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Fat Thursday brings doughnut extravaganza

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 12.02.2015 09:39
Millions of doughnuts will be consumed across Poland today with Fat Thursday marking a last chance for Poles to gorge themselves before the traditional fasting of Lent.
Doughnuts at a confectioner's in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Marcin ObaraDoughnuts at a confectioner's in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

Poles consider it bad luck not to eat at least one doughnut on Fat Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek), meaning that pastry chefs have their work cut out to keep up with demand.

Although many Poles are not overly strict today about observing Lent's six-week period of self-denial before Easter, this has done little to dent the popularity of pączki (doughnuts) on Fat Thursday.

Poles throw themselves into the custom with great gusto. Local newspapers conduct fastidiously researched rankings of confectioner's creations.

In many towns and cities, competitions are held to see who can scoff the most doughnuts within a set time period.

Customers queue for doughnuts at the Zagoździński confectioner's in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

In Poland, doughnuts are traditionally filled with rose jam, an acquired taste for many outsiders. Some are dusted with icing sugar, while others are covered in a layer of icing.

Doughnuts tax-free at work

This Fat Thursday doughnuts which many Poles will receive from their employers will be officially tax-free, following a historic court judgement last year.

The Constitutional Tribunal ruled in July 2014 that “it is difficult to seriously claim that the possibility of occasionally taking part in a lunch or meal counts as part of the income of employees from a work contract.”

The decision meant that the value of food and drink consumed by employees, including any pączki purchased by employers, cannot be included in calculations of income for the purposes of tax payments.

Konrad Piłat, a tax consultant working for the KNDP law office noted that the decision “should finally end the debate which has been going on for years over whether or not a worker, who has eaten a doughnut, has gained in material wealth, which could be subject to tax.''

Previously the Polish Ministry of Finance took the view that buying food for workers counts as taxable income. (nh/sl)

Source: PAP

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