After years of discussion, Poland started to tax gains of non-residents on real estate companies, i.e. gains on shares, interest in tax transparent partnerships and collective investment vehicle units if at least 50% of assets of that entity consist of Polish real property.
In line with the law, the real estate assets test has to be made on the last day of the month proceeding the month the disposal took place, which gives the taxpayers some flexibility.
Also, the gains of non-residents on publicly traded shares will be taxable in Poland.
However, the applicable tax treaty may change the above treatment of gains on real estate companies and publicly traded shares.
Separately, the corporate income tax (CIT) exemption applicable to collective investment funds has been slightly narrowed. Now, Polish closed-end investment funds are no longer exempt, but this is only the case with regards to income earned from interest in tax transparent partnerships, income from loans granted to, and securities issued by, such partnerships. Similar limitations apply to CIT exemptions of EU/EEA seated collective investment schemes. The tax exemption applies to all other sources of income including interest, capital gains and dividends, making this form of activity still very competitive.
The new corporate taxpayers, as well as most of the small ones, are subject to 15% CIT instead of the standard rate of 19%. A taxpayer is recognised as small if its previous financial year's revenue (VAT inclusive) did not exceeded €1.2 million ($1.3 million).
Contribution in kind of assets other that an ongoing concern is now taxed as a sale. Before the amendment, the contributor was taxed on the face value of shares received in exchange for the contribution (less the deductible costs). Now, the market value of assets transferred to a company constitutes a taxable revenue and less the underlying costs is taxed with standard 19% CIT rate.
Some defined R&D qualifying costs give the right to additional 30% or 10% deduction from taxable basis.
Formal letters of practice (tax rulings), including those issued in the past, will give no protection if they relate to tax avoidance challengeable on the grounds of the general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR).
There are many new requirements for transfer pricing documentation. VAT law was also significantly amended.