Starting January the 1st 2020 all natural persons conducting business activities in Poland, as well as legal entities, will be obligated to settle their respective tax obligations with the government through their individual tax accounts.
Please do spare 2 minutes of your time to read this blog entry, and familiarize yourself with the amendments, it should help you avoid problems when dealing with the Polish Tax authorities.
It is of utmost importance to understand the changes, especially if you are conducting business activities in Poland, as the amendments concerns both legal entities and natural persons.
What’s an individual bank account number
The first draft of the bill was published in summer last (2019) year, and introduced a number of amendments to the Tax Ordinance Act and the rules on VAT, corporate (CIT) and personal (PIT) income taxes.
Those changes became effective on January the 1st 2020. The new bill introduces a mandatory requirement for all taxpayers to obtain an individual bank account number.
It is officially known in Polish as “Indywidualny rachunek podatkowy”, however the term “mikrorachunek podatkowy” (lit. micro account) is used as well, so you may come across this term on other English-speaking websites.
Currently the changes apply to:
but starting next year the amendments will apply to all fees, and payments, including the well-known Civil Law Activities Tax (known in Polish as PCC).
The new micro accounts are mandatory for settling all the necessary tax liabilities and payments for both natural persons and legal entities.
What does it mean for me, what has changed?
Those who only moved to Poland relatively recently may be unfamiliar with the tax system, and do not understand the significance of the changes imposed by the new ordinance.
Up until recently each tax office (Urząd Skarbowy) had separate account numbers, that we had to use to settle our tax obligations, such as PIT, CIT, and VAT payments.
Furthermore, if we decided to move to a different voivodeship (region) or even gmina (commune), our local tax office would change as well, along with all those separate account numbers.
So it was easy to make a mistake, but fixing it wasn’t that simple.
The new law changed the system completely, and as a result all those account numbers dedicated to tax payments ceased to be active on 31st December 2019.
You cannot transfer your tax liabilities to those old accounts, as they are no longer in use.
One important thing worth mentioning: the actual date the tax liability arose does not matter in this case.
You have to settle your respective tax obligations, using the new account numbers regardless of whether such payments concern your liabilities from the current year or one of the preceding years.
Account expiration date
Your individual account number cannot expire.
The micro account will be obtained once, and will be valid for life, unless of course some future bill or an amendment changes that.
Furthermore it will remain the same should you decide to change your address of residence here in Poland as well.
This also applies to legal entities and sole proprietorships. If you provide services in Poland as a LLC company or as a sole trader, you will have to obtain the micro account number only once as well.
For companies, the account number will be valid until the company ceases its business operations and is liquidated. If you decide to change your company’s seat, the number will stay the same.
How to obtain an individual bank account number
We are have to obtain the relevant account number on our own. The tax authorities won’t do it for us. Fortunately it’s relatively easy to do.
It can be done either directly directly at the tax office (Urząd Skarbowy) or by using the individual tax account generator available at: podatki.gov.pl
In order to obtain the said number, you will have to provide your Tax Identification number. That would be:
- PESEL identification number or
- NIP tax number.
You see, your identification number will be used in the account number itself, and it applies for both individual taxpayers, who will be using the PESEL identification number as well as corporate taxpayers and individual entrepreneurs, who will be using their businesses’ respective NIP tax number.
If we, for some reason, are not subject to PESEL registration we may use the NIP number as well. This can apply to some foreigners, who cannot obtain a PESEL identification number.
Please be advised, that the new ordinance did not change the provisions on Tax Refunds.
Any tax overpayments will be returned to the bank account you indicated in your tax form.
Remember than you can change that by submitting a ZAP-3 form along with your PIT-36 or PIT-37 to notify the office, and update your record.
We hope our tips where useful. Please do share this information, as they are currently no plans by the Ministry of Finances to inform Polish taxpayers of the change by sending out letters (like Polish ZUS usually does).