The Frequently Asked Questions can be seen below and at the same time we underline the fact that the answers relate to the legal status which prevails at the moment of publication. It is therefore advisable to check the current legal status before exploring any subject in greater depth.
Additionally, we have made available the most commonly asked questions, for examples those regarding contracts.
Does an EU citizen require permission to buy real estate in Poland?
Yes and no. Generally, a foreigner purchasing real estate in Poland needs permission. Nevertheless, there are some situations where such permission is not required. Permission is issued in the proceedings of an administrative decision. In the meaning of statute’s regulations on purchasing real estate by foreigners, a foreigner is:
- natural person not having Polish citizenship;
- legal person having a seat abroad;
- commercial company without legal personality mentioned in point 1 or 2, having a seat abroad and formed according to foreign countries’ legislation;
- legal person and commercial companies not having legal personality with the seat on the territory of the Republic of Poland and which is controlled directly by persons or companies mentioned in point 1, 2 and 3.
Within the statute’s control comes also the purchase or accession by the foreigner of shares or stock in commercial companies with the seat on the territory of the Republic of Poland (except for companies admitted to trading on the regulated market). All other legal activities concerning shares or stock require permission if they cause that company, as an owner or holder of perpetual usufruct on the territory of the Republic of Poland, to become a controlled company.
The statute also foresees situations where permission is not required. This refers, among others, to foreigners being citizens or entrepreneurs of cosignatory countries of the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, except for situations when they purchase:
- agricultural and wooded real estate within 12 years from the accession of the Republic of Poland to the European Union;
- „a second house” within the period of 5 years from the date of the accession of the Republic Poland to the European Union.
Moreover, according to the act regulations, some of the provinces have shortened the above-mentioned period of 12 years to 7 years and to 3 years if the real estate was previously leased.
There is also the possibility to purchase the real estate by a foreigner without any permission and in a fully legal manner, which conforms with the above-mentioned regulations. Our legal office specialises in providing services of this type of transaction and also obtaining the permission to purchase the real estate. Within our range of services we also offer due diligence, both in the case of a purchase of real estate and in the case of companies owning real estate.
Does the invoice have to be written off on the side of the purchaser of goods and services in case it remains unpaid?
Within the act of 16th November 2012 on the reduction of certain administrative burdens in the economy, published in the Journal of Laws of 30th November 2012 (Journal of Laws of 2012 item 1342), the legislator amended the regulations for certain tax acts, including the personal and corporate income tax acts , and the value added tax act.
Certain changes introduced by the above-mentioned act will change the settlement accounts of the tax deductible expenses and value added tax.
Nevertheless, if the payment deadline is longer than 60 days, the reduction of tax deductible expenses, by the amount stated in the documents mentioned in section 1, can be made after 90 days from the date when this amount has been recognised as tax deductible expenses, unless it was regulated on a different day.
The legislator indicated that the reduction of tax deductible expenses can take place in the month of the payment deadline which is regulated in the act.
If after the reduction of tax deductible expenses the debt is regulated, the taxpayer increases the tax deductible expenses by the reduced amount in the month when the debt has been settled.
When can the company use a so-called “bad debt allowance”?
Within the act of 16th November 2012 on reduction of certain administrative burdens in the economy (Journal of Laws of 2012 item 1342) the legislator amended, among others, Article 89a. of the act on value added tax (VAT act). Thereby the tax payers had the right to use “bad debt allowance”.
The adjustment also concerns the taxable amount and the amount of tax as a part of the bad debt rendered as credible. According to Article 89a(1a) of the VAT act, bad debts are rendered as credible when the liabilities have not been settled or negotiated in any form within 150 days from the date of the payment deadline stated in the contract or invoice.
Until 31st December 2012 the taxpayers wanting to use bad debt allowance were obliged to inform the debtors about their intention. In case the debtor did not pay after having been handed the notification, the creditor could adjust the tax due. However, from the 1st January 2013 there will be no obligation to inform the debtor about the creditor’s intention to use bad debt allowance. After 150 days from the moment when the payment deadline stated on the invoice, or a contract, expires, the creditor will be able to adjust the taxable amount and the tax due. The adjustment concerns the period in which the 150th post-deadline day has passed.
