Contact
Michał Gosek

Tax adviser (Poland)
Associate Partner
Phone: +48 61 624 49 39
E-Mail

Contact
Dorota Białas

Tax adviser (Poland)
Associate Partner
Phone: +48 71 60 60 402
E-Mail

We would like to inform you about plans of significant changes in the rules of granting state aid to enterprises. The changes mostly affect entities operating in Special Economic Zones in Poland (SEZs). However, all enterprises should be interested in the subject. 

On 21/10/2017 the Ministry of Finance proposed amendments to the state aid rules and to liquidate Special Economic Zones.

The draft includes the following (proposed) amended regulations:

The act will not liquidate SEZs automatically. Enterprises holding permits for business issued under the SEZ Act, will be allowed to operate under that act until the end of 2026. Thus, SEZ enterprises will keep all their acquired rights, however no one will be able to apply for a new zone permit. 

SEZs would be replaced by a single investment area. 

Preferences would be offered on the basis of decision issued by the Minister of the Development, valid for 10 to 15 years. The poorer the region (i.e. the more regional aid it gets), the longer the validity period of the permit. 

Major changes will take place when it comes to the criteria to be met. So far they have been quantitative only. The new act adds qualitative criteria which will be adapted to the conditions at a specific location.

Quantitative criteria will depend on the unemployment rate in the district and on the enterprise size, whereas qualitative criteria will be defined in a special regulation. Nonetheless, according to the information provided on the Ministry's website, the criteria will include: 

  • Structural development – measured on the basis of: employment of specialists or the number of highly paid jobs; compliance of the investment project with the current national development policy, as well as exporting goods or services;
  • Scientific development – calculated in consideration of the collaboration with science centres, academic centres and R&D projects; 
  • Sustainable development – calculated on the basis of the investment project location (e.g. in areas with high unemployment rate); additional points for supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and for supporting medium-sized and small towns and villages;
  • Human resources development – measured by additional benefits offered to employees, e.g. health care services provided to employees or supporting them in education and skill development.

An investment project can score a maximum of 10 points. Qualitative criteria will be deemed fulfilled upon achieving 60% (in some areas of Poland 50%) of points. 

Tax incentives will be available throughout Poland (without territorial restrictions).

The draft act includes also a few changes which may not to the benefit taxable persons: e.g. at the request of the minister competent for budgeting, the Council of Ministers will have the power to halt the decision granting the aid in a budget year. This means that a moratorium on issuing decisions supporting investors will be possible in certain years. 

Furthermore, a special clause preventing tax avoidance or evasion is planned. It is supposed to eliminate cases when the decision is obtained as a result of an agreement or another legal transaction or several related legal transactions whose main or one of the main goals is to enjoy the exemption from income tax, or when the transactions are not real. Of course, such a provision would be flawed and in practice would prevent enterprises from doing business in SEZs, since the whole purpose of the decision is to be exempt from tax. 

The draft regulation is at the stage of procedure – the public consultation, which means that it has not been referred to the Sejm yet. 

The act would take effect after 14 days from its publication. 

We keep monitoring the works on this act on a regular basis. It revolutionises the current rules of granting state aid to enterprises. If we notice an increased activity or any significant changes in this regard, we will keep you posted. Nonetheless, if you are looking at investing in a SEZ under the current conditions, the safest option is to start acting now. We would be glad to assist you in this process.

In case of further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our tax advisers in Rödl & Partner offices in Gdansk, Gliwice, Cracow, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw will gladly review your documentation related to your investment in the Special Economic Zone in Poland and propose a solution to minimise your tax risks. We are also on hand to answer any other tax-related questions you may have. Our offices offer legal advice in Poland with conducting business within a SEZ and with any other aspects of your operations. We take this opportunity to encourage you to contact us. 

3.11.2017

Zapobieganie unikaniu opodatkowania

Planowana jest także specjalna klauzula zapobiegająca unikaniu opodatkowania. Chodzi o przypadki, gdy uzyskanie decyzji następuje w związku z zawarciem umowy (lub dokonaniem innej czynności lub wielu powiązanych czynności prawnych), których głównym lub jednym z głównych celów jest uzyskanie zwolnienia od podatku dochodowego, bądź też gdy czynności te mają charakter nierzeczywisty. Taki przepis niewątpliwie będzie wadliwy i w praktyce uniemożliwiał będzie działalność na terenie SSE, wiadomym jest bowiem że celem uzyskania decyzji jest właśnie zdobycie zwolnienia podatkowego. Projekt ustawy znajduje się na etapie konsultacji publicznych, co oznacza że nie został jeszcze skierowany do Sejmu. Ustawa wejdzie w życie 14 dni po dniu jej ogłoszenia.  

Losy omawianego projektu ustawy warto śledzić na bieżąco. Rewolucjonizuje ona bowiem dotychczasowe zasady udzielania pomocy przedsiębiorcom. Jeśli chcą Państwo zainwestować w SSE na obecnie obowiązujących warunkach, najbezpieczniej jest już dziś podjąć odpowiednie kroki. Nasi doradcy podatkowi w biurach Rödl & Partner: Gdańsk, Gliwice, Kraków, Poznań, Warszawa i Wrocław, chętnie przeanalizują Państwa dokumentację związaną z inwestycją w Specjalnej Strefie Ekonomicznej i zaproponują rozwiązania pozwalające zminimalizować ryzyka podatkowe. Z chęcią zaproponują także doradztwo podatkowe oraz doradztwo prawne w obszarze SSE jak i w innych obszarach Państwa działalności.

3.11.2017