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Polish Investment Zone Act on support for new investmentsPolish Investment Zone Act on support for new investments

Basic information

It is almost 20 years since the establishment of the Special Economic Zones, the Act of the 10th May 2018[1] amended the instruments of income tax exemption (CIT or PIT)in order to adjust the provisions to the current market situation and entrepreneur’s needs. The major difference introduced is that the tax exemption is now available across the entire territory of Poland, for companies carrying out new investments, on publicly as well as privately owned land[2]. At the same time, the currently binding Special Economic Zone (SEZ) permits, already granted to investors within the old SEZs shall remain in force until 2026. What is more, the amendment of 31 July 2019 also allowed support for investments in areas with undeveloped mineral deposits, thus significantly expanding the offer of locations, in which entrepreneurs can be granted tax exemption.


What projects are eligible for support?

In the light of the provisions on regional state aid[3], the definition of a new investment reads as follows:

  • establishment of new enterprise
  • increase of production capacity of an existing enterprise
  • diversification of production through the introduction of products which previously were not manufactured by the enterprise
  • fundamental changes to the production process of an existing enterprise
  • acquisition of assets of an enterprise which has closed or would have closed had it not been purchased, provided that the assets are acquired by an entrepreneur not linked to the seller; the mere acquisition of shares in the enterprise is excluded [4]

If the investment is located in the Mazowieckie voivodeship, only an investment in favour of a new economic activity shall be considered a new investment[5].

As in the case of SEZ, investments carried out within certain sectors of economic activity shall not be covered by the support system. A detailed catalogue of exemptions is defined in the regulation on state aid granted to certain entrepreneurs for the implementation of new investments[6].

According to the new regulations, the following enterprises are eligible for public aid in the form of tax exemptions:

  • all enterprises in the sector of traditional industries, with the exception of enterprises producing, i.e.: explosives, alcohol, tobacco products, steel, or companies operating in the energy generation and distribution sector; wholesale and retail trade, facilities and construction works, services related to accommodation and catering services, and game centres. Companies from the metallurgy, iron and steel sectors, the coal sector, and the transport sector are not eligible for support under the EU’s regulations[7].
  • selected enterprises from the business services sector (BSS) providing: IT services, research and development in the areas of natural and technical sciences, auditing and book keeping services, accounting (excluding tax declarations), technical research and analysis services, call centres, architectural and engineering services.


What is the amount of tax exemption?

The maximum amount of state aid in the form of CIT or PIT tax exemption is determined on the basis of the regional aid map for 2014-2020 (representing the percentage of costs eligible for regional aid):



Mazowieckie voivodeship:


Detailed criteria which need to be met in a given location to obtain a decision on support can be found here. What is more, PAIH operates a Generator of Investment Offers, in which you can check the conditions for obtaining tax exemption for a specific piece of real estate.

Support for medium and small/ micro enterprises is increased by 10 and 20 percentage points respectively (i.e. 25% becomes 35% or 45% respectively).

The exemption shall only be applicable to income generated from business activities carried out as part of an investment, covered by the decision on the support. Therefore, if the entrepreneur simultaneously conducts activities which are not covered, the supported activities have to be organizationally separated and the level of exemption shall be determined on the basis of data (revenues and costs) of the separated activity. What is more, the Ministry of Finance has published explanatory notes on the method of determining tax-exempt income achieved from economic activity, as defined in the decision on support (referred to in the Act of 10 May 2018 on support for new investments[8]), which clarified, inter alia, how to interpret situations when, because of the way in which a new and existing investment (located on the same site) are integrated, it is impossible to determine the income (revenue) exclusively from the new investment, without taking into account the integrated part of the existing investment (close links). The explanatory notes help to establish the best practice of applying the above-mentioned provisions, i.e. the most predictable, uniform and appropriate interpretation of the tax law.

In accordance with the regulations on state aid, the eligible costs of the new investment are:

  • land acquisition cost, cost related to its purchase, the development or modernization of fixed assets (e.g. machines), cost related to the acquisition of intangible assets (computer programs, licenses, certificates, etc.)[9], or
  • 2-year labour costs of newly hired employees[10].
The decision on the support has to specify the completion date of the new investment, after which the costs of the new investment incurred by the entrepreneur cannot be considered as eligible costs, apart from the two-year labour costs, costs related to renting or leasing of land, buildings, structures and financial leasing, which may be considered as eligible even after the investment completion date.


