Taxation

Working in Europe | Taxation/salaries | Poland
 

Polish taxation system consists of several types of taxes. As the legislator imposes fines on tax evasion, it is essential to remember about making payments and submitting tax declarations within due time.

Below you will find a list of those Polish taxes which are the most relevant to researchers.

 

In general terms, a natural person residing in Poland (usually it means a stay of at least 183 days of the calendar year) is a taxpayer in Poland and is liable on their globally-earned income regardless of the place where remuneration is received. In case of temporary residence, only the income coming from the Polish sources, irrespective of where it is received, is subject to taxation in Poland. The detailed regulation is included in international agreements for the avoidance of double taxation signed by Poland with over 80 countries.

Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) are contracts between two states aimed at avoiding double taxation. It applies to income which derives from a territory of one country and may be taxable in another. It occurs if you are a resident of one country whilst you get income from the territory of another. At that time you may be obliged to pay income taxes in both states. In order to avoid negative results of such situations, Poland signed a number of DTAs. The list of the agreements is available on the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website (the website itself is in Polish) and here (in English).

General rules

If your place of residence is Poland, you have the obligation to pay taxes on its territory. It means that you have ‘unlimited tax liability’. According to the treaties and under the Polish law, having the place of residence in Poland means:

  1. Staying on its territory for more than 183 days annually or
  2. Having there the centre of your vital interests.

If you do not have the place of residence in Poland, but you obtain some income on its territory, you should pay taxes only on this income. This is called ‘limited tax liability’.

The above-mentioned treaties include two main methods to calculate the tax:

  • exemption method (exemption with progression)
  • credit method

Please familiarize yourself with the right agreement to choose the appropriate method.

 

Each year before the end of February, your employer/s should give you a document called ‘PIT-11’, containing your income data from the previous year. After you get it, you have to submit your tax declaration using information from this document. You should use a specific form which can be found on the internet. There are several types of them called ‘PIT-37’, ‘PIT-38’, ‘PIT-39’, etc. Most probably you will have to choose the first one which is most common. After you fill it in, it has to be delivered to a Tax Office pursuant to your place of residence. It has to be done before the end of April.

You can do it:

  • online, using the “E-declaration” tool prepared by the Ministry of Finance and available on its website
  • by sending it (as a registered letter) through the Polish Post,
  • by submitting it in person to the relevant Tax office,
  • if you are currently outside of Poland, you can file your tax declaration to a Polish consulate.

Please note that the documents are in the Polish language.