Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0
Provisions against buy-outs
On June 24th this year, the act on interest rate subsidies for bank loans granted to provide financial liquidity to entrepreneurs affected by the effects of COVID-19, i.e. the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0, came into force. One of the solutions it provides is a two-year system of protection of Polish companies against buy-outs by investors from outside the European Union and OECD. According to the newly passed regulation, transactions of acquisition of a significant number of shares in companies will be controlled by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. The protection applies to entities with revenue acquired in the territory of Poland exceeding the equivalent of 10 million EUR in any of the two financial years preceding the acquisition, operating in the energy, pharmacy, chemical, food production, production of weapons and technologies for military or police use, in selected IT sectors, as well as public companies.
Please find below a link to a tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can learn more about new provisions against buy-outs.
Interest Rate Support Fund
565 million PLN from the state budget was allocated for interest subsidies on working capital loans. The aid program, within the Interest Rate Support Fund will be available to entrepreneurs operating in the sector of primary production of agricultural products, regardless the size thereof. Subsidized loans will be granted by those banks that conclude an agreement with BGK. The subsidies will be available for a maximum period of 12 months from the date of concluding a credit agreement.
Please find below a link to a tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can learn more about new provisions on interest subsidies.
New provisions facilitating a tender
Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0 provides a number of solutions foreseen to facilitate the tenders procedures in the new epidemic situation and to improve the performance of public procurement contractors. Under the new regulations, the obligation to demand a deposit in proceedings with an estimated value exceeding the EU thresholds has been abolished, the requirement to pay remuneration in parts or to grant advances in the case of longer public procurement contracts has been introduced, the permissible amount of the performance bond has been lowered and the admissibility of deducting contractual penalties from the applicant’s claims has been limited, as well as the ordering party’s claim for satisfaction from the performance bond has been reduced.
Please find below a link to a tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can learn more about new provisions facilitating a tender.
Support for local authorities
During the pandemic, due to reduced tax revenues among others, most local government budgets have seen a significant revenue shortfall. The Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0 introduces a special aid package for local governments. Within this program, it is provided for local governments as follows: doubling in the period from June to December 2020 the share of districts, including presidential cities, in the revenues from the state-owned real estate, the possibility of postponing payments to the state budget to subsequent months, the possibility of unbalancing the current budget of local government units by the value of the actual loss in tax revenues.
Please find below a link to a tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can learn more about the aid package for local governments.
Changes in the restructuring process
Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0 introduces a simplified restructuring process. Under the newly introduced regulations, it is possible to initiate restructuring proceedings without the participation of a court, by concluding an agreement with a restructuring advisor and a publishing an announcement in MSiG. As a result of the announcement, the enforcement proceedings relating to the claim covered by the arrangement by law are suspended by law, and the initiation of the enforcement proceedings as well as the execution of the order to secure the claim or order to secure the claim resulting from the claim covered by the restructuring plan is inadmissible.
Please find below a link to a tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can learn more about simplified restructuring process.
EU is opening the boarders
On June 6th, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that we could expect the opening of the border with Lithuania in the next few days. Discussions on allowing the free movement of persons are currently ongoing with other EU countries as well. The most likely scenario is to divide Europe into zones covered by two types of protocols – a green protocol, which would indicate a high level of safety, and orange protocol, for areas where epidemiological risk would remain high. The final decisions on opening up the borders are expected this week.
Please find below a link to and article on Dziennik Gazeta Prawna website, where you can get acquainted with the full report on the Prime Minister’s statement, as well as on today’s conference of the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration.
More restrictions removed from June 6th
As part of Stage IV of restoring the economy, from May 6th more restrictions are to be removed. While maintaining a certain sanitary regime, gyms and fitness centres will reopen. Same with cultural institutions, such as cinemas, theatres, concert halls. Markets, congresses, conferences and similar events will be allowed for a limited number of participants.
We wholeheartedly recommend you to get acquainted with detailed information on the rules of removing further restrictions, which you can find on the website of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. Please find a link below.
Stage IV of restoring the economy
The next week more restrictions related to COVID-19 will be removed. As of 30th May , there will be no need to cover your nose and mouth in the open air, however it will remain mandatory to wear masks in public transport and places such as shops, churches, offices. The limits on the number of people allowed in gastronomic, commercial and religious places of worship at the same time will no longer be applicable. It will be allowed again to organize gatherings in open spaces, so far up to 150 participants.
Please find below a link to a tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can learn more about removing restrictions related to COVID-19.
3-month suspension of credit repayment
On Wednesday, May 20th, a government bill proposing further provisions on the “Anti-Crisis Shield” was submitted to the Polish Parliament (Sejm). Among others, the draft foresees a possibility of a 3-month suspension of credit repayment. It is intended to apply to consumers who lost their jobs or other main source of income after March 13th and concluded a credit agreement before that date.
“Anti-Crisis Shield 3.0” – online hearings and more cases heard in closed sessions.
