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17 September 2008

Registering a UK company as an employer in Poland

I have a UK company which I ran before I moved to Poland. Having now lived in Poland for a while I figured that I should do something about my residency situation as per my last blog post about Polish residency.

Therefore I spent a long time on the phone to the Inland Revenue back in the UK, and made a couple of visits to ZUS and the Urząd Skarbowy here in Poland.

I decided that I would continue to pay myself from my UK company but I would become a Polish resident employee.

The Inland Revenue said that I could continue to put myself through my pay roll if I wanted (Class X for National Insurance and tax group NT) or I could just take money out of the company against an invoice.

Polish Social Insurance - ZUS

ZUS said that I needed to register my UK company as an employer in Poland and open an "employer account" called a konto płatnik to make social insurance payments. The alternative was to pay the employee (i.e. myself) gross, and have the employee sign a declaration that the employee has the responsibility of paying both the employer's and employee's social insurance payments.

Option 1 - konto płatnik - to do this you have to fill out form ZUS ZPA. But to do that you need a tax number (NIP) from the Urząd Skarbowy. To get the NIP you have to fill out form NIP-2. But because your company is foreign you have to apply directly to Warsaw and enclose certain documentation:
* company documents (such as formation certificate)
* translations by a sworn translator of these documents
* declaration (in Polish) that you are not supplying bank account details becase you do not wish to make use of Polish VAT returns

The Warsaw address for a NIP-2 for a foreign company is:
Drugi Urząd Skarbowy Warszawa Śródmieście
ul. Jagiellońska 15

Telephone +48 (0)22 5845100 or 831 9194 or 831 9195
There is information about this in English and German on the zus website.

Option 2 - employee pays both employer's and employee's ZUS:
The employee and employer should sign an agreement that the employee takes the responsibility of paying the employer's side of the social insurance payments.
In Polish this is called:
"umowa z pracownikiem o przyjęciu roli płatnika z przedsiebiorstwem nie mającym oddziału w Polsce".

Polish tax - Urząd Skarbowy

This side seems simpler. My understand from what they told me is that my company simply pays the employee a gross salary and the tax bill is determined the following year. Not like the more complicated PAYE system in the UK with different tax codes etc..!
The Polish system is that in February 2009 the employer fills out a PIT-11 form for each employee which shows how much that employee was paid for the 2008 year. The employee then has until April 2009 to pay his/her tax bill.

After going through all this information I decided not to use my UK company to do this afterall - I figured that if the ZUS was going to be hassle then it would be simpler to just open a new company in Poland and have that company pay my ZUS. My Polish company can simply invoice my UK company as necessary to move funds.

My next blog post will be about how to set up a Polish company.

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