Poland country profile | KPMG | GLOBAL

Poland country profile

Poland country profile

Key tax factors for efficient cross-border business and investment involving Poland.

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EU Member State

Yes


Double Tax Treaties

With:

Albania  Egypt 
Jersey(a)  Nigeria  Syria 
Algeria  Estonia  Jordan  Norway  Tajikistan 
Armenia  Ethiopia  Kazakhstan  Pakistan  Taiwan
Australia  Finland  Kuwait  Philippines  Thailand 
Austria  France  Kyrgyzstan  Portugal  Tunisia 
Azerbaijan  Georgia  Latvia  Qatar  Turkey 
Bangladesh  Germany  Lebanon  Romania  Ukraine 
Belarus  Greece Lithuania  Russia  UAE 
Belgium   Guernsey(a)  Luxembourg  Saudi Arabia  UK
Bosnia and Herzegovina   Hungary  Macedonia  Serbia   Uruguay 
Bulgaria 
Iceland  Malaysia  Singapore  US
Canada 
India  Malta  Slovakia  Uzbekistan 
Chile 
Indonesia  Mexico  Slovenia  Vietnam 
China 
Iran  Moldova  South Africa  Zambia 
Croatia 
Ireland  Mongolia  South Korea  Zimbabwe 
Cyprus 
Isle of Man  Montenegro  Spain   
Czech Republic
Israel  Morocco  Sri Lanka   
Denmark  Italy  Netherlands  Sweden   
  Japan  New Zealand  Switzerland   

Most important forms of doing business

Capital companies (S.A., sp. z o.o.), Partnerships, Branches, Rep. Offices.

Legal entity capital requirements

S.A. - PLN 100,000, Sp. z o.o. - PLN 5,000.

Residence and tax system

A company is resident if either its legal seat or its place of management is located in Poland. Resident companies are taxed on their worldwide income.
Non-resident companies are taxed only on their Polish source income.

Compliance requirements for CIT purposes

  • Fiscal year is generally a period of 12 consecutive months;
  • Monthly tax advance payments should be made (simplified monthly advances equal to 1/12 of the previous year tax due possible);
  • No filing obligation during the year;
  • Annual tax return should be filed and the remaining balance paid within three months after the end of each tax year.

Corporate income tax rate

The standard corporate income tax rate is 19 percent. A 15 percent preferential CIT rate is available as of January 1, 2017. This preferential tax rate is available to small taxpayers, i.e. entities whose sales revenue (including the VAT amount) did not exceed the PLN equivalent of EUR 1,200,000 in the preceding tax year and to new taxpayers in their first year of operation (specific anti-avoidance rules should be observed).

Withholding tax rates

on dividends paid to non-resident companies

- 19 percent;
- Dividends paid to EU, EEA and Swiss parent companies are exempt subject to (i) a minimum holding requirement: 10 percent (25 percent for Switzerland) and (ii) a minimum holding period of 2 years;
- Reduction / exemption of WHT available under DTTs.

 

on interest paid to non-resident companies

- 20 percent;
- Exemption on interest paid to specific EU/EEA and Swiss-related companies available from July 1, 2013;
- Reduction of WHT applicable under DTTs.

on patent royalties and certain copyright royalties paid to non-resident companies

- 20 percent;
- Exemption on payments to specific EU/EEA and Swiss-related companies available from July 1, 2013;
- Reduction / exemption of WHT applicable under DTTs.

on fees for technical services

- 20 percent for the use of, or the right to use, industrial equipment, including means of transport, commercial or scientific equipment, or for the use of know-how (exemption on payments to specific EU/EEA and Swiss-related companies available from July 1, 2013).
- Reduction / exemption of WHT applicable under DTTs.

 

on other payments

- 20 percent, unless DTT provides otherwise, on payments for intangible services (accounting, marketing, HR, management, etc.).

