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Bureaucratic issues in Poland - I sorted complex problem using the telephone and email


Magdalena 3 | 1,837
14 Feb 2011 #1
In the long term, just try and sort simple bureaucratic issues in Poland and see the level of Incompetence you come up against.

I have recently sorted rather complex bureaucratic issues in Poland using the telephone and email while staying in the UK. I have not come up against any incompetence whatsoever and my problems were resolved swiftly and efficiently.

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delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
14 Feb 2011 #2
In the long term, just try and sort simple bureaucratic issues in Poland and see the level of Incompetence you come up against.

I solve simple issues all the time. No fuss, no pain and it's dealt with decisively.

In fact, I just applied to ZUS for a paper I needed to confirm that I'd been paying social insurance here - and it was ready within 18 hours.

Most foreigners problems with Polish bureaucracy isn't due to the bureaucracy, but rather the arrogance of foreigners.
anastazja
14 Feb 2011 #3
rather the arrogance of foreigners.

that word is a key word here ;)

Proof:

The only country in the world where you need a uni degree to be a toilet cleaner. lol.

delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
14 Feb 2011 #4
that word is a key word here

I can actually think of a few occasions where arrogance by foreigners has caused them endless problems - usually concerning "ah, what do I need to do that for? it's stupid".

Funnily enough, the most successful foreigners here I know are the ones who have adapted to Polish conditions.
THE HITMAN - | 236
14 Feb 2011 #5
Talk about the majority, not the lucky few.
Why do people on here stick up for inadequacies. Is it pride or shame ?
OP Magdalena 3 | 1,837
14 Feb 2011 #6
Why do people on here stick up for inadequacies.

What inadequacies exactly? Try to be specific and we just might be too. Also, I did not stick up for inadequacies, quite the opposite, in fact.

you live in a bubble

Well, I must have been living in a bubble for most of my adult life then. Polish bureaucracy isn't any more maddening than its British counterpart, that's for sure ;-p
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #7
Unless you want to do business. In the UK, you just write out a receipt or invoice and declare any income on your tax return. In PL you need permission to conduct economic activity, a REGON (a pointless thing if ever there was one), prior registration with ZUS, prior submission to the tax office, a bank account number and a registered trading address. Oh, and a rubber stamp, which you can only get made if you produce originals of all the documents.

Not exactly business-friendly.
Harry
14 Feb 2011 #8
Polish bureaucracy isn't any more maddening than its British counterpart, that's for sure ;-p

Which is why to claim something as a tax-deductable business expense in the UK, I just need a receipt but in Poland I need a faktura made out with the name & registered address of my company and NIP number on it....
alexw68
14 Feb 2011 #9
Really? If you have not experienced maddening Polish bureaucracy, you live in a bubble.

Not exactly business-friendly.

Still true if you want to anything even remotely off-piste - especially in smaller places where they're just not used to doing business with non-locals.

But boy, has it improved compared to the 90s.
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #10
It's not such a burden. People are so lazy - few formalities and they scream about beaurocracy.

Are you crazy - someone who wants to issue one receipt, as a one-off, has to trail around six different offices - in a precise order - on consecutive days!

I suspect you've never done it.
THE HITMAN - | 236
14 Feb 2011 #11
I must have been living in a bubble for most of my adult life then.

Magdalena, please can you reply to jonni and Harry, I,m interested to hear your answer. lol
anastazja
14 Feb 2011 #12
I suspect you've never done it.

I know people who have done it and they say it's not a problem really.
OP Magdalena 3 | 1,837
14 Feb 2011 #13
Magdalena, please can you reply to jonni and Harry, I,m interested to hear your answer. lol

I ran my own business in PL for almost 10 years. Yeah, everything is a lot more structured and formalised in PL than in the UK, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I always knew exactly what was expected of me and how to do it. What's so difficult in asking for a VAT invoice during your purchase if you want to claim expenses? Come on, it's not difficult and it's not confusing. If I did it anyone can.

And what's your problem with registering a business? In the UK you also need a NIN, a business account, you have to register with the tax office...
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #14
NIN? No you don't! You can conduct business without one. Nevertheless, people get the NI number automatically when they're 15, or as a migrant just send off for it.

You don't need a separate business account. Same in Poland, though the old bags at the tax office don't always know that and will often insist that the unwary get one.

You don't have to register at the tax office prior to issuing an invoice in the UK, nor do you need to include a tax reference number on your invoice.

So you are disingenuously wrong. On every point

Please, steer yourselves back on topic. thanx.

Maybe split the second part of the thread into another, about doing business in PL?
OP Magdalena 3 | 1,837
14 Feb 2011 #15
NIN? No you don't! You can conduct business without one. Nevertheless, people get the NI number automatically when they're 15, or as a migrant just send off for it.

