Tax avoidance clause coming soon – President signs the bill | Tax Alert 4/2016

On 7 June 2016, the President of Poland signed the amendment of the Tax Ordinance Act, which introduces  a tax avoidance clause to the Polish legal system.

The primary objective for introducing the clause is to eliminate loops in the taxation system and, consequently, to increase the tax revenue by eradicating artificial tax structures which, despite being legally acceptable, are in conflict with the objectives and guidelines of substantive tax law.

In other words, the essence of the tax avoidance clause is to establish the limits for acceptable tax optimisation and to abridge the taxpayers' rights to tax benefits obtained as a result of the abuse of tax regulations.

Importantly, the tax avoidance clause will not be applicable to acts resulting from real economic events, nor to holding organisations which are not aimed exclusively at achieving tax benefits. Under the amended Tax Ordinance, any acts undertaken by tax payers, to the extent that they can be supported by a legal purpose economic rationale, will be treated as actions which were not principally aimed at tax optimisation.

The tax avoidance clause is currently awaiting its promulgation in the Journal of Laws. The Act, with some exceptions, is to become effective after 30 days of its promulgation.

More information about the final model of the tax avoidance clause can be found in the previous Tax Alert titled “General anti-avoidance tax rule is ever closer – amendment adopted by Parliament”.


Patrycja Goździowska, Partner, Tax Advisor SSW

Tomasz Wickel, Partner, Legal Counsel, Tax Advisor SSW

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