Monthly levy introduced for banks and other organisations carrying out financial activities.

The Act on Taxation of Certain Financial Institutions ("the Act") was adopted by the Polish Parliament on 15 January 2016. The Act imposes a tax obligation on certain financial and insurance institutions to pay a special monthly levy of 0,0366 per cent on the value of the institution's assets, subject to certain exemptions, thresholds and deductions ("the Tax"). The implementation of the Act was aimed at creating an additional source of funding for public expenditure, in particular social security, as set out in the Polish Government’s spending programme.

The new Act came into force on 1 February 2016.

The Tax applies to the following entities carrying out financial activities in Poland:

  1. domestic banks
  2. branches of foreign banks
  3. branches of credit institutions
  4. cooperative savings and loan unions (SKOK)
  5. domestic insurers
  6. domestic reinsurers
  7. branches of foreign insurers and reinsurers
  8. the main branches of foreign insurers and reinsurers
  9. consumer credit institutions

Certain financial institutions are not covered or are exempt from the Tax. This is the case in particular for (i) state-owned banks; (ii) investments funds (UCITs and non-UCITs), (iii) taxpayers that are subject to a supervision decision; (iv) taxpayers implementing certain restructuring programmes as specified under the Act; (v) credit institutions located in the EU that carry out banking activities on a cross-border basis under the EU single passport and (vi) insurance companies located in the EU carrying out insurance activities other than through a branch.

The Tax base will be established as the value of assets (determined at the end of each month pursuant to the accounting regulations) in excess of thresholds (tax-free amount) determined as follows:

  1. PLN4 billion for domestic banks, branches of foreign banks, branches of credit institutions and cooperative savings and loan unions (SKOK).
  2. PLN2 billion for domestic insurers, domestic reinsurers and (main) branches of foreign insurers and reinsurers.
  3. PLN200 million for consumer credit institutions.

For (a) domestic insurers, domestic reinsurers and (main) branches of foreign insurers and reinsurers and (b) consumer credit institutions the above thresholds are to be calculated cumulatively for all taxpayers belonging to the same capital group.

Under the Act the Tax base will be reduced, in particular:

  1. for domestic banks, branches of foreign banks, branches of credit institutions and cooperative savings and loan unions by the value of:
    • own funds (referred to in Article 126 of the Polish Banking Law and art. 24 of the Polish Law on Cooperative Savings and Loan Unions);
    • investments in the Treasury bonds;
    • the increase in own funds following a supervisory decision;
  2. for domestic banks, branches of foreign banks and branches of credit institutions by the value of assets acquired from the National Bank of Poland (NBP) and securing refinancing credit provided by the NBP;
  3. for domestic banks being affiliating banks for cooperative banks, by the value of funds kept on accounts of the affiliated cooperative banks.

Taxpayers are obliged to:

  1. pay the Tax on a monthly basis at the rate of 0.0366 per cent of the Tax base, and
  2. file a special tax return

- by the 25th day of month following the month to which the Tax applies.

The first Tax settlement period is February 2016.

The Tax is not a tax deductible cost for Polish Corporate Income Tax purposes.

Finally, pursuant to the Act the introduction of the Tax may not be used as a basis for amending any terms on which financial and insurance services are provided under the contracts existing prior to the entry into force of the Act.