Determination of the tax obligation
In order to determine the scope of the tax obligation, it should be considered whether a given person has a so-called tax residence in Poland, which is related to the place of residence within the meaning of tax law. Pursuant to the provisions of the tax law, a natural person is domiciled in Poland if:
1) has a center of personal or economic interests (center of vital interests) on the territory of Poland, or
2) stays in the territory of Poland for more than 183 days in a tax year.
The fulfillment of at least one of these criteria allows the taxpayer to be considered a person residing in Poland, thus having a tax residence in Poland. The consequence of this is the obligation to settle income in Poland on the basis of unlimited tax obligation, which means being subject to tax liability on all of your income (revenues) regardless of the location of the sources of income (unlimited tax obligation).
Natural persons, if they do not have a place of residence on the territory of Poland, determined in accordance with the above criteria, are subject to tax liability only on income (revenues) achieved in the territory of Poland (limited tax obligation).
The above rules for determining the tax obligation may be modified by bilateral agreements between countries. In the case of Ukraine, it is the Convention between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of Ukraine on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion with regard to taxes on income and property, drawn up in Kiev on January 12, 1993.
Tax obligation of refugees from Ukraine
As a result of the mass arrival of refugees from Ukraine in connection with the Russian aggression to Ukraine and the possibility for them to settle in Poland by the Polish authorities on the basis of the Act of March 12, 2022 on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with an armed conflict in the territory of that country (special act) in many cases, there will be grounds to believe that they have tax residence in Poland. The consequence of this will be that they will be subject to tax in Poland on all their income (revenues), regardless of the location of the sources of income (unlimited tax obligation). This will reduce the budgetary revenues of the Ukrainian state, even if the Ukrainian citizens had a source of income in Ukraine.
According to the information from the Ministry of Finance, the Polish tax authorities will approach the issue of tax residence in a flexible and individual manner, without denying the possibility of maintaining a life center in Ukraine by Ukrainian citizens arriving in Poland after February 24, 2022. on personal income tax (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 1128, as amended) in Article 52zj provides, in the case of a citizen of Ukraine covered by the special act, the possibility of declaring that he has a center of personal or economic interests in Poland, and thus tax residence in the period from February 24, 2022 to December 31, 2022, on the basis of his written declaration. However, it should be emphasized that the Polish legal regulations and regulations contained in bilateral agreements binding Poland and Ukraine will be decisive for a given factual state.