequisite to a decision of convincing content (article 122, tax ordinance).
The legislator adduced the catalogue of the evidence in art. 181 of tax ordinance, according to which the evidence in tax proceedings may be represented by tax books in particular, but also by declarations made by a party, witness testimony, expert opinions, materials and information collected through visual inspection, tax information and other documents collected in the course of examination or tax audit, subject to article 284a § 3, art. 284b § 2 and article 288 § 2, and the materials collected in the course of criminal proceedings or proceedings concerning fiscal crime or offence. On the other hand, according to art. 193 § 1 of tax ordinance, tax books conducted fairly and in a non-defective way are proof of what stems from the records contained therein. So, despite the fact that art. 181 of tax ordinance gives equal authenticity to all the evidence contained therein, article 193 § 3 states that tax books have a special value. This specific probative value of tax books should be interpreted as the prohibition to determine items affecting the amount of tax, without prior ascertainment of keeping the books in an unreliable or inadequate way, which in a given case fell within the scope of probable facts, and which, in compliance with the law, should be recorded in the accounts in accordance with their actual course. (cf. verdict of the Administrative Court in Warsaw on 16 November, 2004 III SA 3525/2003 Tax Monitor 2005 / 2 p. 42).
In literature and jurisdiction tax audit is thought to be an important part of procedure. The rejection of the book as a proof requires rebutting the presumption of conformity with truth, with its burden resting with tax authority. If tax authorities find no unfairness in tax books, within the scope and for the periods referred to in the proceedings, it means that the books in question constitute a proof of what results from the records contained therein. For the periods indicated, the authorities can not make other findings than those mentioned in the books in terms of tax assessment (cf. verdict of the Administrative Court in Warsaw on 21 February, 2006 III SA / Wa 2045/2005).