Every year between February and the end of April you’re supposed to submit your PIT declaration. PIT in Polish is an abbreviation from Personal Income Tax (podatek od dochodów osobistych) which doesn’t need to be complicated. I will do my best to explain the most important things related with it. And now, as usual, allow me to present the subjects covered in this post:
- Who needs to submit PIT in Poland?
- PIT-11 / PIT-37 / PIT-38
- What are the deadlines?
- Tax reliefs
- 1% – public benefit organizations
- e-PIT – government portal
- So, is PIT submission obligatory?
Who needs to submit PIT in Poland?
Each and every Polish citizen who officially earned at least one zloty must prove it before the tax office in the annual tax return, even if you had zero zloty of tax to pay. If you officially did not earn any money you are not obligated to settle PIT for example a spouse or student who are supported by their parents. So, what if you are not a Polish citizen? You are supposed to define what is your income status in the eyes of Polish law:
- a tax resident – paying all income tax in Poland, including the income obtained outside of Poland.
- a tax non-resident – paying income tax only on the income obtained in Poland.
You are a tax resident if you reside in Poland for longer than 183 days in a year (this period does not have to be continuous) or in case if the Republic of Poland is a center of your economic / personal interest. Economic interest means, that you need to have a Polish permanent source of income or own business. Personal interest means your closest family (wife, children) or your house (property) would be placed in Poland.
If you are a non-Polish citizen with a tax resident status then you are liable to pay private income tax under the same conditions as a regular Polish citizen. You’re supposed declare any income from abroad. On the other hand, if you are Citizen who is not a Polish tax resident, you’re supposed to declare only the income obtained in Poland.
PIT-11 / PIT-37 / PIT-38
PIT-11 is the basic information about income, costs and collected personal income tax advances. Information has to be provided by the payer who settles, collects and pays advance income tax payments during the year. “Payer” here means in majority of the cases your employer. Summarizing, this means, that your employer is supposed to deliver PIT-11 to you and this is the document, which is required to start the process of your annual tax return, in the case of around 80% of all tax payers.
PIT-37 and PIT-36 are the two most popular PIT’s that you as a taxpayer settle with the tax office. PIT-37 filled in on the base of PIT-11 is used to show basic income, i.e. income from work, pensions, disability pensions, contracts for specific work or activities performed in person. PIT-36, on the other hand, is used to show income from economic activity and special departments of agricultural production which are taxed on general principles. It also includes foreign income.
So which declaration should I use?
PIT-37 and PIT-36 are mutually exclusive. This means that you can submit either PIT-36 or PIT-37 to the tax office. Therefore, if we have obtained income that must be reported on PIT-36 (for example from work abroad) and “basic” income shown in PIT-37 (for example pensions), then the income belonging to PIT-37 should be shown in PIT -36.
There are much more of PIT declarations available via the tax office. My point here is to clarify the PIT in Poland for the majority (over 80%) of you, who on the basis of statistics, will use PIT-37 or PIT-36 for your annual declaration. The other PITs are for example: PIT-28 (flat-rate activity), PIT-38 (stock, securities, capital flows), PIT-39 (real estate sales). If you find yourself in one of the fore mentioned categories, your annual declaration might be slightly more complexed.
Deadlines for PIT in Poland
There are only 2 important dates depending on type of PIT which you need to submit.
- PIT-28 – you have time until end of February to submit a PIT-28, and when last day of February is a day off, then until the first business day following February 28th (or 29th). Tax payment resulting from PIT-28 deadline is the same as the tax payment deadline. So, you have until the end of February.
- PIT-37, PIT-36, PIT-36L, PIT-38 and PIT-39 – you have time to submit these PITs until 30th April, and when 30th is a non-working day, then by the first business day following it. Tax payment resulting from these PITs is the same as the tax submission deadline. This means end of April to submit and pay the tax.
Of course, only in the case, when you need to pay the tax to the tax office, not the other way around. What do I mean by this? In a majority of cases, you might get an income tax return. This happens when we have tax reliefs which allow us to reduce the amount of tax paid. How does this work?
There is one more thing worth mentioning here. If you do not submit the declaration available in your e-PIT (Twój e-PIT) system after the deadline, your tax return will be submitted automatically. This means, that the system will do it on your behalf, but without the possibility of deducting allowances (i.e. especially those, with which the Tax office is not aware) and settlements with your spouse.
Tax reliefs – PIT in Poland
As I said in a previous paragraph, during submitting our PIT tax office declaration, we should make sure that we are using all the tax reliefs which we are eligible for. PIT-11 is information about tax which was paid by our employer already to the tax office. With proper reliefs and knowledge how to use them, we might have a very good chance to get part of this money back to our own. It is especially important if you have a family or you have made any charity donations or for example if you are part of IKZE program.
