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Ten anti-crisis measures for Polish companies

On 6 November 2020, Polish Prime Minister presented details of the recently announced aid plan to support the fight against the economic impacts of the pandemic.

The new measures will be directed primarily to the industries most affected by restrictions introduced to contain the epidemic. The measures include: co-financing of fixed costs for small and medium-sized businesses; discharge of subsidies from the Financial Shield granted by the Polish development Fund to small and medium businesses, under the condition of a cumulative drop in revenues amounting to at least 30% from March 2020 to March 2021; extension of the downtime benefit provision period and exemption from the obligation to pay social security contributions. Moreover, companies from all industries will be eligible for applying for long-term loans covered by a guarantee, along with employees' subsidies. For large businesses, the deadline for submitting applications for support from the Anti-Crisis Shield granted by the Polish Development Fund will become extended to 31 March 2021, with funds to be paid out until 31 June 2021.

Simplified invoicing put out to public consultation

On 4 November 2020, the Ministry of Finance announced that the provisions on simplified invoicing are to be put out to public consultation. According to the Ministry's proposal, a cash register receipt up to PLN 450 (circ. EUR 100) containing the purchaser's NIP should not be considered a simplified invoice. The change would consist in introducing additional mandatory information to simplified invoices, i.e. the company's name (or the purchaser's name and surname) and the purchaser's address. As a consequence, the purchaser could request a full invoice issued based on such cash register receipts or receive a single collective invoice. As for sellers, they would not have to report the issued NIP cash register receipts up to PLN 450 under SAF-T_VAT. The Ministry of Finance explained that the changes were aimed at meeting the demands imposed by industry organizations and at relieving the constraints to business activities forced by the pandemic outbreak in Poland. 

Discharged amount of the subsidy granted by the Polish Development Fund to be subject to taxation

By way of individual ruling of 30 October 2020, the Head of the National Revenue Administration Information Centre (case file 0115-KDIT3.4011.434.2020.3.AWO) ruled that subsidies granted under the Anti-Crisis Shield by the Polish Development Fund shall be treated as a loan and thus subject to income tax. As a result, while the subsidy itself is not treated as the applicant's revenue subject to PIT, the discharged amount of the subsidy remains taxable. This ruling is contrary to the position of the Ministry of Finance, which, as early as a couple of months ago, suggested that income tax exemption of the discharged amount was possible and that, hand in hand with the Polish Development Fund, it worked on a solution that would be the most beneficial for business.

Works on the Industry Anti-Crisis Shield are underway

The bill amending the Act on Special Arrangements for the Prevention, Control and Management of COVID‑19, Other Infectious Diseases and the Resulting Emergencies (dubbed "the Industry Anti-Crisis Shield") was submitted to the lower house of the Polish Parliament. The bill provides for exemption from the obligation to pay social security contributions for November 2020, additional one-off downtime benefit, a subsidy amounting to PLN 5k for small and medium businesses, and suspension of marketplace fees in 2021.

The aid will be granted to entrepreneurs whose predominant business activity, as of 30 September, falls under one of the 25 indicated PKD (Polish Classification of Activity) codes (for industries such as catering, entertainment, fairs, photography, wedding services, wellness), and who will prove that the revenue they earned in November 2020 was lower by at least by 40% compared to the one earned in November 2019. Applications for downtime benefits or subsidies may be submitted until 30 June 2021. In a situation where the entrepreneur has already paid social security contributions for November 2020, they will be eligible for a refund.

The bill is now assessed by the Sejm.

Draft amendments to the decree on exemptions from the obligation to keep records with the use of cash registers

A draft decree of the Minister of Finance, Development Funds and Regional Policy amending the decree on exemptions from the obligation to keep records with the use of cash registers was published on the website of the Government Legislation Centre.

The goal of the decree is to adjust the decree currently in force to the new EU Combined Nomenclature (CN) for goods and to amend the Polish Classification of Goods and Services 2015 for services and certain goods. 

Furthermore, the draft decree repeals the provisions on the start day for keeping records with the use of at least 1/5 of the number of cash registers reported by the taxpayer to the head of the tax office, in connection with the amendment to Article 111(4) of the VAT Act, which no longer provides for the obligation for the taxpayer to report to the tax office the number of cash registers used, prior to the recording commencement.

New regulations are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2021.

CJEU will look into Polish provisions on exemption from excise duty for imports of ethyl alcohol used in the production of medicines

On 30 October 2020, the European Commission decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice for its rules on exemption from excise duty for imports of ethyl alcohol used in the production of medicines.

In the Commission's assessment, Polish provisions in this regard are not compatible with the EU law.

According to the Commission, Polish rules infringe the EU law, since they do not provide for refunding excise duty paid on the import of ethyl alcohol used to produce medicines after the duty has been paid.

New PIT return forms

A decree providing for amendments to the PIT return templates was published in the Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland. The changes pertain to PIT-4R, PIT-8AR and PIT-11 forms. According to the Ministry of Finance, the proposed changes directly reflect amendments to the applicable laws. In addition to the statutory changes, the new versions of the templates also take into account other new regulations, especially those introduced in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

The revisions contained therein relate to revenue, income (loss) earned (incurred) starting from 1 January 2020. The new decree is expected to enter into force on 18 November 2020.