Taxpayers using the bad debt allowance will be obliged to provide a tax return and to inform the appropriate tax office about the adjustment. The notification should contain the adjusted amount and debtor’s data.
It needs to be underlined that the legislator imposed an autonomous obligation to adjust the amount resulting from the invoice on the debtor (this is the entity that did not pay the invoice within the deadline). This obligation is for the period in which the 150th post-deadline day has passed according to the contract or invoice. In case the obligation of the taxpayer is breached, the head of the tax office or tax inspection authority determines an additional tax liability of 30% of the tax resulting from the unregulated invoice that has not been adjusted. This may be subsequently connected to the fact that the burden of penal and fiscal responsibility falls on the taxpayer.
Is the dividend, paid to a subsidiary partnership, subject to taxation?
The basic rule expressed in the Directive of EEC no 90/435/EEC, called Parent-Subsidiary-Directive, concerns the taxation neutrality of dividends paid between parent companies and subsidiary companies of various countries which are members of the European Union.
This exemption will not benefit the organisations using personal companies in which the dividends may be double-taxed. This is the case when the dividend is paid by the limited liability company to a personal company whose partner is another commercial company. That is why it is necessary to plan competently and with deliberation, how to avoid this burden.
Can a legal advisor represent me in a divorce case?
Yes. In accordance with the act on legal advisors, exercising the profession of a legal advisor consists of providing legal aid except for appearing for the defence in criminal proceedings and in cases relating to tax offences. Legal aid consists, particularly, of providing legal advice and consultations, legal opinions and representation of a lawsuit.
Are members of the testator’s family responsible for his/her debts?
In accordance with the regulations of the civil code, the responsibility for the testator’s debts starts at the moment of opening the succession i.e. the moment of the testator’s death. This responsibility is limited only to the possessions left by the testator, until a statement concerning acceptance or rejection of inheritance has been made.
In case the inheritance is accepted, the beneficiary bears full responsibility for the debts with all his possessions, which means possessions gained through the process of inheritance and his personal possessions. There are two possibilities to accept the inheritance: with benefit of inventory, when the beneficiary bears responsibility for the debts of a testator only from the value stated in the assets of succession; or by a so-called “simple acceptance”. The latter way means that the beneficiary bears full responsibility for the debts without any limit on the value until the entire creditor debts of the testator are fully settled.
It needs to be emphasised that for persons who do not make any statement within the above-mentioned period of six months, the inheritance is automatically accepted according to a “simple acceptance” rule.
I am employed in a managerial position. Is it true that I am entitled to receive remuneration for working overtime?
In principle – yes. According to Article 1514 of the labour code, the employees managing the workplace on behalf of their employer, and supervisors of separate organisational departments, if necessary, work overtime without the right to remuneration or overtime bonus. The exception for this rule is overtime work on Sunday and Bank Holidays.
Therefore, the fact that the current view expressed in the judicature (judgement of 17.11.1981, I PR 92/81) regarding the employment contract stating that the employee is exercising a managerial position, is not a decisive factor. The fact that an employee can be named a supervisor depends only on the fulfilment of the conditions included in Article 1514 (1) of the labour code. Despite the fact that a managerial position in the organisational workplace has been distinguished, the High Court did not include an employee managing an organisational department separated in the organisational structure of a workplace to the category of employees exercising managerial positions as defined by the labour code. These employees are not entitled to overtime pay if they manage the team whilst exercising the same work as other members of the team (judgement of 13.01.2005, II PK 114/04). The High court held that “the scope of implementation of Article 135 of the labour code (currently Article 1514 KP) does not include those supervisors of the separated organisational departments in a workplace whose duties do not confine them to solely organising, controlling or supervising their subordinates but they include exercising the same work” (judgement of 07.11.1981, I PR 92/81)