How to determine the company's status?

In accordance with the Commission’s Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain types of aid compatible with the internal market pursuant to Art. 107 and Art. 108 of the Treaty, the following evaluation criteria were adopted for the purposes of defining the size of enterprises: number of employees, turnover, balance sheet total, and independence. Turnover and balance sheet total are alternative criteria. On this basis, the following classes of enterprises have been established:

  • Category

    Medium
    Small
    Micro
  • Average annual
    number of employed
    < 250
    < 50
    < 10
    and
  • Yearly
    turnover
    ≤ 50 EUR m
    ≤ 10 EUR m
    ≤ 2 EUR m
    or
  • Total annual
    balance
    ≤ 43 EUR m
    ≤ 10 EUR m
    ≤ 2 EUR m

Companies that do not qualify as micro, small or medium enterprise are classified as large companies.


Who decides on granting support?

The decision regarding support, issued at the entrepreneur's request, determines the period of its validity, the subject of economic activity, as well as the conditions that the entrepreneur has to meet. The decision is issued on behalf of the Minister responsible for the economy (currently Minister of Economic Development), by the management of Special Economic Zones in the areas indicated in the ordinance to the Act.



How long is the tax exemption granted for?

The period for which the decision on support is issued shall depend on public aid intensity in a given area. This period is the same for all companies, regardless of the type of economic activity conducted and the size of the company. The decision on support shall be issued for a definite period, not shorter than 10 years and not longer than 15 years. The exemption period shall be counted from the date of receipt of the decision on support and shall stand at:

  • Decision 
  • Public aid intensity:


    10%, 20%, 25%



    10 years



    dolnośląskie
    wielkopolskie
    śląskie
    podregion warszawski zachodni
    m.st. Warszawa
  • Public aid intensity:


    35%



    12 years



    kujawsko​-​pomorskie,
    lubuskie,
    łódzkie,
    małopolskie,
    opolskie,
    pomorskie,
    świętokrzyskie,
    zachodnio­pomorskie,
    podregiony woj. mazowieckiego: ciechanowsko​-​​płocki,
    ostrołęcko​-​siedlecki,
    radomski i warszawski wschodni
  • Public aid intensity:

    50%
    and for sites located within the boundaries of the SEZs prior to the amendment

    15 years



    lubelskie
    podkarpackie
    podlaskie
    warmińsko-mazurskie

If, on the day the decision on support is issued, at least 51% of the area of land on which the new investment is to be located is situated within the boundaries of a special economic zone (as defined in Article 2 of the Act of 20 October 1994 on special economic zones), the decision on support for a new investment is issued for a period of 15 years.


What are the criteria for receiving public aid?

The decision on support is issued for the implementation of a new investment, which meets certain quantitative and qualitative criteria. The quantitative criteria (minimum amount of eligible costs) depends on the unemployment rate in the district (poviat) in which the investment is to be implemented (the higher the unemployment rate, the lower the required costs) and the size of the enterprise. Preference is also granted to entrepreneurs, conducting research and development activities and those in the business services sector.

Quantitive Criteria

Unemploy­ment rate in the district/ average unemploy­ment in Poland[11]

Minimum amount of eligible costs

Large enterprise

Medium enterprise

  • small enter­prise
  • R&D projects
  • business services sector

Micro enterprise

<60% of national average

PLN 100 m

PLN 20 m

PLN 5 m

PLN 2 m

60 - 100%

PLN 80 m

PLN 16 m

PLN 4 m

PLN 1.6 m

100 - 130 %

PLN 60 m

PLN 12 m

PLN 3 m

PLN 1.2 m

130 - 160%

PLN 40 m

PLN 8 m

PLN 2 m

PLN 0.8 m

160 - 200%

PLN 20 m

PLN 4 m

PLN 1 m

PLN 0.4 m

200 - 250 %

PLN 15 m

PLN 3 m

PLN 0.75 m

PLN 0.3 m

> 250%*

PLN 10 m

PLN 2 m

PLN 0.5 m

PLN 0.2 m

* and in 122 medium-sized cities losing socio-economic functions and in municipalities bordering these cities


