Until a few weeks ago, nobody expected the coronavirus to have such an impact on the life of every citizen. Today we no longer have any illusions, the economic, and health situation is less than a desirable and visions for the future are not optimistic. In the face of the crisis, many enterprises in Poland are collapsing, and according to the data of the Central Register and Information on Business Activity in March, over 48 thousand companies suspended their activity. Suspension of activity is connected with the fact that entrepreneurs will not pay income taxes, will not pay VAT, but it is also connected with de-registration with the Social Insurance Institution (hereinafter referred to as “ZUS”).
The plans concerning exemptions from the obligation to pay contributions to ZUS presented by the governement varied. Initially, the government opted for the possibility of deferring contributions, but due to numerous appeals from entrepreneurs, according to which the deferral changed little and was no real help, the government introduced the possibility of exemption from paying social security contributions.
Current Legal Status
According to the current legal status as of 7 April 2020, and in accordance with the Act of 31 March 2020, the called Anti-Crisis Act, the persons who are subject to the possibility of exemption from paying contributions are:
- a payer of contributions who as of 29 February 2020 reported to social security less than 10 insured persons if he was declared as payer of contributions before 1 February 2020;
- a payer of contributions who is a person conducting the non-agricultural paying contributions exclusively for his own social security or health insurance, if he conducted activity before 1 February 2020 and income from this activity within the meaning of the provisions on personal income tax obtained in the first month for which the application for exemption from paying contributions is submitted, was not higher than 300% of the forecasted average monthly gross salary in the national economy in 2020;
- a clergyman who is a payer of contributions.
The payer is exempted from the obligation to pay:
- unpaid receivables for social security, health insurance, Labour Fund, Solidarity Fund, Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund or Bridge Pension Fund due for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020, shown in the settlement declarations submitted for that period;
- unpaid receivables for compulsory pension and accident insurance, voluntary sickness insurance, health insurance, the Labour Fund and the Solidarity Fund due for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.
A clergyman shall be exempt from the obligation to pay unpaid contributions for his compulsory pension and accident insurance, voluntary sickness insurance and health insurance due by virtue of being a clergyman, for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.
The application for exemption from the obligation to pay contributions should be submitted to the Social Insurance Institution no later than 30 June 2020. The application for exemption from the payment of contributions should contain:
- data of the payer of contributions:
- first and last name, abbreviated name,
- the NIP and REGON number or, if the remitter of contributions has not been assigned these numbers or one of them, the PESEL number or series and number of the identity card or passport,
- the address for correspondence;
- a statement of the payer who is a person conducting non-agricultural activity, paying contributions exclusively for his own social security or insurance health, if he conducted business activity before 1 February 2020, confirming that he obtained, in the first month for which an application is submitted for exemption from paying contibutions, income from business activity not higher than 300% of the forecasted average monthly gross remuneration in the national economy in 2020 (applies to payers who pay premiums exclusively for their own social insurance or health insurance);
- other information necessary to exemption;
- the applicant’s signature.
The application for exemption from paying contributions may be submitted in a form:
- a paper document, or
- an electronic signature – a qualified electronic signature, a trusted signature or
- personal signature, using the information profile created in the system made available by the Social Insurance Institution.
The relevant forms are available on the ZUS website.
Currently, an amendment to the Act is being carried out, which would enable entrepreneurs with 10 to 49 employees. Then entrepreneurs will be exempt from paying contributions to the Social Insurance Institution in the amount of 50% of the total amount of unpaid contributions shown in the settlement declaration submitted for a given month. This solution will be a response to the appeals of entrepreneurs who have been ‘harmed’ in a way because of the creation of more jobs in their companies. Since, in accordance with the regulations adopted in the previous version of the Act, exemptions from the payment of contributions did not cover them. The Parliament voted on the amendment, now it is on the agenda of the Senate.