You need a NI number to even get started in the UK. No institution is going to take you seriously until you get one. And no, you can't just send off for it. You need to arrange for an interview and then spend the better part of a day waiting for your turn in one heck of a queue at some godforsaken Job Centre miles away from anywhere. And sorry, but you do have to have a NIN to conduct business in the UK - you need to pay your NI contributions as self-employed.

You don't need a separate business account.

For all practical purposes you do.

You don't have to register at the tax office prior to issuing an invoice in the UK

No, not prior to, but within 3 months you do have to.

nor do you need to include a tax reference number on your invoice.

That depends on who gets the invoice. Some of my clients do not accept invoices without the UTR.

So you are disingenuously wrong. On every point

Am I really then?
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #16
You need a NI number to even get started in the UK.

In business? No. You don't nor ever have done. It is a personal thing for social insurance, and non-residents don't need one. Nor do you need one before issuing invoices, which is what we're talking about.

some godforsaken Job Centre miles away from anywhere.

Have you ever seen one in a village, "miles away from anywhere"

For all practical purposes you do.

Again no. A bank account for business isn't nor ever has been obligatory. Unlike in Poland. Many tradespeople deal only in cash.

No, not prior to, but within 3 months you do have to.

I'm glad you agree that you were wrong. In the UK you don't need to register with the tax prior to conducting business.

That depends on who gets the invoice. Some of my clients do not accept invoices without the UTR.

Again, I'm glad you agree that you were wrong, and that an invoice in the UK is perfectly legal without a tax reference number. Most small businesspeople wouldn't even know theirs without looking.

Am I really then?

Yes. You are wrong on every point.
OP Magdalena 3 | 1,837
14 Feb 2011 #17
In business? No. You don't nor ever have done. It is a personal thing for social insurance, and non-residents don't need one.

businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?r.l1=1073858805&r.l2=1085161962&r.s=tl&topicId=1073875654

businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/layer?r.i=1073789949&r.l1=1073858805&r.l2=1085161962&r.l3=1073875654&r.t=RESOURCES&topicId=1086244520

You might want to catch up on your reading.
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #18
You evidently don't understand the concept of residency and how that differs from immigration. NI is raised on the basis of personal earned income, as your links confirm. Not profits or turnover, but on drawings or wages.

It seems you also don't like to acknowledge that your 'advice' was bullsh1t. On every point.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Feb 2011 #19
people get the NI number automatically when they're 15, or as a migrant just send off for it.

I had to go out in to the sticks and cue, wait, fillout forms and wait to get mine.
In Poland at least it's all in the city.

though the old bags at the tax office don't always know that

I find this a problem here sometimes.
Like Invoices, I can email you an invoice, it doesn't have to be stamped but try tell that to some people...

business. In the UK, you just write out a receipt or invoice and declare any income on your tax return. In PL you need permission to conduct economic activity, a REGON (a pointless thing if ever there was one), prior registration with ZUS, prior submission to the tax office, a bank account number and a registered trading address. Oh, and a rubber stamp, which you can only get made if you produce originals of all the documents.

This is a pain at first but once it's done, it's done, thank goodness.

Took me six months to open a bank account in England, takes me about 20 minutes here in Poland.

Polish bureaucracy has come a long way since I used to cue up for a visa but does need to be cleared up even more.

The one that nibbles my goat is the notaries and their non-commercial status.(has that recently changed? I heard something but...??)
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #20
I had to go out in to the sticks and cue, wait, fillout forms and wait to get mine.

Really? Mine just came through the post when I was 15.

Took me six months to open a bank account in England, takes me about 20 minutes here in Poland.

It took me a few minutes last week, at the Halifax, and a few hours in Poland. Why 6 months?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Feb 2011 #21
Really? Mine just came through the post when I was 15. Mind you, that was 1981.

And try telling anyone in a Bank or office where you have to fill out a form in England that you don't have a post code.

Computer says NO

youtube.com/watch?v=WOdjCb4LwQY

Why 6 months?

Utility bill with my name on a bill so I had to wait...
And I always got the feeling that they looked at me suspiciously as if I was laundering money for the IRA, maybe that was just paranoia? ;)
OP Magdalena 3 | 1,837
14 Feb 2011 #22
It seems you also don't like to acknowledge that your 'advice' was bullsh1t. On every point.

Well, what is your advice then? I can just come to the UK and start a business, no NIN, no UTR? How do I pay taxes then? Or don't I? I am rather confused at this point. Why oh why did I register my business then? :-/
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #23
And try telling anyone in a Bank, or office where you have to fill out a form in england that you don't have a post code.

