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Are Entrepreneur Obliged to Have Bank Account?

Is Entrepreneur Obliged to Have Bank Account?

From time to time our clients or acquaintances ask me whether there is an obligation to have business bank account. On one hand no one is able to point out the provision introducing such obligation, but on the other hand the majority of entrepreneurs subconsciously feel uncomfortable not having a bank account.

This issue becomes relevant due to the so called white list of VAT taxpayers containing bank accounts of entrepreneurs – VAT taxpayers. Importantly: despite the Central Evidence and Information About Business Activity allows to report only personal bank account, such bank account will not be visible on the white list.

Firstly, in the Polish legal system there is no provision obliging entrepreneurs to have business bank account. However, it is currently hard to imagine an entrepreneur who would make tax or social security money transfers via post office or other institution offering financial services. Nevertheless, the practice shows that many entrepreneurs use personal bank accounts.

In this place the amount of PLN 15,000 appears in two aspects:

  1. Pursuant to Article 10 of the Entrepreneurs Law, making and receiving payments have to be via bank account (there is no distinction between business and personal bank account) if the payment is between entrepreneurs and value of the transaction (irrespective of installments number) exceeds the amount of PLN 15,000.
  2. According to Article 22p sec. 1 p. 2 of the Personal Income Tax and Article 15d sec. 1 p. 2 of the Corporate Income Tax (both in wording in force from 1.01.2020), payments exceeding PLN 15,000 not made onto bank account showed on the white list, will not be eligible to qualify as tax deductible expenses. Additionally – also from January 1st, 2020 – the Tax Ordinance Act will be amended by adding Article 117ba, introducing i. a. joint and several liability of buyer for outstanding tax payments of seller, if the payment is made onto a bank account not from the white list (on the day when the payment order was placed).

In practice, it means that VAT tax payers who receives payments over PLN 15,000, are obliged to have business bank account. On the other hand, entrepreneurs not being VAT tax payers, but making or receiving payments exceeding PLN 15,000 are obliged to have bank account (not necessarily business).

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