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Act on Assistance to Ukrainian Citizens: tax implications

On 12 March 2022, the Sejm (the Polish parliament) adopted an Act on Assistance to Ukrainian Citizens. It was signed by the President and published in the Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland the very same day. This Special Act, implemented in the wake of the armed conflict in Ukraine, brings many changes, including amendments of the PIT and CIT acts.

Main assumptions behind the Special Act

The main goal of the Special Act, introduced in a very expedited manner, is to enable Ukrainian citizens who are fleeing their country due to the war, to stay in Poland legally.

However, it also addresses many other things, including the rules of employing Ukrainian citizens, the ways of providing assistance to refugees by voivodes and local government or the establishment of a special Aid Fund. Amendments of certain tax provisions have been introduced, as well.

Changes of PIT and CIT: tax deductible expenses

Changes of PIT and CIT have been introduced respectively in Articles 74 and 76 of the Special Act: Articles 52zf-52zi were added to the PIT Act, and Articles 38w-38z to the CIT Act. Their objective is to offer preferential treatment to activities supporting Ukrainian citizens.

Under these new regulations, “the costs of production of things or rights being the subject of donations made from 24 February to 31 December 2022 for the purpose of counteracting the effects of hostilities on the territory of Ukraine” shall be considered tax deductible expenses.

It is necessary for the recipient to be: 

  • a non-governmental organisation or other non-profit entity (either Polish or Ukrainian),
  • a local government unit,
  • Government Strategic Reserve Agency,
    OR
  • an entity conducting medical or emergency rescue activities in Poland or Ukraine.

Similarly, any expenses incurred on account of gratuitous activities (services) made for the benefit of the indicated entities shall also be classified as tax deductible costs.

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The legislator also remembered about the recently introduced minimum tax. In order not to discourage people from offering help, a new Art. 38y was introduced to the CIT Act. Pursuant to the provisions of this article, for calculating the loss and the share of income in revenues for the purpose of the minimum tax, the above-mentioned costs shall not be taken into account.

As a result, any assistance provided to Ukraine shall not increase the risk of the taxpayer having to pay the minimum tax.

Changes of PIT and CIT: tax exemptions

Thanks to the Special Act, the above-mentioned entities providing assistance to Ukraine and its citizens shall not include the value of donations and gratuitous services provided to them in the period from 24 February to 31 December 2022 and donated for the purposes of counteracting the effects of hostilities on the territory of Ukraine in their income.

Any humanitarian aid received in the above-mentioned period by Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland in this period from the territory of Ukraine shall also be exempt from PIT. Unfortunately, the wording of the Special Act leads to the conclusion that the exemption is not going to cover donations made to Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland through Slovakia, for example, which seems to be an oversight on the part of the legislator.

The last aspect worth noting is that benefits due to persons who provide room and board to Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war shall be exempt from income tax; such benefits are provided for in Article 12 of the Special Act.

Should you have questions or need to discuss the topic further, we encourage you to contact our expert, Tomasz BEGER:

e-mail: ekspert@rsmpoland.pl

tel. +48 61 8515 766

fax +48 61 8515 786

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