- 20 percent on payments for services provided by foreign entities in the area of entertainment or sports performed/organized through individuals of companies operating in the area of artistic events, entertainment or sports on Polish territory.

- Reduction / exemption of WHT applicable under DTTs.

branch withholding taxes

No

Holding rules

dividend received from resident/non-resident subsidiaries

  • Credit method. Underlying credit available for non-EU and non-EEA treaty countries except Switzerland:

– Minimum holding requirement: 75 percent;

– Minimum holding period: 2 years.

  • Participation exemption for dividends from Polish subsidiaries and subsidiaries located in EU Member States, EEA states and in Switzerland, provided that:

– Minimum holding requirement: 10 percent (25 percent for Switzerland);

– Minimum holding period: 2 years.

capital gains obtained from resident/non-resident subsidiaries

Generally taxable.

Tax losses

Losses may be carried forward for five years. Up to 50 percent of the
loss may be offset in each year. Loss carry back is not allowed. 

Tax consolidation rules/Group relief rules

Resident companies with an average share capital of at least PLN 1,000,000 may form a fiscal group. It must be formed for at least 3 years. Additional requirements:

  • The parent company must hold 95 percent of the shares in the subsidiaries; 
  • The subsidiaries may not hold shares in the other companies of the group;
  • The companies may not be exempt from corporate income tax;
  • The annual ratio of net income to gross income must be above 3 percent.

Registration duties

Capital duty on incorporation of a company and on share capital increase (0.5 percent of share capital or increase of share capital). Capital allocated to share premium is not taxed.

Transfer duties

On the transfer of shares

1 percent (share-for-share deal may be exempt under specific conditions).

On the transfer of land and buildings

2 percent if not subject to VAT or VAT exempt.

Stamp duties

Yes, on some legal actions as issuance of the certificate or submitting a power of attorney.

Real estate taxes

Yes, the tax rates are set by the local authorities, subject to the maximum rates.

Controlled Foreign Company rules

Yes (CFC legislation in force since January 1, 2015).

Transfer pricing rules

General transfer pricing rules

OECD Guidelines apply. APA available. 

Documentation requirement

For most related party transactions statutory transfer pricing documentation required within 7 days upon request (any transfer pricing adjustments taxed at 50 percent if no documentation).

Thin capitalization rules

Old thin cap rules

Under the grandfathering clause, the old thin cap rules still apply to loans granted before January 1, 2015, provided the loan (money) was actually transferred to the borrower before that date, which should be understood as a physical transfer.
Interest paid on a loan is non-deductible in proportion to the amount exceeding the debt-to-equity ratio of 3:1, if the loan is granted:

  • by a shareholder holding directly at least 25 percent of the share capital or by a group of shareholders holding directly in total at least 25 percent of the share capital; or
  • between companies in which the same company holds directly at least 25 percent of the share capital of both the lending and the borrowing company.

New thin cap rules

Under new thin capitalization rules, effective as of January 1, 2015, the debt-to-equity ratio was changed to 1:1. 

General Anti-Avoidance rules (GAAR)

When establishing the nature of a transaction, tax authorities consider the intention of the parties and the purpose of a transaction, rather than relying solely on the representation made by the parties. If the transaction was fictitious and the parties intended to hide its real nature, the legal consequences of the real transaction will be taken into account.

New GAAR took effect on July 15, 2016. These rules give the tax authorities the right to determine the amount of tax payable without taking into account transactions that: were carried out primarily in order to obtain a tax benefit, which under the given circumstances would be contradictory to the spirit and intent of the tax provisions, or  have an artificial character.

The transaction is considered to have been carried out primarily to obtain a tax benefit if its other economic objectives, as indicated by the taxpayer, are deemed to not have significant importance. A transaction is deemed to have an artificial character if, under the same circumstances, another entity acting reasonably and driven by legitimate objectives (thus not for the purposes of obtaining a tax benefit) would not have carried out the transaction in the same way as the relevant taxpayer.

