On Thursday, 30 April 2020, the Sejm adopted the latest amendment to the Anti-crisis shield. The most important changes include a capital injection from the Industrial Development Agency, increased protection of borrowers, a new levy to be paid by VoD providers and the expansion of the group of self-employed persons eligible for exemptions from social insurance contributions.
Funds obtained by the Industrial Development Agency will be spent on public support for entrepreneurs that will not constitute public aid or on other activities aimed at counteracting the effects of COVID-19. The total value of the funds that will be used to acquire the shares in the Industrial Development Agency does not exceed PLN 900 million. The amendment also includes important anti-usury regulations that provide for imprisonment e.g. for demanding from debtors the payment of costs other than interest in the amount exceeding at least twice the maximum amount of these costs and the amount determined in the act. The act also introduces regulations prohibiting the auctioning of apartments during the pandemic if they are occupied by debtors.
The most interesting change is the chance to claim the exemption from the payment of contributions for own social insurance for those who generated revenue exceeding 300% of the projected average monthly gross remuneration in 2020 (PLN 15.6 thousand) but their income in February 2020 did not exceed PLN 7 thousand.
The Act introduces a new fee that is to be paid by VoD providers equalling 1,5% of their revenue. The so-called ”Netflix tax” is to be paid to the Polish Film Institute.
Important simplifications regarding the employment of foreigners have also been introduced. Work and residence permits for foreigners, including those obtained under the simplified procedure or for seasonal work, will be automatically extended for the duration of the state of emergency and 30 days after its lifting. Additionally, if any changes are made to the work conditions of foreigners, there will be no need to apply for a new permit.
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