11.01.2024 Business

10 most important legal changes from 1 January 2024

The year 2024 will be full of significant legal changes for business operators in Poland. We present a summary of the most important regulations in force since 1 January.

1. Increase of minimum wage and hourly rate

On 1 January 2024, the minimum wage increased from PLN 3,600 to PLN 4,242. The minimum hourly rate has also gone up from 1 January 2024 and amounts to PLN 27.70 (previously PLN 23.50).

The next increase of the minimum wage and hourly rate is scheduled for 1 July 2024 – when minimum wage will be PLN 4,300 gross and the minimum hourly rate will be PLN 28.10 gross.

Increasing the minimum wage twice in 2024 will have an impact on ZUS contributions and benefits paid by ZUS. It will also affect the real cost of employing an employee earning a national minimum wage. Those changes will result in an increase in ZUS contributions for new companies as well as higher allowance for employees working at night. Learn more: ZUS contributions in 2024 will be higher, cost of employment will also increase  

In addition, from 1 January 2024, the minimum wage does not include the hardship allowance and the arduous working conditions allowance.

2. Higher Property Tax

Another increase concerns the property tax. From 1 January 2024, the legislator increased the maximum tax rate on residential real estate from PLN 1 to PLN 1.15 per m2. This represents an increase of 15 gr per m2 compared to 2023.

The higher fee will affect both individuals and businesses. The maximum tax rate on real estate used for business purposes amounts from 1 January 2024 to PLN 33.10 per m2 (in 2023, the rate was PLN 28.78 per m2 of usable area).

However, let us remind that each municipality and city independently decides on the tax rates applicable in their area, so not all property owners need to receive decisions on the increase of property tax for 2024.

3. Energy price freeze until mid-2024 for small and medium-sized businesses

What will certainly please some businesses and individual consumers is that the maximum energy prices will remain at the current level until the end of June 2024. This is the result of the entry into force on 31 December 2023 of the Act amending acts to support consumers of electricity, gaseous fuels and heat

Let us remind that the energy price freeze also applies to small and medium-sized enterprises. For the period from 1 January to 30 June 2024, energy prices for firms covered by the act will be maintained at the level of prices applied in 2023, i.e. according to the tariffs for enterprises approved by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office.

For individual consumers, i.e. households, the maximum electricity prices will be maintained until mid-2024 at PLN 412 per MWh net, and the maximum rate of PLN 693 per MWh is to be maintained above the limit.

4. Minimum CIT tax is back

On 1 January 2024, ended a two-year period of suspension of the application of the provisions on the so-called minimum tax. This means that taxpayers will settle the new tax at the beginning of 2025. Find out more: Minimum CIT tax will return. What is it and who does it apply to?  

By way of reminder, minimum tax is a levy applicable to companies and tax capital groups that meet the criteria specified in the regulations. Minimum tax was introduced in 2022 as part of the so-called Polish Order, however, its application was suspended until 2024.

5. New Plastic Levy for Companies

1 January 2024 is the date of entry into force of a new levy, namely a fee for businesses placing on the market certain single-use plastic products covered by extended producer responsibility.

The fee is to cover the costs of waste management generated from those products, and its amount depends on the type of product grouped in 3 sections and amounts to, for example, PLN 0.10 per 1 kg. of food containers, PLN 0.01 per piece of tobacco products with filters containing plastics, PLN 0.01 per piece of wet wipes.

In addition, businesses placing single-use containers on the market must also register their activity in this area and submit their first report to the Waste Database (BDO) by 15 March 2024.

6. Change for car dealers

From 1 January 2024, car dealers and private owners are obliged to re-register used vehicles with the district office within a certain time limit. Failure to do so is subject to administrative penalty.

The deadline for vehicle traders is up to 90 days from the date of buying a vehicle in Poland, admission to the market by the National Tax Administration of a vehicle imported from a non-EU Member State or introduction of a vehicle to Poland from an EU Member State. At the same time, the legislator has provided for an exemption from this obligation if a trader sells the vehicle before the expiry of a 90-day period.

Private owners of used vehicles have a 30-day deadline to apply for re-registration of the vehicle at the district office.

Penalties for failure to comply with the obligations for vehicle traders may range from 500 up to even 2000 PLN. The legal basis is the amended version of the Road Traffic Act.  

7. Amendment to old-age pension regulations

On 1 January 2024, the regulations on bridging pensions have changed. The new regulations made it possible for employees performing work in special conditions or of a special nature to retire even if they started working after 1 January 1999. However, in order to enjoy this entitlement, it is necessary to meet a number of other conditions, and those are specified by the legislator in  the amendment to the Bridging Pensions Act.

Experts predict that in 2024 there will not be too many departures from work due to bridging retirements, however, it cannot be ruled out that some employers will experience staff shortages due to departure of highly specialized employees.

8. WIS, WIA and WIP applications only electronically

On 1 January 2024, regulations enabling electronic submission of applications for the issuance of:

  • Binding Rate Information (WIS)
  • Binding Excise Information (WIA)
  • Binding Origin Information (VPI)
  • other documents relating to binding information cases.

WIS should be submitted in the e-Urząd Skarbowy service, and WIA and WIP on the PUESC portal. Learn more: Electronic handling of applications 

9. Faster depreciation in municipalities with increased unemployment

Another change that came into force on 1 January 2024 is a shorter depreciation period for fixed assets in the form of non-residential buildings and structures. This shortening is the result of changes in the PIT and CIT Acts, and according to the regulations, faster depreciation means shortening the period from 40 years to 5 or 10 years. 

As a result, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises have gained the opportunity to set individual depreciation rates, amounting up to 20 percent, for self-generated fixed assets, such as non-residential buildings entered for the first time into the register of fixed assets and intangible assets (real estate classified in group 1 and 2 of the Classification of Fixed Assets).

The condition is to meet the criteria set out  in the regulations, such as an investment in a municipality located in a district where the average unemployment rate is at least 120% of the average unemployment rate in the country.

10. Public procurement: new EU thresholds

With the arrival of 2024, the EU thresholds and the EUR conversion rate in public procurement have changed. The increase is not significant and applies to thresholds in public contracts for:

  • construction works: an increase from EUR 5.382 million to EUR 5.538 million, i.e. the threshold is PLN 25 680 260 after conversion using the new EUR average exchange rate;  
  • supplies and services ordered by local governments: an increase from EUR 215 thousand to EUR 221 thousand (the threshold is PLN 1,024,799 after conversion,).

Other EU thresholds have not changed, and their amount is set out in  the Announcement of the President of the Public Procurement Office of 3 December 2023 on the current EU thresholds.  

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