If obtaining the tax benefit was the only reason for an action, then the tax benefits resulting from the artificial action will be forfeited, as if the transaction (action aimed at obtaining the tax benefit) had never taken place.

As a consequence of applying the GAAR, the taxpayer may be charged late payment interest on potential tax arrears. According to the new GAAR legislation, the tax benefit is defined quite broadly as: avoiding a tax liability, delaying the moment when a tax liability arises, reducing the amount of a tax liability, generating a tax loss or increasing the amount of a tax loss; realizing a tax overpayment or right to receive a tax refund or an increase in the amount of an overpayment or increase in the amount of a tax refund. 

Specific Anti-Avoidance rules/Anti Treaty Shopping Provisions

Certain exemptions apply only if there are legal grounds for the exchange of fiscal information between Poland and the relevant State.

Tax neutrality will not apply to a merger, a division or an exchange of shares if the transaction is not justified by sound economic reasons, but was entered into for the purpose of avoiding tax. Specific anti-abuse clauses apply under DTTs.

Certain transactions / arrangements are specifically excluded from the Interest and Royalties Directive exemption.

Tax exemption on dividends received by Polish resident companies from EU/EEA/Swiss subsidiaries does not apply if the amounts paid are tax deductible for the distributing company.

The taxpayer cannot benefit from the dividend distribution exemption if:
the dividend payment results from arrangements / transactions that are primarily aimed at benefitting from the exemption and the obtaining of the exemption results in more than merely elimination of double taxation, and these agreements / transactions are not of a genuine nature, i.e. business justification test.

Advance Ruling system

Yes

IP / R&D incentives

From 2017: tax deduction on R&D activities (R&D tax credit) (50 percent of the salaries of employees involved in research and development activity and 30 percent or 50 percent of other costs connected with R&D).

Until 2016: tax deduction on R&D activities (R&D tax credit) (30 percent of salaries of employees involved in research and development activity and 10 percent or 20 percent of other costs connected with R&D).

Until 2015: 50 percent extra tax deduction on new technology expenses.

Other incentives

Research and development expenditure can either be deducted in the year when it is incurred or through tax write-offs.

VAT

The standard rate is 23 percent, and the reduced rates are 0 percent, 5 percent and 8 percent.

Other relevant points of attention

As of January 1, 2017, a domestic definition of income earned within the territory of Poland was introduced. The definition will be used when determining the limited tax liability of non-Polish residents.

The amendments to the CIT Act provide for a wide range of examples of situations when the income of a non-resident is explicitly deemed as earned “within the territory of the Republic of Poland” for the purposes of determining the taxpayer's limited tax liability in Poland. According to this definition, the following types of income qualify as Polish source income:

 

  • Income from all types of activities performed within the territory of Poland, including activities of a permanent establishment located in Poland.
  • Income derived from real estate located in Poland as well as from property rights to such real estate, including income from the sale of the real estate as a whole or in parts and the sale of any property rights to such real estate. 
  • Income from securities and derivative financial instruments that do not constitute securities authorized for public trading on a regulated exchange market in Poland, including income from the sale of such securities and financial instruments or from the realization of property rights arising therefrom. 
  • Income from the alienation of shares in a company, or participation in a partnership, investment fund or collective investment undertaking, where at least 50 percent of the total value of assets are directly or indirectly derived from immovable property located in Poland or property rights to such immovable property. 
  • Income from the settlement of receivables, including those put at disposal, paid or set-off by individuals, companies or entities without legal personality having a place of residence, registered office or management within the territory of Poland, regardless of the place where the agreement was concluded or the service was performed.

Contact us

Marcin Rudnicki

KPMG in Poland

T: +48 22 528 1177

E: marcinrudnicki@kpmg.pl

 

Rafal Ciolek

KPMG in Poland

T: +48 22 528 1197

E: rciolek@kpmg.pl

 

Michal Niznik

KPMG in Poland

T: +48 22 528 1377

E: mniznik@kpmg.pl

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