Contact
Dorota Białas

Steuerberaterin (Polen)
Associate Partner
Phone: + 48 71 346 77 70
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According to the well-established case law an enterprise that has several zone permits may keep one set of accounting records in order to calculate income from the business activity in the special economic zone. Such an opinion has been substantiated in e.g. advance tax rulings issued by the Director of Tax Chamber in Łódź of 13/12/2013 (file no. IPTPB3/423-367/13-3/MF) or the ruling of 10/10/2013 by the Director of Tax Chamber in Katowice (file no. IBPBI/2/423-829/13/JD).

The tax authorities further say that an enterprise operating in the zone should specify the maximum available state aid, on the basis of all its expenses eligible for aid, and should compare it to the amount of aid already received in any form. As a consequence, an enterprise may enjoy exemption on income from the business in the zone by virtue of several different permits. 

This allows an enterprise to utilise the state aid limit in a chronological order. An enterprise may in the first place use the aid limit under the permit issued earliest, and once this is used up or expired it may use the limit under the second permit.

However, this favourable interpretation is not so consistent if the zone permit is for business in several different zones. In his advance tax ruling of 18/11/2011 the Director of Tax Chamber in Katowice confirmed that even though a company conducted a tax-exempt activity in two special economic zones at the same time (Mielecka Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) and Katowice Special Economic Zone (KSEZ), the company would be obliged to keep separate records of taxable income (earned beyond the permits) and exempt income (earned under the permits). Still, the company would not have to divide the income earned under individual permits. The company would then be entitled to exempt income in the amount being the product of the available state aid limit and the eligible expenses under individual permits, discounting accounted for. Thus calculated amount of aid available to the enterprise would be consumed by tax-exempt income earned in line with the permits. 

Still, the Director of Tax Chamber in Katowice took a different stance in his advance tax ruling of 19/12/2014, file no. IBPBI/1/423-84/14/KB, claiming that the permit for business activity is issued for a specific business activity exclusively in one specific special economic zone. The limits of available aid, i.e. the maximum aid intensity, are also set separately for each zone. Therefore, if a business is carried on in several special economic zones the enterprise should assess the available state aid limit separately for each zone, taking into account the maximum state aid limit applicable to the province in which the zone is located, i.e. with respect to the income earned from business activity in the given zone.

In view of the above interpretation inconsistencies, if you run a business activity in more than one special economic zone, we recommend applying to the Minister of Finance for an advance tax ruling. Our tax advisers would be glad to draft such an application for you. Furthermore, Rödl & Partner offices in Gdansk, Gliwice, Cracow, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw can offer professional tax advice in Poland and legal advice in Poland on special economic zones and other areas of your specific interest.