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The Warsaw Voice » Other » September 3, 2008
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High Standards
September 3, 2008   
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Joe Smoczyński, a partner with Baker Tilly Smoczyński i Partnerzy Sp. z o.o., talks to Beata Gołębiewska.

You have been on the Polish market since 1990. Has the rebranding to Baker Tilly changed anything in your company?
The rebranding has changed things in my firm. Baker Tilly is a larger network and so we have many new clients, mainly foreign investors planning to launch operations on the Polish market. We also have a more listed companies among our independent firm network clients that want to expand or set up in Poland. We have always sought to have the best professional standards and nothing has changed by rebranding.

What kind of companies do you provide your services to? What companies are your main clients?
We have clients in many sectors, from service providers and producers, from agriculture to wind generation businesses. There are also new technology companies and many investment special purpose vehicles in our client portfolio. Our portfolio backbone clients are companies with foreign ownership, or trade internationally or have operations overseas. Apart from audits and consultancy we have corporate finance assignments such as IPO's and mergers and acquisitions. We enjoy the reputation of a firm within a network with has experience in different economic environments.

Personally, I have qualified as an auditor in both Poland and Great Britain. I am therefore a member of KIBR (Krajowa Izba Biegłych Rewidentów) and ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales).

What do you think are the prospects for economic development in Poland in the next several years? What is the general mood among your clients?
Everybody is somewhat worried by the recession on the American market. The recession has had major repercussions on the global economy, a trend which will continue, if not intensify. Still, I believe Poland has a chance of escaping some of the fallout, because the country is still regarded as an attractive place to invest. Besides, Poland is still receiving EU funds. Even if economic growth slows a little, there shouldn't be much of a crisis. The Polish government has an important role to play here, as active reforms could reduce the negative impact of the American crisis.
What do you think should be changed in Polish tax regulations?
Given that large enterprises account for a mere 20 percent of Polish economy, support for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and micro firms appears to be of key importance. Such companies do not normally get media attention and yet they are the core and the motor of the economy. Growth expansion encouragement by having a zero or tax exempt bracket at the small profit level end of the scale will encourage businesses to declare profits.

Retaining profits allows for internal reinvestment, hence growth. It would also encourage the business to report their real income give them improved credit capability and hence opportunities to develop more dynamically. Such companies often "report losses" to reduce what to them is a material tax burden.

Groups would operate more efficiently if the restrictions on CIT Group relief were reduced, thus reducing the need to create transactions to spread profits more evenly within their structure. Also having one VAT NIP number for a group will allow for a more efficient structures built for different operational needs. Both these suggestions will allow groups to be structured for operational purposes and not at as present tax cash flow considerations.
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