Karolina Sieraczek

Attorney at law (Poland)
Senior Associate
Phone: +48 71 60 60 415

Enterprises which operate in SEZs are subject to inspections, including audits by the Polish Supreme Audit Office ("NIK"). The powers of NIK are specified in the Supreme Audit Office Act of 23 December 1994. SEZ enterprises are subject to audits as state aid beneficiaries .

NIK usually audits simultaneously all investors operating in a given SEZ. Our practice shows that enterprises receive e-mails with a list of information requested by NIK and the deadline to submit it. Such information includes e.g. CIT and PIT paid by the enterprise for the individual years of business, or the state aid granted in the form of tax deferment or full remission of tax or tax relief due to operating in SEZs. 

Powers of NIK

In the course of the audit, NIK auditors may also request information from non-audited entities and request explanations from employees of those entities. The auditors are in particular entitled to set the deadline for providing information regarding the audited area, and to specify its form – oral or written. Therefore, the act provides for a variety of powers when it comes to collecting and providing information.

In the course of the audit it may prove necessary to investigate certain issues requiring special knowledge. In such a case the auditor may appoint experts who will draft an opinion presenting the results of their investigation.

The auditors document the audit findings in the audit files, which include, among other things, the authorisation to carry out the audit, records of the evidence taken, official memos and other documents and evidence, the post-audit report, reservations and the related documents.

Information denial

Disclosure of information may be denied only in exceptional cases described in detail in the Supreme Audit Office Act. This includes, without limitation, legally protected confidential information, or facts and circumstances which, if disclosed, could expose the requested person to criminal or financial liability. 

Please note that refusal to provide information or failure to provide documents for auditing may be seen as preventing or hindering the auditors from performing their official duties, which is an offence liable to a fine, restriction of freedom or imprisonment up to 3 years. 

If you have any questions on this topic or if you need assistance in a NIK audit, please contact the experts from Rödl & Partner's offices in Cracow, Gdansk, Gliwice, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw.