Tax Consultant at RSM Poland
As we are getting back to "normal" life after Christmas relaxation and New Year's Eve attractions, many of us are wondering what the new year will be like and what it will bring. At the same time we summarise the past year − what we did, what proved to be a success and what went wrong. On the occasion of this reflection, we cannot ignore that in many situations, including success in business, a major role is played by factors independent of the interested parties, such as legal conditions, the situation on the labour market, currency fluctuations as well as supply and demand in the industry. In this context, how was the year 2016 for foreign entrepreneurs who have decided to invest or continued their business in Poland?
Poland invariably attractive for foreign investors
According to analyses and statistics, at the end of the first half of 2016, Poland had almost 50 thousand enterprises with foreign capital, and approx. 3.5 thousand new commercial companies with foreign capital were registered in the first six months of 2016. For comparison − in the entire 2015 approx. 6.7 thousand such companies began operations. An increase in the number of foreign investors opting for the development of business in Poland is still visible. This increase has been stable for several years, and the strongest group among investors are German companies. This should not surprise anyone, since Germany is the biggest economic partner of Poland, and in 2015 German products accounted for approx. 23% of the volume of Polish imports. Given the stable economic growth at the level of approx. 3% of GDP per year, and the increasing purchasing power of the 38-million population, Poland is an important sales market and an attractive destination, attracting investment companies representing a wide variety of industries.
Although the economic forecasts for 2017 may differ, many factors support the further development of investment in Poland. However, regardless of whether an entity just intends to start a business or continues its pending projects, and regardless of whether it would run a business in "better" or "worse" times, it is always good to show a little caution and precede key decisions for the company with a careful legal and tax analysis. This will certainly allow selecting the most optimal and safe solution from the business and tax perspective.
It should be noted that even VAT has recently been subject to increased risk. No less difficult can be the growing amount of data to be transferred to the tax authorities in electronic form. All this requires reasonable co-ordination and protection against risks. All the more so because the regulations are subject to frequent and significant changes, and what seemed like the best way some time ago is not necessarily so today or tomorrow. In the end, after we have a new year − with new challenges but also new opportunities and possibilities.