Does anyone not have a postcode for a UK address?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Feb 2011 #24
Not the U.K. but in Ireland, no we don't have them.
And they ask for your Irish address.
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #25
Why oh why did I register my business then? :-/

Why indeed. What do you mean by "register my business". Do you mean form a limited company? Or are you just self-employed, which isn't the same as "register my business". You can carry out economic activity in the UK without registering anything beforehand. Unlike in Poland.

Well, what is your advice then? I can just come to the UK and start a business, no NIN, no UTR?

Yes, you can come to the UK and start being self-employed from day one. Providing it isn't in a field (i.e. a doctor) that requires special registration, which in any case isn't a matter of tax/NI. If you're paying yourself, you'll need to apply for an NI number, but unlike in Poland (which is what we're talking about) you don't need to do it prior to starting economic activity. Same with tax.

Utility bill with my name on a bill so I had to wait...

I'd heard about that, but they never asked me. Maybe they thought you look like Carlos the Jackal.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Feb 2011 #26
How do I pay taxes then?

Actually, the U.K. have a good system for tax.
You pay emergency tax, which is a high bracket tax, so you can start your job right away and then when you sort it out and you're put in to the correct tax bracket, you get the extra tax you paid back.

Gets everything up and running at no extra cost to the Brits.

You can buy off the self companies too, which a lawyer can sort out everything over the phone, pretty much.
OP Magdalena 3 | 1,837
14 Feb 2011 #27
You can carry out economic activity in the UK without registering anything beforehand.

Yeah. For 3 months maximum. And then, if you're curious, you can wait and see what happens.

"HMRC requires that you notify them within three months of becoming self-employed. This is easy to do, either by filling out the online form or phoning the Newly Self-employed Helpline on 0845 915 4515.

Don't forget though, or you will be fined £100.

Once you become self-employed you will pay tax each year by filling out a tax return and self-assessing how much you owe. A smart move is to keep tax money aside in a separate account from day one - then you will never find yourself scrabbling to meet a payment. Your accountant will advise how much you can expect to pay.

You will also be responsible for paying your own Class 2 National Insurance contributions, currently £2.40 a week (2010/11 tax year). You will pay extra Class 4 contributions on profits you make over £5,715 (2010/11tax year). Again, consult your accountant for advice specific to you."

bytestart.co.uk/content/19/19_1/self-employed-register.shtml
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Feb 2011 #28
I can actually think of a few occasions where arrogance by foreigners has caused them endless problems - usually concerning "ah, what do I need to do that for? it's stupid".

I get your point but (always with the ''buts'') the one where I always go "ah, what do I need to do that for? it's stupid" is when they want a payment of 1 zloty to issue some document by stamping it but you can't pay them but have to go to a cantankerous old bat (such as the job description reads) in some cubbyhole that you passed on your way in, who will do her level best to annoy you.

Last time I had to do that, she hadn't any stamps left and asked me to come back the next day, I told her I'd give her 5 Zloty to sort it out and I was met with the simplest word in any language "NIE".

The other woman, who issued the paper, took over and sorted it out for me at no extra cost.
When the revolution comes they will be the first up against the wall...
jonni 16 | 2,485
14 Feb 2011 #29
"HMRC requires that you notify them within three months of becoming self-employed. This is easy to do, either by filling out the online form or phoning the Newly Self-employed Helpline on 0845 915 4515.

Remember we've been talking about bureaucracy prior to conducting business. Nevertheless, going on Schedule D as you mention above is pretty easy. As is bureaucracy in the UK compared to Poland, where dealings with GUS etc are like something from a Kafka novel. Why they require two visits in person is surreal.

A smart move is to keep tax money aside in a separate account from day one – then you will never find yourself scrabbling to meet a payment. Your accountant will advise how much you can expect to pay.

The same in Poland, and pretty sound advice anywhere.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
14 Feb 2011 #30
Oh and while we are at it, dealing with Enion (ESB) and Telekomunikacja Polska (Telephone networks) is like living in the Soviet Union.
Guess where I have to go tomorrow.

It must be due to their monopolising their sectors.

It is unbelievably difficult to give them money to pay your bills, you have to prove that you are the owner, as if you are going to pay someone else's bills and as if they should care? but procedures are procedures...

And to get hooked up with TP is a nightmare.

It is really a question of what you compare it to, before moving back here I lived in Lithuania, so I see Polish bureaucracy as easy comparatively.

Oh, the horror stories I could tell you about Lithuania...

One small example: to pay your hot water bill, you don't get a bill, oh! no! you have to add up your metre, look in the newspaper to see how much it costs, write all the information in a special book, subtract the current amount from the previous and go down the post office and cue only to meet, what can only be described as "the scariest women I have ever met" and hopefully, if you are lucky, you get to pay your bill.


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