The provisions of the “Anti-Crisis Shield 3.0” provide for amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure. The possibility of holding hearings remotely without the necessity for participants to be present in the court during and one year after the epidemic, has been introduced. However, if it is impossible to hold a hearing remotely, and holding a hearing in open court could cause an undue health risk to the participants, the presenting judge may order a hearing in closed session.
Please find below a link to a Prawo.pl website, where you can read more about the practical aspects of online hearings.
Anti-Crisis Shield 3.0 – what’s new?
On 15th May this year the law introducing the Anti-Crisis Shield 3.0 has been published. The amendment provides for increased support for business – under the amendment, 900 million PLN is allotted to the Industrial Development Agency for granting public aid to small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, the list of entities covered by the exemption from social security contributions, entities eligible for applying for a loan as well as assistance funds, has been extended. Importantly, procedural, judicial and administrative time limits has been “unfrozen”. The time limits start to run or continue since May 23rd.
Please find below a link to a tab in an on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can find more detailed information on the Anti-Crisis Shield.
Stage III of restoring the economy – what restrictions have been removed?
On 13th May 2020 Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced the third stage of easing the restrictions connected with the COVID-19 pandemic. From 18th May hairdressers, beauty parlours, restaurants, bars and cafés will reopen. There will be more options for outdoor sports – on football fields, stadiums, ski jumps, tracks. Work on film sets, phonographic and audiovisual studios in cultural institutions and open-air cinemas will be allowed again. From 25th May children of grades 1 to 3 will return to schools. The obligations to ensure safety – the obligation to use personal protective equipment, disinfection, limiting the number of people who are allowed to be present in the same place at the same time – remain valid. Minister of Health Łukasz Szumowski called for strict observance of the sanitary regime despite easing the restrictions.
Please find below a link to a tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can find more detailed information on easing the restrictions.
Application for exemption from the obligation to pay social security contributions for the period of three months
Until 30 June 2020, applications may be submitted to the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) for exemption from the obligation to pay social insurance, health insurance, Labor Fund, Solidarity Fund, Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund or Bridge Pension Fund, due for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.
The exemption from the obligation to pay social security contributions applies to:
• entities running single person non-agricultural business activity, who paid contributions exclusively for their own insurances, carried out their business activity before 1 April 2020, and their income in the first month covered by the application does not exceed 15,681 PLN and also the entities whose income exceeded the aforementioned amount, but in February 2020 amounted to no more than 7 000 PLN ;
• entities employing no more than 49 employees provided they were obliged to pay social security contributions before 1 April 2020;
• social cooperatives, provided they were declared as social contribution payers before 1 April 2020.
Please find below a link to a tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can find more detailed information on exemption from the obligation to pay social security contributions as well as submit an application.
Assistance funds for self-employed persons and persons performing civil law contracts
Pursuant to the Specific Arrangements for Preventing and Combating COVID-19, Other Communicable Diseases and the Resulting Crisis Situation Act, self-employed persons as well as persons performing an agency contract, mandate contract and other service contract, are entitled to a government financial assistance if, as a result of the occurrence of COVID-19, they’ve experienced obstacles in their business activity.
A self-employed person running a non-agricultural business activity shall be eligible for the government financial assistance in the amount of 2080 PLN when the following conditions are jointly fulfilled:
- he or she commenced non-agricultural business activity before 1 April 2020;
- he or she has not suspended the business activity/ the business activity was suspended after 31 January 2020;
- his or her income gained in the month preceding the month in which the application for the government financial assistance was submitted was at least 15% lower than the income gained in the month preceding;
- he or she is not entitled to any other social security pension;
- he or she lives on the territory of Poland and is a citizen of Poland/has secured legal residence in Poland.
It is possible to acquire a title to a government financial assistance in the amount of 1300 PLN by a self-employed person who does not fulfill the aforementioned requirements.
A person performing a civil law contract shall be eligible for the government financial assistance in the amount up to 2080 PLN when the following conditions are jointly fulfilled:
- he or she concluded a civil law contract before 1 April 2020;
- his or her income obtained in the month preceding the month in which the application for a to government financial assistance was submitted was not higher than 300% of the average monthly salary established in the previous quarter;
- he or she is not entitled to any other social security pension;
- he or she lives on the territory of Poland and is a citizen of Poland/has secured legal residence in Poland.
The government financial assistance may be granted up to three times.
Please find below a link to a tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can find more detailed information on the government financial assistance as well as submit an application.
Support for financing salaries from the Guaranteed Employment Benefit Fund
Pursuant to the Specific Arrangements for Preventing and Combating COVID-19, Other Communicable Diseases and the Resulting Crisis Situation Act, The Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund provides a three-month subsidy for the salaries of employees employed by the following entities: entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations and legal persons as defined in the Public Finance Act as well as entities that have a legal title to a historical monument or a monument entered in the World Heritage List.
