Special Economic Zone all over Poland | Legal Alert
Yesterday, a law on supporting new investments was adopted by the Senate without amendments. It extends tax reliefs for new investors to the entire territory of Poland. Until now, tax reliefs were available only in the identified area of SEZ. Tax relief consists in exempting the income subject to the decision from corporate income tax or personal income tax. The amount of tax relief will depend on the type of investment, the quality of workplaces and the location of investment. Minimum value thresholds of investments authorizing to exemption will be determined taking into consideration the unemployment rate in the province in which such investment is located as well as the size of entrepreneurship (with significant preferences for SMEs). The investments located in the cities which are losing their economic and social functions will be especially rewarded.
Tax exemptions will be granted upon a decision for the period of 10-15 years. Owing to the new law, the procedure of obtaining tax exemption for a new investment will be significantly accelerated, since the procedure concerning the change of SEZ borders, which lasts up to 9 months, will not be necessary.
The currently applicable provisions will still apply to the investors who already have permits granted on the basis of the old law on SEZ; however, there are two crucial exceptions. Firstly, in case of holders of more than 1 permit/decision on support, the law orders to utilize the exemption limits in order of obtaining the permits.
Secondly, the introduction of the so-called small anti-optimization clause concerning tax relief is the crucial change. It states that tax exemption may not be applied if it stems from the conclusion of the agreement or other legal transaction (or many legal transactions) whose main aim is to obtain the exemption or if such exemptions are not of actual nature or if their main aim is to avoid or evade taxation. The wording of the regulation arises very crucial doubts and offers a broad spectrum of interpretation possibilities to the authorities. Due to this fact, tax payers are highly recommended to verify the structures of running an activity in the SEZ in terms of risk of employing this clause by the authorities. Under the transitional provisions, the small anti-optimization clause will apply also to the holders of old permits of the SEZ in relation to the incomes to be obtained beginning from 2019.
Łukasz Karpiesiuk – Partner, Tax Advisor