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June 24, 2020
Poland defers certain provisions of new withholding tax reform to 1 January 2021
The decree further deferring the application of the key amendment to the new withholding tax (WHT) regime was signed by the Polish Minister of Finance and now is awaiting publication, which should take place in the coming days, but not later than 25 June 2020. The decree will enter into force on the day following its publication.
Under the decree, the default obligation to collect WHT at the statutory rates of 19% or 20%, regardless of relief at source available under a tax treaty or domestic exemption based on the European Union (EU) directives (unless special procedures are followed), has been further deferred until the end of December 2020.
As background, the key changes under the WHT reform introduced as of 1 January 2019 include:
It is important to note that other stringent elements of the reform were not subject to deferral and have already been effective as of 1 January 2019. That is, the Polish tax remitter is now obliged to exercise due diligence to determine if the payment recipient is eligible to benefit from relief at source. The new, more rigid definition of the beneficial owner is also already in force.
The additional time resulting from the postponement to collect WHT at the statutory rates of 19% and 20% is a positive development for taxpayers and tax remitters making cross-border payments. It will allow them the opportunity to analyze the impact of the new WHT regime and to secure their tax positions in view of the new rules which require a pro-active approach to benefit from relief at source.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
EY Doradztwo Podatkowe Krupa sp. k., Warsaw
EY Doradztwo Podatkowe Krupa sp. k., Wroclaw
Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Polish Tax Desk, New York