An employer shall be eligible for support from the Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund when the following conditions are jointly fulfilled:
- the entity experienced a reduction in turnover in result of the current pandemic situation;
- employees are affected by a downtime due to economic reasons or their working hours have been reduced;
- the employer is not in arrears with payments of public-law liabilities and does not have a possibility to file for bankruptcy;
- no other public funds are intended to cover the same operating costs.
Paper or on-line applications shall be lodged with a Voivodeship Labor Office appropriate for a seat of an employer.
Please find below a link to praca.gov.pl website, where you can find detailed information on granting a subsidy or download necessary documents.
Loans to micro-entrepreneurs
Pursuant to the Specific Arrangements for Preventing and Combating COVID-19, Other Communicable Diseases and the Resulting Crisis Situation Act, micro-entrepreneurs established before 1st April 2020 may be granted a one-off loan to cover the current costs of running a business.
The loan can be granted up to 5 000 PLN. The repayment period may not exceed 12 months. The loan plus interest shall be redeemed at the request of the micro-entrepreneur, provided that they carry out economic activity for a period of 3 months from the date on which the loan is granted.
Please find below a link to the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy tab in the on-line Service of the Republic of Poland, where you can find more detailed instructions for granting the loan as well as download the application form.
Subsidies for entrepreneurs from the Polish Development Fund
The Polish Development Fund will transfer 75 billion PLN to support micro-, small and medium size entrepreneurs under the Financial Shield program. Partially non-repayable funds may be granted to the entrepreneurs who are employing no more than 249 employees, have been conducting business activity since 31 December 2019 and are not in arrears with payments of social security contributions or taxes. Applications should be submitted through one of the commercial banks or cooperative banks that participate in the program.
Please find below a link to the Polish Development Fund website, where you can find detailed regulations for granting the funds as well as a list of banks participating in the program.
Specific Arrangements for Preventing and Combating COVID-19, Other Communicable Diseases and the Resulting Crisis Situation Act – modification of deadlines
|Taxes and finance||PIT-36, PIT-36L, PIT-36S, PIT-36LS, PIT-37, PIT-38, PIT-39 submission and tax payment||31st May 2020|
|CIT-8 submission and tax payment|
|Advance tax on employee salaries for March 2020 and April 2020 payment||1st June 2020|
|Commercial property tax for March, April and May 2020 payment by an entity suffering economic decline||20th July 2020|
|Examination of an application for an individual tax interpretation||6 months from the date of submission of the application|
|Application of the new VAT rates||From 1st July 2020|
|The new JPK_VAT introduction|
|Monthly installments on property tax for March, April and May 2020 payment||Possible extension until 30 September 2020|
|Filling the tax declaration after the deadline as a circumstance justifying granting special rights||Until 1st June 2020|
|Closing the accounts||The term prolonged 3 months/until 30th June 2020|
|The submission of the financial statements of natural persons to the head of KAS||31st July 2020|
|The submission of the financial statements of unregistered CIT tax payers to the head of KAS||10th October 2020|
|Submitting a report to KRS||15th October 2020|
|Foreigners||Validity of a national visa||Until the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the national epidemiological risk or the national epidemic|
|Validity of a residence permit|
|Deadline to voluntarily leave the territory of Poland|
|Deadline to voluntary departure|
|Validity of a worker permit|
|Validity of a statement on the intention to entrust work to a
|Validity of Polish documents|
|Validity of a residence card of an EU citizen’s family member|
|Granting medical and social assistance to foreigners|
|Submitting an aplication for renewal of a worker permit||Not earlier than 90 days before the expiry of the worker permit and not later than on the last day of the extended period of validity|
Possibility of performing the work specified in the statement on the intention to entrust work to a foreigner
|Until the 30th day following the date of cancellation of the national epidemiological risk or the national epidemic|
|Energy law||Submission of the draft plan and the report on that plan by a system operator||31st March 2021|
|Submission of the draft plan and the report on that plan by an energy company||30th April 2021|
|Validity of decision on the award of consession||Until 31st December 2020|
|Waste management||Possibility of keeping records of waste in a paper form||Until 31st December 2020|
|Conduction of audit for 2019 by recycling companies or packaging waste exporters||Until 30th September 2020|
|Patent law, trade mark law||Opposition to the application for registration of a trade mark||From 8 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 the period for filling an opposition is suspended. It shall run again from 1st July 2020|
|Submitting the translation of the European patent|
|Validity of documents, licences, medical examinations||Validity of driver’s license, driver attestation, other driving licences||Until the 60th day following the date of cancellation of the national epidemiological risk or the national epidemic|
|Obtaining a taxi licence||Until 30th September 2020|
|Registration of a vehicle imported from an EU Member State||Prolonged for 180 days|
|Validity of periodic medical examinations of employees||Until the 60th day following the date of cancellation of the national epidemiological risk or the national epidemic|
|Obligatory health and safety training|