The reliefs to be used and conditions to be met, are updated every year, so I am presenting a list below about reliefs for the year 2020:
- Internet relief
- Relief for children – pro-family relief
- Rehabilitation relief
- Relief for a car dedicated to a disabled person
- Medicines costs relief
- Donations to non-profit organizations
- Donations for religious worship
- Donation of blood donors – blood relief
- Donations for charity and caring churches
- Contributions to IKZE
- Donation for the fight against COVID-19
- Thermo modernization relief
- Donation of notebook computers
- Relief for young people – people younger than 26 years
Luckily, you do not need to know all of this from the top your head. Right now, on the market we have a few available portals which can provide help for you when filling out your declaration on your own. So, no worries. I will give you more details about these mentioned portals in a next section of the article.
1% – public benefit organizations
You may transfer 1% of your tax to public benefit organizations. What is the idea behind this? By transferring 1% of tax in a PIT tax return, you do not lose a single zloty. You only distribute the amount that you would have to return anyway. However, you always have a choice. You can transfer it to the State Treasury (so give it to the tax office) or transfer it to one of the institutions from a list of public benefit organizations.
These public benefit organizations are taking care of Charity work, Children support, Education, Health, Nature Protection, Animal rights and many more. You may choose an organization which you want to support on a search engine dedicated for these purposes. Just click here to visit the site. Once again – this is something that can be done via portals dedicated to submitting PIT declarations as well. Would you like to know my referral here?
“Twój e-PIT” – your e-PIT
“Twój e-Pit” (click) is a service which allows you to submit your PIT declaration online via official gov webpage. It is a digital version of a tax office, which allows you to go through this process smoothly from your home. It automatically takes into the consideration the reliefs which are applicable for you. The portal is smart and intuitive to use, if it works. The platform had some problems with server overload, the first few days when it went live in May 2019. Currently the application is available only in Polish – this may be inconvenient for those of you who do not speak/read Polish. However, you can use a “Live Translate” option available for example via Google Chrome.
I do recommend this application for people who do not require a complexed PIT declaration. Feedback from the previous year, points out mistakes with deducting the proper amounts tax relief amounts. On the other hand, you may have easy access to archive your PIT declarations from previous years as well as access to documentation from your micro-company – if you have one.
In order to login, you need to have details about your previous fiscal year or simply use a trusted profile / bank account. If you would like to know more about which banks support this option, I highly recommend, you visit my article dedicated to banking in Poland (just click here). What is the alternative?
If you do not have any specific English-speaking accountants, who can I refer to? Especially, when we talk about assistance on our private PIT. I can provide a few links to a few search engines, which should be able to help you finding an accountant who can help you with your PIT, if you find this much too complicated to complete on your own. Once again, I strongly recommend, to check “Twój e-Pit” before you start looking for an accountant. In the end, you might find it really easy to submit, especially if you have only one source of income from Poland, coming from your PIT-11. However, links to the search engines below:
So, is PIT submission obligatory?
Yes, it is, as I mentioned in the first paragraph of this article. However, if you don’t do it consciously, but let the automated system do it on your behalf, it might cost you money. In the worst case scenario, you risk penal and fiscal liability, which means that you may be punished for a petty offense or even a fiscal offense. However, it happens only in case, if you are in arrears with payments to the tax office. Not the other way around. However, in order to explain it even better, I will use two examples below:
A 27-year-old single person living alone in an apartment who did not give any charity donations nor IKZE savings. Their annual income of around 80,000 zł brutto from one contract where the employer did not change for the last year. In such case, most probably the person will not receive any tax refund. He might easily use “Twój e-PIT” portal for free submitting PIT without any worries. Despite the fact, that they will get no money returned, they are still eligible to choose where to donate their 1% of a tax.
A 35-year-old head of the family (with children) with an annual income of around 110,000 zł brutto living in their own home in which he has made some renovations, which allows him to use Thermo modernization relief. In addition, he is an active blood donor, who paid in a few hundred złoty to public benefit organizations. He also has IKZE savings from previous year. In such case, I would strongly recommend they use the services of a good accountant who can help with all the possible tax reliefs. Example number 2 might generate afew thousands złoty paid back from the tax office. Nevertheless, if our family guy, wouldn’t use all available reliefs, he would loose a chance of getting this money back.
Summary of PIT in Poland
I hope I clarified my point here. Every person will be a different case. This is why I strongly recommend that you to not avoid conscious submitting of your PIT. You may do it on your own, or via the Twój e-PIT mentioned above but, also with the help of an experienced accountant who would submit everything on your behalf. It is up to you.
Special thanks to Eamon Gosney, who has helped with proofreading of this article.
bankier.p; pitax.pl; urzadskarbowy.gov.pl; wikipedia.plSource