Tax on Retail Sales Act has been published in the Journal of Laws | Tax Alert 5-2016

New tax levied on retail trade

The Tax on Retail Sales Act of July 6th, 2016, published in the Journal of Laws on August 1st, 2016, introduces a new burden which the entrepreneurs operating in the field of retail sales will have to deal with beginning from September 1st, 2016.

Who will be affected by tax on retail sales?

The new law involves entrepreneurs who supply goods (i.e. movables or parts of movables) to consumers, at the premises of the enterprise or beyond the enterprise premises.

The Act comprises of only a few exceptions in scope of goods that are not to be subject to taxation (such as: solid fuel, heating oil, medicines or foodstuff intended for particular use).

What is subject to taxation?

Subject to taxation is monthly revenue from retail sales exceeding PLN 17 mio. The tax is applicable at progressive tax scale, i.e. revenues less than PLN 170 mio fall into 0,8% tax rate and the remaining revenues (exceeding PLN 170 mio), are subject to rate 1,4%.

Partial rejection of planned solutions

Contrary to what was articulated during legislation process, new regulations do not introduce  higher tax rates applicable to sales on Sundays and public holidays. The taxation of retail sales via the Internet was not implemented as well. Moreover, there are no mechanisms of aggregating the revenues of entities operating within capital groups.

Possible reaction

Taking the taxation model into consideration it should be noted that it is similar to Hungarian solutions which were challenged by the European Commission. As an outcome, Hungary withdrew the  analogous retail tax.

Moreover, implementation of the new tax raises doubts in the context of incompatibility with prohibition of introducing turnover taxes other than VAT and may lead to violation of state aid rules.

In this context it can be assumed that implementation of retail tax in Poland will trigger the reaction of the European Commission.

In connection with new regulations, in our opinion it is worth considering implementing relevant steps in order to prepare businesses for incoming changes, especially to ensure that the new regulations will influence business profits as less as possible.

We would like to underline that, taking into account the general anti-avoidance rules, implementation of any steps aiming to change the model of business activity should be preceded by deep analysis of business grounds of planned actions.

Should you have any questions regarding tax on retail sales, we remain at your disposal.


Patrycja Goździowska, Partner, Tax Advisor SSW

Tomasz Wickel, Partner, Attorney at Law SSW

Łukasz Karpiesiuk, Partner, Tax Advisor SSW

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