The Qualitative Criteria

SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - max. 5 points

Scoring

 

MANUFACTURING SECTOR

BUSINESS SERVICES SECTOR

 

Compliance with the current national development policy, where Poland may gain a competitive advantage

Investments in projects from the following sectors:

  • selected food products,
  • means of transport,
  • professional electrical and electronic equipment,
  • aerospace sector,
  • hygiene products, medicines, and medical products,
  • machinery,
  • material recycling of raw materials and modern plastics,
  • eco-buildings,
  • professional services,
  • professional telecommunication and information services,
  • inclusive smart specializations of the voivodeship the investment is planned in.

1

Export oriented sales

Achieving an appropriate volume of sales outside of the territory of the Republic of Poland

1

R&D activity

Pursuing research and development activity

1

Size of enterprise

Possessing the status of a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise

1

National Key Cluster / Business Services Sector

Membership of a National Key Cluster

Establishing a business services centre providing services outside of the territory of the Republic of Poland

1

 

SUSTAINABLE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT - max. 5 points

Scoring

 

MANUFACTURING SECTOR

BUSINESS SERVICES SECTOR

 

Low negative environmental impact

Pursuing an economic activity with low negative environmental impact

1

Investment location

Locating the investment:

  • in medium-sized cities losing their socio-economic functions, and in municipalities bordering these cities,
  • in poviats or cities, with poviat status where the unemployment rate stands at least 160% of the national average unemployment rate (excluding those cities where the Voivode or the Parliament of the Voivodeship are seated)

1

Support in gaining additional education

Supporting the acquisition of knowledge and vocational qualifications and cooperating with vocational schools

1

Care for employees

Improving employees welfare.

1

Creating high quality jobs

Creating specialized jobs in order to pursue an economic activity covered by the new investment and offering secure employment

Creating well-paid jobs and offering secure employment

1


The entrepreneur implementing a new investment in a given sector shall be considered to have met the qualitative criteria once he obtains a certain number of points (depending on location - as indicated in the table below) no less than one point for each criterion:


Public aid intensity

Point threshold

  • 25% or less

6

  • 35%

5

  • 50%

4



In case of any questions about the Polish Investment Zone or other investment incentives, please do not hesitate to contact our team via the contact form.


 
  • [1] Act of 10th May 2018 on support for new investments (Dz. U. 2018poz. 1662).
  • [2] With the exception of areas with mineral deposits (unless the investment pertains to the said deposits).
  • [3] As defined in art. 2 para. 49 of the Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 of 17/06/2014, which recognizes certain types of aid as compatible with the internal market pursuant to art. 107 and 108 of the Treaty (GBER).
  • [4] Added by the Act of 19 June 2020 on subsidies to bank loans granted to entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19 and the simplified procedure for the approval of the agreement in connection with the COVID-19 application (Dz.U. 2020, item 1086).
  • [5] Initial investment in favour of new economic activity, as defined in art. 2 para. 51 of the Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014.
  • [6] Council of Ministers Ordinance of 28th August 2018 on state aid granted to certain entrepreneurs for the implementation of new investments.
  • [7] Art. 13 of the Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 of17/06/2014, which recognizes certain types of aid as compatible with the internal market pursuant to art. 107 and 108 of the Treaty.
  • [8] Explanatory notes on the method of determining tax-exempt income achieved from economic activity as defined in the decision on the support referred to in the Act of 10 May 2018 on support for new investments.
  • [9] The acquired assets must be new, with the exception of assets acquired by SMEs. In the case of large enterprises, the costs of intangible assets are only eligible up to 50% of the total eligible initial investment costs.
  • [10] Estimated payroll costs resulting from the creation of jobs following an initial investment, calculated over a two-year period.
  • [11] Based on the announcement of the President of the Central Statistical Office regarding the average unemployment rate in the country and specific areas (poviats).
(Updated: July 2020)

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